If you’re in the road transport industry you no doubt know all about FORS (the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme). It’s a highly regarded voluntary programme that demonstrates how a transport operator adheres to the highest standards of road safety. It’s open to operators of lorries, vans, mini-buses, coaches and other vehicles, and to the organisations that award contracts to those operators.
Given we are FORS Associates, Qualified Practitioners and a Gold Accredited Company, it’s unsurprising we are big fans and like to shout about it whenever we can. With that in mind, as the country begins its slow exit from the pandemic, we’d like to present a timely reminder about the benefits of FORS at all levels – bronze, silver and gold.
Here’s our specially selected Top 5 FORS Benefits for Transport Operators compilation.
1. FORS demonstrates you are an operator who puts safety first
Being FORS accredited demonstrates to your workforce and the wider haulage industry that you are a company that puts safety above all else. At the basic level, FORS Bronze shows you are a responsible operator. FORS Silver gives you even more of an edge by proving you’re willing to go that extra mile and put the safety of vulnerable road users at the forefront. The highest level is FORS Gold which is given to exceptional operators who’ve met exacting targets. Just like an Olympic gold medallist puts in the effort to be best, so too will FORS Gold prove your team did in reaching the highest FORS level. An enormous amount of work, training and commitment is involved in FORS Gold.
2. FORS gives you the edge over your competitors
Achieving FORS puts your head firmly above your non-FORS competitors. So many big industry contracts are awarded only to companies with FORS. Over the last few years, we’ve noticed a definite link between the more blue chip a company is, and the higher level of FORS accreditation they require in order to consider you for a contract. It makes sense to reach for the top of the FORS accreditation ladder as it will mean there’ll be no limit to what you can bid for.
3. FORS helps fleet operators run more efficient businesses
Going through the FORS process forces you to consider the ordering of information and data that make up every minute of your business day. Through the practices it involves, you will be far better able to monitor running costs, fuel use, carbon footprint, driver training, company administration and vehicle maintenance using new methods that ensure maximum efficiency. The training helps drivers learn more fuel efficient ways of driving saving fleet operators substantial costs.
FORS requires that operators monitor their fleet operations and as such can provide a number of tools to facilitate this. At the highest level, FORS Gold requires two years’ worth of vehicle usage data to be uploaded to evidence control of a company’s impact on the environment.
4. FORS improves recruitment by demonstrating high standards
FORS accreditation demonstrates you are a company that cares about your staff by valuing safety, not just for drivers, but for cyclists, pedestrians and vulnerable road users. Drivers attending job interviews know about the FORS standard. They know what it represents and what it says about a logistics operator. FORS spells out that you are a great employer to work for as well as instilling a mindset of continual improvement. Operators who have FORS accreditation know that they boast exemplary levels of safety, efficiency and environmental awareness.
5. FORS – improves the people power of your workforce
FORS shows your existing workforce that you value them.
At silver, for instance, the accreditation process requires employees to attend a number of training courses which evidences the company’s commitment to its people. At gold level, FORS challenges some of the work systems companies have in place. Operators look at how to improve practices that make economic sense for employees. For example, looking at how staff get into work and from what locations in order to establish car sharing schemes to help reduce travel costs, as well as being better for the environment.
Jamie Campbell and his team of qualified FORS Practitioners are experienced FORS specialists with expertise at helping operators become FORS accredited.