A RUNCORN driver recruitment agency is pioneering a new accreditation scheme to raise standards in the transport and distribution industry.

Drivers Direct employs 80 drivers and 10 branch staff in Halton Road and a further 500 drivers and 58 employees at 17 centres nationwide.

The business has worked in partnership with the Freight Transport Association (FTA) to help develop The Driver Agency Accreditation Scheme.

Managing director Gethin Roberts, aged 53, said: “It is a huge honour to help develop the first ever accreditation scheme for driver recruitment.

“The accreditation has taken three years to create and sets out to recognise driver recruitment agencies that operate within the highest standards, giving welcome reassurance to transport companies and any businesses needing to engage drivers.”

Drivers Direct is among 12 agencies that helped develop the accreditation scheme with the FTA and are among the first to receive the accreditation mark.

Each agency was presented with its own certificate of accreditation during a special launch ceremony at the Institution of Civil Engineers, in London, on February 6, attended by Transport Minister Robert Goodwill MP.

Senior Traffic Commissioner, Beverley Bell said: “Driver agencies provide a vital service to the commercial vehicle industry but the standards of service currently provided vary tremendously.

“I am encouraged by the new FTA initiative to set up an accreditation scheme that will not only promote but also monitor high standards of service thereby enabling operators to ensure that their operator licence compliance is not compromised in any way. “As regulators, traffic commissioners reinforce the principles of road safety and fair competition and so we always welcome new initiatives from within the industry to achieve better standards.”

The accreditation scheme is voluntary and open to all agencies wishing to apply for recognition.

To find out more, visit www.driversdirect.co.uk or www.fta.co.uk/daas