FORS – the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme – has published the latest version of the FORS standard.
The document, which is the sixth iteration of the document, sets out the requirements FORS members must meet if they wish to be accredited under the scheme and is refreshed every two years. This latest version is due for implementation by all FORS members from July 1, 2022.
It is updated regularly to ensure the requirements remain relevant to the ever-changing needs of the road transport operators it serves, now totalling some 4,850 members nationwide and internationally.
Initially due for publication in 2020, this latest FORS standard was postponed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, making it three years since the last full version was published to members.
FORS says that the effects of the pandemic are reflected in this latest version, which contains only modest changes to the scheme.
Helen Bonner, director FORS governance and standards, explained: “Whilst version 6.0 has been in development since 2019, the events of 2020 and 2021 have heavily influenced its direction.
“Accordingly, version 6.0 has been designed to be an incremental adjustment from the current FORS standard. It will ensure that FORS accreditation continues to enable members to conduct their business whilst demonstrating their professionalism, commitments and credentials in improving road safety and reducing the environmental impact of their operations.”
The FORS standard review working group consulted key industry stakeholders to identify and agree proposed changes to the standard, before the document was approved by the FORS governance and standards advisory group (GSAG) in July 2021.
No changes have been made to the FORS mandatory training for both drivers and managers, and many of the amendments have been designed to clarify existing requirements to members.
For example, the addition of a new annex listing the documents required at the FORS Bronze Audit – the first level of the progressive scheme.
Bonner said: “Although version 6.0 has been published this week, it will not be implemented until Friday 1 July 2022, to give the industry sufficient time to plan for implementation.
“This means that if a FORS member has an audit date booked up to Thursday 30 June 2022 then they will need meet the requirements in the existing FORS standard, version 5.1 with audits booked from Friday 1 July 2022 onwards, adhering to the requirements set out in version 6.0.”