The National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) is a scheme which is unique to the UK and was developed as an alternative to points and fines. The scheme allows motorists who have committed a minor offence, at the discretion of the local Chief Constable, to have education with the aim of improving the driver or rider’s knowledge and behaviour whilst on the road. A motorist has no automatic right to a course irrespective of how minor the offence is.
At the discretion of the local Chief Constable an offending motorist may be offered the opportunity to attend a course focusing on re-education designed to achieve greater compliance with Road Traffic legislation. Nobody has the absolute right to a NDORS course. The alternative is a fine and penalty points.
NDORS courses do not have a pass or fail element, with the exception of the ‘Your Belt – Your Life’ Course.
The courses instead focuses on changing driving behaviour, attitude and prevent motorists re-offending again.
Anybody caught committing a low-level traffic offence may only be offered one course within a three-year time period. If a person commits one of these offences again within three years, they will have to pay a fine and have points on their licence.
Courses are provided across the whole of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland also works with NDORS and provide some of the courses.
An offender can choose to take a course at any location where they are available, and they do not have to return to the place where the offence was committed unless they want to.
There is a charge for the courses. Once an offender has decided where they would like to go on the course, they must pay the course provider before attending the course.
Included in that sum is an amount of money that goes back to the Police Force where the offence took place to cover the cost of processing the offence and the course offer. Working this way means that the courses pay for themselves rather than receiving funding, which would be diverted from other much-needed services.
When a person has successfully attended and completed a course, their details are kept on a national database. This ensures that if a person is caught committing the same type of offence within three years from the date of the original offence, they cannot be offered another course until three years have elapsed from the date of the original offence.
Once a person has been on the course then no further action will be taken, there is no fine to pay, and they will not have any points put onto their licence.
Any person who has been made a course offer and decides that they don’t want to do it or anybody who accepts to go on a course and who fails to attend and complete the course, will have their offence dealt with through the criminal justice process.
The Scheme meets all the principles of fairness and equality legislation, is human rights compliant and adheres strictly to the data protection act.
NDORS issues policies and guidance to police forces and course providers to facilitate the scheme meeting its aims.
NDORS courses are not appropriate for an offender whose actions amount to high risk or having the potential to cause harm. Nobody has an automatic right to be offered an NDORS course as it is entirely within the discretion of the police to make the offer, or proceed with the offender through the criminal justice system.