Royal Mail & CWU National Joint Statement – Capture Photo On Delivery- Phase 2 Deployment

Royal Mail & CWU National Joint Statement – Capture Photo On Delivery- Phase 2 Deployment

Further to LTB 444/21 regarding Phase 1, we have been involved in discussions with Royal Mail, both in terms of reviewing volumes in the phase 1 rollout and the expansion of the service to further deployment.

As Branches and Representatives are aware, Royal Mail faces an increasingly competitive landscape both in the letters and parcels market and their future success is dependent upon the ability to keep up with current trends, whilst providing value for money, excellent customer and quality of service. We also have firm joint commitments within our National agreements of maintaining job security, whilst also improving pay, terms and conditions for our members.

Royal Mail’s large Account Customers are asking carriers to capture a photographic image as proof of delivery; their rationale for wanting this capability is that it helps to reduce denial of receipts. Competitors such as DPD and Hermes already offer this capability, including Parcelforce. To retain and grow market share RM and the CWU are committed to ‘speed up this process’ to enable this capability within the Royal Mail Core Network.

Phase 1 was deployed before peak 2021 enabling the Capture Photo on Delivery service for Boohoo Tracked items, initially and subsequently extended to M&S and we have been advised just this week also, the Very Group. This has proven to be a success with both Boohoo and M&S and since the launch 3.5 million photographs/images have been taken.  The Joint statement will now be extended from October 2021 and will be implemented with the next Phase as follows:

Phase 2: Capture Photo on Delivery Extended to All Tracked Non Signature Customers

Phase 2 is an extension of the capability that Boohoo, and M&S enjoy to all Tracked 24/48 non signature customers, excluding the majority of UKHSA Test Kits.  In addition, following identification of an improvement opportunity by CWU, representatives and Delivery OPGs, there will be an enhancement to the visibility on the PDA that the item requires a photo.  Royal Mail will ensure that all delivery units are fully briefed on the changes, including training that will be given by Workplace Coaches.  Phase 2 is expected to go live 1st March.

Phase 3: Capture Photo Extended to Tracked Signature 

The ability to capture a photo will be extended to signature tracked customers, in various configurations as follows:Photo OnlyNo PhotoPhoto & nameName onlyPhoto, Signature, & NameSignature, & NamePhoto & signatureSignature only

Phase 3 is expected to go live during April 2022, subject to technology changes.

A new outdoor Observed Time Values (OTV) along with the frequency of the task for Capture Photo on Delivery activity will be established and incorporated into Delivery Systems and the WIPWH productivity measures. This additional workload and activity will be built into OWM (Outdoor Workload Model which feeds into the WIPWH productivity measure) and the revision planning tools/systems. This will be completed by the start of the financial year 2022/23 (April 2022). These reviews and resultant uplift to the observed time values and planning values will be subject to further National discussions and agreement between RM Delivery Director and CWU Assistant Outdoor Secretary, ahead of the changes being included in OWM & GeoRoute systems. Further program and milestones are also set out in the Joint Statement attached.

Whilst both parties are jointly committed to ensure that the new OTVs and resultant changes to any current PVs, alongside the frequency uplifts are in place for the Phase 3 national rollout, (which would also enable this workload to be included into weekly resource meetings), units will need to review any ongoing and additional local factors which will need to be considered and put in place to support the full deployment of Capture Photo on Delivery.  In relation to the above both parties have agreed that further communications and clarification explaining all agreed outputs will be required which will be shared as and when further developments take place.

Further phase 2 & 3 expansion of Photo on Delivery

Royal Mail will ensure that all delivery units are fully briefed on any changes, including the necessary training given by Workplace Coaches; confirmation of these processes are also reference in the Joint Statement. 

On occasions OPG’s may get challenged by customers on taking a photo. If this is the case, OPG’s should politely advise the customer that they are requested to take a photo as proof of delivery, but if the customer refuses, items will be returned to sender. However, a customer may object strongly and not allow the OPG to take a photo (whether or not social distancing is applicable at the time) then the OPG may not be able to retain the parcel.  Should this arise, then under no circumstances should the OPG become involved in a confrontation and should report the incident to their DOM/Manager on return to the office; the OPG will not be held responsible for the customer behavior in such circumstances.

Health & Safety and Safe Systems of Work 

It is reaffirmed that Health & Safety and SSOW are of paramount importance to both Royal Mail and the CWU, and the Delivery SAC will be updated and will be in place.  Any issues arising in this respect will be proper to the relevant RM safety experts and the CWU National Health Safety, and Environment Department.


We have been involved in quite intense discussions with Royal Mail over recent weeks on the expansion of this offering and in particular the issue of ensuring that the increased workload values along with the frequencies for the task with the expansion of the service is adequately built into the productivity, planning tools and systems. We have been very firm with Royal Mail that whilst we fully support the expansion and growth of this service in order to reduce denial of receipt and not lose out on volumes to Royal Mail’s competitors. It is absolutely critical that we also ensure that the increased associated workload is fully taken into account; we believe that the National Joint Statement contains the necessary safeguards in this regard.

Any queries to the content of the above please contact the Outdoor Department reference 540, email address:

Yours sincerely,

Mark Baulch

CWU Assistant Secretary

LTB 054-22 – Capture Photo On Delivery- Phase 2 Deployment

JS – Capture Photo on Delivery Phase 2MB FINAL – Feb. 2022

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