FORS gold awards are the highest level of FORS accreditation a transport operator can achieve and for those of us who work in this field, it makes sense to aim high.
The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) is a prestigious voluntary programme that demonstrates to everyone in our industry and further afield that we’re a fleet operator and transport consultancy that adheres to the highest standards of road safety and environmental practice.
It’s open to operators of vans, lorries, mini-buses, coaches and other vehicles, and to the organisations that award contracts to those operators.
At JCS Transport Consultancy, we’ve always tried to function in the best and most effective way possible for a team of road transport professionals. For us, having FORS gold accreditation not only gives us an edge over our competitors when bidding for future business, it also demonstrates quality in key areas, including
- The hours of quality training for our drivers and managers
- Reduced fuel use
- Lower Co2 emissions
- Safer driving
- Better awareness of vulnerable road users
- Improved systems that help run a high performing and respected business.
FORS: small changes, big benefits
FORS gold covers all the above and more. Small things – changes in practices – make a big difference in the long-term and push up industry standards. For example, the fuel efficiency awareness training means the way we now operate our business saves on fuel bills as well as helps the environment by emitting less carbon.
Our own training for FORS gold accreditation took place before Covid-19. We added to our skills base by ensuring more of our managers received the FORS practitioner qualification. This was covered in ten modules totalling 35 hours over five days, while our drivers underwent 14 hours of classroom and two hours of online learning.
The course covered a range of fleet transport topics from awareness of vulnerable road users, fuel efficiency measures, minimising the risks of transport-related fines, improving safety and FORS practitioner training. We also had to demonstrate how, as a company, we give due consideration to the health and safety of our drivers.
JCS Transport has always taken these things seriously. In our view they fall within the remit of ‘being a good, responsible employer’. Looking after your staff is a no-brainer. It’s the only way you get reliable, loyal people who you can trust. Any successful employer will tell you its workforce is its power. Since day one, JCS Transport Consultancy has had measures in place that protect our drivers’ physical and mental health. This was even more the case during the coronavirus lockdown.
The three levels of FORS – raising haulage standards
As FORS practitioners, associates and pre-audit providers, going for gold made sense after JCS Transport first achieved FORS at bronze level in 2018. Silver was the next step which we achieved in 2019.
The FORS process is an excellent method of managing a business. It forces you to continue to improve operations through the routine tasks and activities that form part of a business. It builds good practice into the way everything is done, simply and effectively.
We’ll be actively promoting the standard throughout our supply chain and to all our customers.
Haulage: a valued and respected industry
The public developed a strong sense of respect for HGV drivers during the coronavirus crisis. Hauliers were suddenly recognised for the essential job they do in driving goods around the country to keep the shops stocked with essential supplies.
In our own small way, we’d like to capitalise on that new-found value and keep the momentum going through our FORS gold accreditation.
The three FORS levels are the sure way to be certain the UK’s haulage industry is better, cleaner and safer, pays heed to the wider environment in which it operates and is seen for its professionalism and value.