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UK NEWS

FORS: a common force for good

Jul 20, 2015
FORS (Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme) held the first meeting of its Governance and Standards Advisory Group (GSAG) with leading fleet operators, trade associations and public authority representatives in attendance.
The Group has been established by FORS to ensure that the standards remain relevant to industry needs, protect the integrity and reputation of the scheme and embed FORS across the UK as the single national standard.

The Group consists of industry representatives, local authorities and enforcement agencies. Topics on the agenda included the needs of operators, the development of the Standard and the key objective of raising professional standards. The focus of the Group is to promote road safety, improve professional standards and enhance the image of the industry.

The Group was firmly in favour of there being one national scheme focussing on professional standards and operational effectiveness. John Bourn, Senior Specialist Transport Planner, North East Combined Authority, said: ‘We have been championing FORS in our region since 2012 and we look forward to further developing the scheme and would encourage other local authorities to get on board.’ With the scheme being rolled out nationally this is an important opportunity to increase understanding of the benefits of FORS nationwide for both contract specifiers and fleet operators.”

FORS registered companies have now passed the 3,000 mark representing over 200,000 vehicles.  Accreditation is at three levels - bronze, silver and gold each increasingly more difficult to achieve.  Matthew James removals was the first moving company in the UK to achieve the silver standard.  Matt De Machen, the company’s managing director, said that he thought FORS was a very good idea.  “It shows that a company takes transport seriously and is prepared to do more than simply the minimum required to satisfy the law,” he said.  He believes that there will come a time when FORS will be a requirement for entry into some cities and contracts will require it. But he had a warning.  He said that the bronze level was reasonably easy to achieve.  “But silver and gold are really, really hard.”

GSAG, will meet every three months to act as the champion for the award-winning FORS scheme. The Group will protect, safeguard and enhance the scheme as well as ensure it remains relevant to the needs of fleet operators, contract specifiers and the general public.

The scheme aims to help companies stand out from the crowd to prove to current and prospective customers that they work to standards above the legal minimum. The scheme also provides access to a range of benefits that, the organisation claims, provides a real competitive advantage such as discounted training, services and equipment.

 

Photo:  Matthew James Transport, the first mover in the UK with silver accreditation to FORS.

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