FORS standard version 5 is here! This is my simple yet comprehensive guide to the main changes, all in one place.
The new FORS Standard VS5 is the fifth iteration and sets out the requirements operators must meet if they wish to become FORS accredited. The revised edition addresses the need for air quality improvements and sets out requirements to help operators mitigate against threats of terrorism. Provision is also made for a broader range of operations and vehicles, including powered two-wheelers, and new requirements for bus and coach operators.
The FORS Standard is updated every two years to reflect the continuous evolution of best practice and FORS’s aim to drive-up safety, environmental, and efficiency standards for all road transport operations.
Version 5 highlights the increasing diversity of commercial fleets and aims to make it more accessible for a broader range of vehicles to achieve accreditation. It contains a more robust commitment to raising environmental standards in operations, recognising the need for better air quality in UK cities via revised requirements and a revised training programme.
Main changes – Bronze
The main changes make FORS more accessible to more vehicles, especially growing fleets of motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers, which contribute to many deliveries on UK roads. Specific load safety requirements set out by vehicle type are included, not only for heavy goods vehicles, vans and passenger carrying vehicles (PCVs), but also powered two-wheelers as well.
PCVs are also given greater credence, with a new requirement at FORS Bronze to ensure accessibility, comfort and safety for all passengers. The requirement must be demonstrated via a passenger safety policy, on vehicle signage and adequate access for all passengers.
A new counter terrorism requirement has been introduced, meaning operators must have a policy and supporting procedures in place at FORS Bronze, which names a Counter Terrorism Champion. Under new Bronze training requirements members must also have completed the current FORS Professional Security and Counter Terrorism eLearning module within the 24 months prior to audit.
Main changes Gold & Silver
An added emphasis on improving environmental operating standards becomes evident with a new requirement at FORS Silver for HGV and van drivers to complete the FORS Professional ‘LoCITY – Time to clean up’ eLearning module within the 24 months prior to accreditation.
In line with the progressive nature of the scheme, FORS has also introduced a requirement at Gold for drivers to have completed either the FORS Professional LoCITY Driving training course, or a FORS Approved environmental awareness course within the past five years. This is in addition to the current requirement to have attended a Safe Urban Driving (SUD), a Van Smart (VS) or a FORS Approved work-related road safety training course, within the five years prior to accreditation.
FORS Silver also includes a commitment to tackle noise pollution – a criteria formally only mandated at FORS Gold. Operators seeking FORS Silver accreditation must complete noise assessments at operating centres and noise sensitive locations in a bid to minimise noise pollution and its impact on local communities.
The new FORS Standard aims to minimise the probability and severity of collisions involving vulnerable road users. FORS Silver accreditation is also fully aligned to meet both the TfL requirements on managing work-related road risk (WRRR) and the new CLOCS Standard v3, due to come into force in January 2019.
Training requirement changes
New training requirements have been introduced across all levels of accreditation for both managers and drivers. These are different for drivers of specific vehicle types so it is best to check the training cards at Annexes 1 (for drivers) and 2 (for managers) of version 5 of the FORS Standard. Transitional provisions are in place for a number of new training requirements. In summary, for managers, and for HGV and van drivers, the new training is as follows:
There are transitional periods for a number of the new training requirements. These are as follows:
N.B Security and Counter Terrorism elearning will count against the new mandatory training requirements for Security and Counter Terrorism as set out in Annex 1 of the FORS Standard. It is now valid for 24 months from the original date undertaken. Therefore the validity will be extended on your training records from 12 months to 24 month
The safety eLearning modules from 14 January 2019 are:
Cycle Safety, Van Smart, Smart Driving and Bridge Smart (due to launch soon). These are valid for 12 months and must be renewed every year. After 14 January 2019, Security and Counter Terrorism will no longer be part of the suite of safety eLearning modules. It has become a separate mandatory eLearning module under Bronze D4 and must be undertaken within the past 24 months.
Summary (annex 5)
Have a look at all the summary of changes in annex 5 below.
The FORS Standard version 5 is now available to download on the FORS website here and becomes effective from Monday 14 January 2019 for both new and existing operators.
TMconsultant provide a complete FORS Help package providing you with all the requisite document templates and support required to pass your initial bronze audit. If you need advice regarding FORS please do just get in touch. Here to share the knowledge!