The Fleet Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS) is looking to improve operational standards within the haulage industry by introducing new training requirements for both fleet managers and drivers. These new requirements span all levels of accreditation (bronze, silver and gold) and are to become effective from early January 2019 for both new and existing haulage companies. |
The FORS Standard is the comprehensive document defining what is required for members to achieve and maintain the various accreditation levels. This latest update, (FORS Standard Version 5) addresses a number of issues that came up during the Members’ Conference in October. This includes the growing need for air quality improvements and need for new regulations for bus and coach operators. The company also wants to work towards encompassing a broader range of vehicles, such as powered two-wheelers.
FORS has come up with a new Professional Training Programme (details of which can be accessed online), consisting of information regarding practical guidance, courses (both classroom-style and eLearning) and workshops. John Hix, Director of FORS, referred to the programme as a “vast reservoir of learning” for haulage companies across the country.
The purpose of these new requirements is not only to increase safety awareness, but also to reduce environmental impact and simply encourage good driving habits. John Hix also stated that the new mandatory requirements will “ensure managers and drivers keep pace with current trends and new legislation; equipping operators with the essential tools to pursue ever-increasing levels of best practice”.
Currently, FORS bronze-level drivers are required to have completed an online safety module within the past twelve months. With new regulations, another eLearning module (Security and Counter Terrorism) must also be completed every 24 months in order to maintain bronze level.
In addition to bronze requirements, silver-level drivers must complete a Safe Urban Driving or a Van Smart training course every five years. Alternatively, drivers can choose a FORS-approved road safety training course with an on-cycle element. From 2019, the LoCITY Time to Clean Up eLearning module must also be completed every two years.
Gold-level drivers with HGV fleets must now partake in a ‘LoCITY Driving’ course every five years. However, those with car or passenger-carrying vehicle fleets are required to undertake a different training course based around environmental awareness. HGV fleet operators must also make sure they are working towards the FORS Practitioner qualification.
This updated version of requirements is known as the FORS Standard Version 5, and can be downloaded online. The document is reviewed and updated every two years to ensure that the latest compliance legislation and current industry initiatives are acknowledged. Haulage companies will definitely benefit from getting ahead now – start taking action today!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies or self-employed drivers with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.
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