The monitoring process
The advice and guidance provided by the Scheme’s Monitors are a key element of any registration with the Scheme. These are highly experienced industry professionals who review a supplier’s performance against the Code of Considerate Practice, whilst passing on their knowledge and expertise to help suppliers develop and improve.
Initial office visit
Once a supplier is registered, their details are issued to one of the Scheme’s Monitors who will contact the supplier to arrange a suitable time to carry out an office visit.
This annual visit is an opportunity to review a supplier’s performance against the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice, and ensure that the supplier is meeting the expectations of registration. It involves a detailed discussion around the relevant questions and prompts within the Monitors’ Checklist and a review of the supplier’s processes, policies and systems.
The office visit will result in the issuing of a report and an ‘indicative’ score that reflects their assumed or expected performance against the Scheme’s criteria based on discussions, observations and evidence where available.
The Monitor is unlikely to be able to give a definitive result without seeing how the supplier operates ‘in the field’. For this reason, the indicative score will usually be given as a two-point range, e.g. 6-7, which would mean that the Monitor thinks the supplier is performing to a good or very good level using the descriptors shown here, but needs to verify the discussions before a validated score can be awarded.
It may be possible for the Monitor to award a specific indicative score if they feel confident but equally, they may occasionally use a three point range, e.g. 6-8, if they did not get enough information at the office visit to be confident in narrowing down a score.
If the Monitor is satisfied that the supplier is performing to at least the basic expectations of registration, the supplier will receive the appropriate registration material (including Scheme branded posters and vehicle stickers) along with a Certificate of Registration.
Suppliers failing to meet the basic expectations will be monitored again, once sufficient time has been allowed for non-compliance issues to be addressed.
These Monitor visits take place at the supplier’s depots, and verify that the standards discussed at the office are being implemented ‘on site’.
Suppliers will be prompted to provide opportunities for validation visits shortly after the office visit has been completed, giving them ample time to undertake any development work discussed at the office visit. The Scheme Monitor and supplier will agree on a date and location to conduct the validation visit.
As with the office visit, Monitors will review a supplier’s considerate performance based on what they witness against the Code using the Monitors’ Checklist to ask questions and guide discussions.
Following the visit, an updated indicative score will be shown on the report which may match that shown on the office report or may be flexed up or down, depending on whether observations at the validation visit matched the discussions that previously took place or whether they actually demonstrated a level of performance better or worse than previously discussed. The report will highlight areas of good practice while also providing advice and guidance on how to further improve.
Where there is a main regional office and several associated depots, an appropriate number of depots will be selected to be visited within each registration period to ensure that at least one depot is visited every 12 months and no depot goes more than four years without being visited.
After the required visits have been conducted, the Monitor will provide a final validated score that reflects how they feel that supplier is generally performing against the Scheme’s Code and the Checklist. The validated score is not a reflection of the individual depots visited but of overall performance based on discussions and observations across the separate meetings. A star rating will also be issued based on the final validated score.
If the registration is for a single location, no validation visits will be required as everything will have been seen at the office visit. In this case, the supplier will be issued with a final validated score after the office visit as well as a star rating for that registration period.
If registered suppliers wish to receive further guidance and increase their validated score, then additional validation visits can be purchased from the Scheme for £174 (+ VAT).
Following each visit, the Monitor will complete a report that will be issued to the registered supplier. The report will provide a summary of the visit, along with a score range (or confirmed score if all validation visits have been conducted) and observations within each section of the Code of Considerate Practice.
As a supplier’s registration progresses through the year, the report will include details from the initial office visit and subsequent validation visits, proving a clear audit trail of progress through the registration period.
An executive summary found on the first page of the report will highlight good practice as well as what needs to be addressed to further improve.
On the second page of the report, bold italic comments will be used to identify any shortfalls or to identify potential areas for improvement within each section of the Code. They may also highlight where more attention could be paid to achieve a higher score.
As a score of 8 or more indicates that the supplier has addressed all relevant questions on the Checklist but hasn’t done anything exceptional to warrant a score of 9, or anything innovative to warrant a 10, the Monitor’s report may not contain any bold italic comments. It is therefore the responsibility of the supplier to consider what needs to be done to achieve a higher score.
Monitor reports are a reflection of what was witnessed, and the information that was provided, in response to the Checklist questions at the time of the visit.
The report is not an assessment of the depots visited but a review and comment on the supplier’s systems and processes, with the narrative reflecting this focus.