FTA Ireland is piloting a van accreditation scheme, based on the UK's Van Excellence programme.
The UK scheme, which has been running for five years, enables members to share good practice and operators are enrolled after passing an independent audit.
FTAI has successfully introduced Bronze, Silver and Gold accreditations for HGV operations and is now piloting its van scheme with Medicall Ambulance.
Neil McDonnell, general manager of FTAI, said: “Light commercial vehicles represent some 90% of the total commercial fleet on Irish roads. Given the well-known problems in the insurance market, our van members have been asking us to replicate the Van Excellence model in Ireland so that compliant operators can have best practice publically recognised.
“We’re delighted to launch our pilot accreditation system with Medicall Ambulance. We believe there will be a strong drive from more industry leaders to self-regulate, and raise the standards among the users of light commercial vehicles in Ireland.”
At the heart of the programme is a comprehensive and practical Code of Excellence defining the minimum standards of practices required to be an accredited van operator.
Medicall Ambulance operations supervisor Eoin Cullen, said: “Medicall Ambulance is delighted to be piloting the new Van accreditation system with FTA Ireland. For some time we have felt that there needs to be some recognition for light commercial operators who are willing to go the ‘extra mile’ and push for higher standards in safety and quality.
“The van accreditation will allow the public, customers, insurers and other industry leaders to easily identify these operators. The Van Excellence standard, on which FTA Ireland’s pilot accreditation is based, has existed in the UK for some time now. It is well developed, established and validated. Like all audits, the van accreditation system will provide challenges, but we feel these can only benefit our patients, clients and organisation.”