Private Hire Operator Quality Rating Scheme Consultation

Closed 15 Sep 2017

Opened 11 Aug 2017

Feedback Updated 18 Sep 2017

We Asked

For comments/views on the proposed new quality rating scheme for private hire operators.

You Said

The majority of responses were in favour of the scheme with 13 of the 18 responses feeling that the proposed quality rating scheme would drive up operator standards.

We Did

The results of this consultation will form part of a report which will be heard and approved by members at a future Licensing and Public Protection Committee before any quality rating scheme can be adopted and introduced.

Results Updated 18 Sep 2017

There were 18 responses received for this consultation.  A report is being prepared to be heard at a future Licensing and Public Protection Committee meeting.

Overview

The City Council is proposing to introduce a Quality Rating Scheme (QRS) in respect of private hire operators. This QRS would score Private Hire Operators on their level of compliance with licence conditions and hopefully provide positive encouragement to improve standards.

It is proposed that a quality rating, similar to that of FHRS from the Food Standards Agency, to be published on the Birmingham City Council website allowing members of the public to make informed choices about who they use.

The aim of the scheme is to promote the private hire trade within Birmingham and attempt to drive up service standards; making operators more accountable for the actions of their drivers.

It is anticipated that by publicising the rating of operators assessed under the scheme would give greater customer confidence in their choice of operator, hence increasing competition and driving up standards across the trade.

The Food Hygiene Rating Schemes is operated by over 300 Local Authorities in England and evidence suggests that publicising food hygiene scores has brought about improvement in levels of hygiene.

It is anticipated that publicising compliance with Private Hire Operator Conditions would increase compliance and, in turn, increase safety standards for members of the public.

The proposed scheme will cover all licensed Private Hire Operators, within Birmingham, and the scoring of the business will be based on compliance with the indicators listed on the assessment form, see attached Measurement Criteria below.

There are currently 47 items on which each operator will be assessed.  One point will be allocated for compliance with all aspects of each item.

These 47 items however are not definite and may be subject to amendment removal completely or new items introduced depending on the outcome of this consultation.

In an attempt to make operators more accountable for their drivers, 5 points will be deducted if a driver representing their company is cautioned or prosecuted for plying for hire.

There will be 2 types of indicator on which the assessments will be based.

  • Essential criteria: based on the new proposed conditions attached to each operator licence; and
  • Bonus criteria: evidence of written policies and procedures to demonstrate best practice, support of their own staff through training and implementing measures to enhance consumer experience and safety.

There are currently 28 Essential criteria and 19 Bonus items.

Each operator will then be allocated a quality rating based on their score:

  • <10 points– Licensed.
  • 11 - 20 points – Bronze.
  • 21 - 30 points – Silver.
  • 30 - 45 points – Gold.
  • >45 – Platinum.

It is anticipated that assessments will be on an annual basis, conducted during routine inspections.  If an operator wishes to make improvements and apply for a secondary inspection, they may do so on payment of a fee.

The results of the quality rating scheme will be published on City Council Licensing web pages.

Why We Are Consulting

The scheme is similar to that of the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) from the Food Standards Agency, allowing members of the public to make informed choices and compare the standard of private hire operators against each other.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Service user groups

Interests

  • Citizens Satisfaction