Case Study: Luton Borough Council

Saving Time and Money on Taxi Licensing


Since contracting Personnel Checks to manage their taxi licensing process,
Luton Borough Council have been able to;

  • Reduce DBS check turnaround times from 8 weeks to an average of 9 working days
  • Reduce time spent on driver appointments by 78%

The Challenge

It was becoming a full time job for Luton Borough Council’s licensing team to service Hackney Carriage/Private Hire applications and also keep up with changes in DBS legislation and documentation requirements.

A huge amount of staff time was taken up with administration and the licensing team dealt with a lot of duplication.

It was very rare for a driver to produce all required documentation on their first visit and often had to return two or three times before they could apply for their Hackney Carriage/Private Hire licence.

Luton were finding that during busy periods, they would have two or three officers servicing the public counter at one time, with each driver spending around 35-40 minutes at the desk.

Dealing with drivers and documentation was taking around 70% to 80% of the licensing team’s time.


The Solution

Personnel Checks presented a list of possible solutions, tailoring their service and DBS checking process based on the requirements of Luton Borough Council.

Applicants were given access to Personnel Checks’ bespoke, online DBS Enhanced Disclosure application software. A dedicated telephone line was also introduced to drivers providing guidance, advice and support on every aspect of the licensing process.

Personnel Checks created a bespoke white-labelled webpage specifically for Luton, providing clear, detailed information to applicants. They also assigned a dedicated Account Manager who could be contacted by drivers or Council staff.


The Outcome

Personnel Checks aimed to mirror the success rate achieved for many other councils, where in some instances, licences issued to drivers has increased by 500%.

Since Luton Borough Council commissioned Personnel Checks to handle the entire DBS check process for Hackney Carriage/Private Hire licensing;

  • Average DBS check turnaround times have reduced from 8 weeks to 9 working days
  • Driver appointment times have now reduced by 78%

These changes have resulted in Luton Borough Council finding they are able to be more flexible with their resources and staff are now able to focus on other back office processes, increasing overall productivity within the licensing team.


Feedback from Luton Borough Council

“It was immediately apparent that Personnel Checks clearly understood that although there are underlying guidelines which all local authorities have to follow, there is still need
for flexibility in certain processes.

Personnel Checks don’t offer a blanket product that only works in one way, neither do they expect you to change the way you work in order to make the product fit for you. It’s very flexible and takes control of administrative tasks, it’s transformed our licensing into a seamless process.

It was becoming a full time job keeping up with all the changes in documentation requirements from the DBS and lot of resources were used on Hackney Carriages/Private Hire licensing. 

The main thing that sold it was not only the flexibility
of the product, but the reduced timescales. We were carrying out driver DBS checks using paper applications which were averaging around 8 weeks, now they’re taking around 9 working days.

Feedback from drivers on DBS check processing times is very positive, speed was the main selling point and once they realised the system was so quick, the process soon became second nature.

It’s an added bonus that drivers have the option to complete DBS checks on their smart phones and can submit all documentation via email which eliminates paper and post from the process.”

Aaron Wiltshire, Senior Licensing Officer
Luton Borough Council


If you would like to enquire about creating a specialist DBS checking system to streamline your licensing process, just like Luton Borough Council have, contact Ryan Sidley, Licensing Contracts Manager;
01254 355674

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