What is the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS)
While the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) still claims to be a voluntary scheme it is now a requirement for many large infrastructure projects and clients demanding fleet operators adopt a more professional approach to managing that fleet.
HS2, Crossrail, Thames Tideway along with TfL and many major contractors, clients and regional and local authorities all require Fleet Operators to achieve FORS accreditation before being included in their supply chain.
Simply put FORS is a Quality Management System which focuses on safety, efficiency and environmental protection and encourages organisations to adopt a best practice approach to its responsibilities in that regard.
It’s important to say that the FORS standard relates to the management of the fleet operation, its vehicles and its drivers and it’s broken down into four areas:
Who needs FORS accreditation?
There are many companies that are now FORS accredited; from many different sectors (transportation, storage, construction, wholesale, retail, waste management) the underlying denominator is that they use vehicles for commercial use for servicing or delivery. These include HGV’s, vans, passenger carry vehicles, cars, motorcycles and mopeds and wheeled plant (e.g. mobile cranes).
You may have one operating centre or multiple operating centres, you can choose which centres are going to figure in your accreditation, but then all vehicles within that centre need to be included.
This is good news for multiple operating centres, you can start with one, and then roll the accreditation out over a period of time.
How do We achieve FORS accreditation
Accreditation is achieved by demonstrating your organisation meets the requirements through an audit or audits at your operating centre(s).
With organisations of less than 5 employees, many of the requirements can be demonstrated as met verbally, for larger organisations this will be through demonstrating compliance with a suite of policies, procedures, safe systems of work, risk assessments which make up your management system.
The route to becoming FORS accredited will depend on the number of operating centres that you include. This will dictate the number of FORS Audits that the business requires. (If you want to know for your situation then please just send us a quick question here)
Then once you have chosen which category you fit then there are also different types of status:
You must have and maintain your bronze accreditation before progressing to silver or gold (this is not mandatory) and there are two routes available to do this. Either, progress to silver and then gold, or progress to gold with a single combined silver/gold application.
There are a lot of other rules and procedures, as an example, you have only 90 days from registering your bronze application to request, undertake and pass your FORS audit and follow-up audit(s) must be passed within 30 calendar days of initial notification of failure.
FORS Professional training is a requirement for both Managers and Drivers to undertake to help them ensure that they understand their responsibilities. At the FORS Bronze level, this takes the form of ELearning while at FORS Silver and FORS Gold levels this will involve both Managers and Drivers to attend FORS approved training courses and workshops.
We can help with all of this, please just submit a quick question here
Many companies that have gone through FORS accreditation have used the process to make many improvements in policies and procedures.
You may already have systems in place which simply need adapting to meet the requirements for FORS, or you made need to implement a comprehensive management system to help you get there.
We can and have helped many organisations achieve FORS accreditation by adopting a flexible, scalable approach to achieve best practice.
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