Coronavirus: FORS on-site audits to re-start

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On-site Bronze audits for the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) will resume in England from today (Monday, June 15).

Operators outside of England will also be able to book audits, but the delivery of these will be subject to future easing of local restrictions.

The audit is a fundamental component of FORS – a voluntary accreditation scheme for fleet operators aimed at raising the quality within fleet operations. Bronze audits verify compliance against the FORS Standard in relation to the management of the fleet operation and its vehicles and drivers.

To enable the audits to re-start, FORS said stringent coronavirus measures have been introduced to ensure the safety of members and auditors during the process.

FORS director John Hix said: “We know our members are keen to get back to business but ensuring the safety of members and auditors as the organisation adjusts to these ‘new normal’ working practices is paramount.”

To help manage audits, and in line with government guidelines, FORS has produced Covid-19 Bronze on-site auditing rules and requirements, detailing the steps that auditors and auditees must adhere to so that an on-site audit can go ahead.

FORS operators requesting a Bronze on-site audit having to complete a Covid-19 risk assessment, in line with the Government guidance on working safely during Covid-19 in offices. 

Hix explained: “Members in England will need to confirm a variety of measures are in place to limit interaction between individuals during the auditing process, for example providing a single and only point of contact for the audit, as well as arranging for all evidence to be provided in the room where the audit is taking place.

“Our rules and requirements are based on information issued by the UK Government, but the FORS document is only applicable to England as there are still regional, national and international restrictions that apply which may continue to prevent FORS audits being undertaken in other parts of the UK.”

FORS has been maintaining member accreditation at their current levels since Bronze on-site audits were suspended on March 23 for those with expired accreditations. 

Hix continued: “We understand these have been - and continue to be - very testing times for everyone in our industry.

“Road transport has been at the forefront of ensuring supply chains across the UK can continue to deliver, so it is vitally important that we support our operators who have taken great strides in improving standards through FORS and are keen to resume this process.

“Now we are beginning to reinstate auditing, we would encourage members who are able to follow the government guidelines to book and undertake their audits as soon as possible.”

FORS members are able to request a Bronze on-site audit in the usual way, via their dashboard.

For further information on the FORS COVID-19 Bronze on-site auditing rules and requirements, click here. Government guidance on working safely during COVID-19 in offices can be found here.

Fleet Source to deliver FORS training

Transport for London (TfL) has given the go-ahead for Fleet Source to deliver FORS-funded training on road safety and environmental responsibility during lockdown.

Fleet Source will deliver the theory element of Safe Urban Driving, Van Smart and LoCity training, scheduling on-cycle practical training post-lockdown, when social distancing measures are eased.

“Fleet professionals have been contacting us to establish how they can use available time currently, to catch up on driver and operator training, stay compliant with FORS status and save money,” said Fleet Source CEO, Nick Caesari. “So we’re delighted to be able to support the FORS community with TfL-approved FORS-funded training just at the time they need it most.

“Our TV studio-based Fleet Source Live training, enables us to deliver the 3.5 hours of theory in an engaging and interactive way and we’re aiming to deliver two sessions daily, to help as many drivers as possible to benefit from the courses.”

TfL principle city planner, Sam Weller, added: “We completely understand the issues and pressures being faced by the fleet sector currently and we’re committed to opening up funded training to as many FORS operators as possible.

“Fleet Source is to continue our FORS support, through their online training solution. We have worked with them for many years on our funded driver training programmes and the team is also the UK’s leading approved training specialist for Vulnerable Road Users.”

Fleet Source’s daily theory training sessions will cover:

  • Safe Urban Driving, which meets FORS Silver accreditation, CLOCS standards and contractual WRRS (work-related road risk) requirements
  • Van Smart, which focuses on work-related road risks and improving safety for van drivers
  • LoCity, which helps commercial drivers and fleet managers save fuel and reduce the environmental impact of their vehicles, by using journey planning, vehicle checks, fuel-efficient driving and alternative fuels.

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