Book your FORS Bronze on-site audits

Book your FORS Bronze on-site audits

It is now possible to book your FORS Bronze on-site audits! Members whose accreditation has expired, or is expiring, are encouraged to book and undertake their Bronze on-site audits as soon as possible providing they are able to follow the FORS COVID-19 rules and requirements and relevant government guidelines.

One hundred and forty Bronze on-site audits have already been booked since the re-opening of the Bronze audit booking system last week following the easing of government restrictions on travel and work across parts of the UK. To enable Bronze on-site audits to resume safely, FORS has produced COVID-19 Bronze on-site auditing rules and requirements for both the auditors and the auditees.

FORS operators requesting an audit will need to have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment in line with the relevant government guidance on working safely during COVID-19 in offices and contact centres. In addition, for the purposes of the FORS audit, members will need to confirm the following at the time of requesting the audit:

  1. That a single and only point of contact will be provided for the audit process
  2. That clear guidance on the social distancing and hygiene measures in place at the audit site will be provided to the auditor
  3. That any PPE identified in the FORS member’s risk assessment will be provided to the auditor on the day of the audit
  4. That the audit will be conducted in a well-ventilated designated room that is not occupied by other people
  5. That all evidence will be provided in the room where the audit is taking place
  6. That hand sanitiser will be available in the meeting room
  7. That host responsibilities relating to COVID-19 will be established by the member and that any necessary training will be provided for the person who will be acting as host for the auditor’s visit
  8. That entry and exit routes for visitors and contractors have been reviewed to minimise contact with other people

Failure to have a COVID-19 risk assessment and to adhere to one or more of the above requirements means that the member cannot request a Bronze audit. Auditors reserve the right to cancel an audit during the pre-check call or on the day of the audit if it becomes apparent that one or more of the above requirements will not be met.

Members can request their Bronze on-site audit in the usual way, via their dashboard. For further information on the COVID-19 Bronze on-site auditing process, click here, and for answers to frequently asked questions, click here. Whilst FORS has based its requirements and processes on information issued by the UK government, the FORS document is applicable to England only and there are still regional, national and international restrictions that apply which may continue to prevent FORS audits being undertaken.

Need help with FORS?

TMconsultant offer a no-fuss, easy, and affordable FORS Help solution to help you attain your FORS accreditation. Go here for more information or get in touch! Here to share the knowledge!

FORS announced their suspension of all Bronze audits

FORS announce the suspension of all Bronze audits

Yesterday evening, FORS announced the suspension of all Bronze audits. They went back on their earlier statement that audits would continue as normal. All FORS operators will have their accreditation countdown clocks paused until further notice, this will allow operators to take a breather and re-book their Bronze FORS audits at a later date.

Silver & Gold applications can still be submitted, as these are checked remotely by a senior auditor within Fleet Source or AA Drivetech.

TMconsultant will still continue to support all its clients with Bronze and Silver assistance, Nick Wilson TMconsultant’s founder comments, ”We have received a surge in Silver upgrade requests in recent days, where operators are trying to be as productive as possible. Our consultants are ready to deal with all enquiries and help in any way we can.”

We have included the official statement from FORS below, for your information.

 

Suspension of FORS audits from Monday 23 March

Members are advised that with effect from Monday 23 March 2020 all FORS Bronze site audit activity will be suspended until further notice.

Organisations with audits booked to take place up to and including Monday 23 March 2020 can cancel them if they wish and receive a full audit refund. Cancellation charges will not apply.

Organisations with audits booked to take place after Monday 23 March 2020 will receive a full refund and cancellation charges will not apply.

The Silver and Gold evidencing system will remain open for organisations that wish to submit an application for auditing but this is optional.

From 23 March until further notice your FORS accreditation status will be maintained at its current level and there will be no Bronze, Silver or Gold downgrades where accreditation dates are exceeded.

Registered companies seeking to achieve Bronze status should contact the FORS Helpline by email  for further advice: enquiries@fors-online.org.uk.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and issue further updates as required.
Please refer to the FORS Frequently Asked Questions for further information about Covid-19 and FORS auditing and FORS training.

Need help with FORS?

TMconsultant offer a no-fuss, easy and affordable FORS Help solution to help you attain your FORS accreditation. For more information get in touch!

eLearning module 'Pedestrian Safe'

FORS Safety eLearning module ‘Pedestrian Safe’

The team at TM Consultant take the latest FORS Safety eLearning module ‘Pedestrian Safe’ for a spin to see what it’s all about.

This FORS safety eLearning module is called Pedestrian Safe. The course looks at all vulnerable road users, who they are, where they may be most vulnerable, road conditions which make pedestrians more vulnerable & how a driver of a commercial vehicle can reduce the chances of an incident with a vulnerable road user. The course split into several sections and includes spoken text, video & Q&A.

First impressions

We are always impressed with the free to use eLearning content that FORS produce & again this module is no exception. The course is easy to use, clear to understand and is visually pleasant.

Who is the course aimed at?

The FORS eLearning module is called ‘Pedestrian Safe’ course is available to anyone with a FORS eLearning account, but it is predominantly aimed at drivers. The course falls under the Safety eLearning section & like the other safety eLearning modules (cycle safety, Bridge smart, etc) the module is valid of one year once passed. the module can be taken to evidence the required driver training in D4 of your Bronze FORS accreditation and offers a great alternative for your drivers if they have already completed numerous eLearning modules.

What we liked about the FORS eLearning module is called ‘Pedestrian Safe’.

We loved how easy the course is to navigate, the user interaction is engaging enough so that you must pay attention, but it’s not too taxing! The animations are clear and really get the message across. The course is split into six quick-fire short sections so the average candidate should take around 20mins to complete the course.

The statistics are thought-provoking, it doesn’t matter how much you think you know it is still shocking to hear facts regarding the sheer number of incidents and deaths involving pedestrians on UK roads. The information in this training course is taken directly from the .Gov UK statistics and some of the more poignant facts we’ve listed below.

‘In 2018 22,397 pedestrians were involved in incidents with vehicles on UK roads.’

‘From 2017 – 2018 the number of pedestrian road deaths involving young people increased by 34%.’

The facts and statistics are delivered in a way that really makes you think about them rather than feeling you’re being lectured.

The section that talks about driver distractions, we enjoyed this section as it shows a driver’s cab, full of day to day items and tech. You click on the clutter/tech and the voice-over explains the potential distraction this item poses to the driver. As you go through this section, the items are removed to reveal a mother and child in the distance that you could not see previously. This is a very strong message and highlights why a clear windscreen is so important.

What next?

As an operator, we recommend adding this course into your Training Matrix/PDP for the coming year. Don’t have a training matrix or PDP? Don’t worry! You can purchase our Master Spreadsheet from our shop which includes this and much more!

Need help with FORS?

TMconsultant offer a no-fuss, easy and affordable FORS Help solution to help you attain your FORS Bronze accreditation. For more information get in touch!

FORS Bronze Manager Training D4

FORS Bronze Manager Training D4, are you ready?

FORS Bronze manager training D4 has changed. We are nearly 11 months in from the implementation of the new FORS Bronze standard version 5. When version 5 was introduced in January 2019, an addition to D4 was added to ensure transport managers and/or Directors, listed on the company’s Operator License undertake approved refresher training every five years*. Since January this year, organisations were able to pass D4 if they could demonstrate training was planned to be completed prior to the 1st January 2020 and the company PDP/training matrix was populated. If an organisation was unable to evidence a completed or planned approved course at the time of audit, it would have resulted in a major action point against D4. This rule still applies if your renewal date is on or before 31 December 2019.

New Rule

However, now if your Bronze renewal date is after the 1st January 2020, the approved FORS Bronze manager training must have been completed prior to your audit date, not just planned! Organisations have several methods of obtaining approved training, I have provided a list below of options. We urge you not to leave this until the last minute, get your course booked in early to overt a potential major action point occurring at your next audit!

Preferred courses for FORS Bronze manager training

  • Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence (obtained within the 5 year prior to audit)
  • FORS Professional Fleet Management Essentials
  • FORS approved training manager courses on fleet management
  • Transport managers CPC refresher
  • OLAT (Operator License Awareness Training) courses – approved companies can be found here on the FORS website, under Fleet Management training.

Or FORS will accept….

Operator licence awareness courses delivered by professional bodies that are referenced in the Senior Traffic Commissioner’s Statutory Documents 1 and 3 which are automatically approved by FORS.

Professional bodies:

* Please note if your organisation holds an Operator license, neither eLearning nor FORS Practitioner will cover this requirement. For organisations who do not hold an Operator License, then working towards FORS Practitioner or obtaining FORS Practitioner qualification will meet the requirement of D4. Any two workshops from 1/2/3/4/5/6 will suffice.

If you need any advice regarding FORS Bronze manager training or obtaining your FORS Bronze or Silver then please do get in touch. Here to share the knowledge!

FORS standard version 5

FORS standard version 5, a simple yet comprehensive guide

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!

 

FORS Practitioner

FORS Practitioner award

Congratulations are in order as the FORS Practitioner is awarded to our founder!

Nick’s efforts and dedication in achieving this milestone is certainly worth the recognition, as it enhances his personal development and ours and Link2London’s status within the transport and FORS community. After attending all FORS workshops, Nick has successfully completed the FORS Practitioner programme.

What is FORS Practitioner?

FORS Practitioner is a series of ten workshops covering all aspects of fleet management. Designed to assist transport managers in their busy everyday roles, the workshops provide information needed to boost the performance of a transport operation.

The workshops can also help demonstrate professional development (as outlined in requirement D4 Professional Development of the FORS Standard), and help build your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours, as for each workshop equals 2.5 CPD hours. Find out how to claim your CPD hours here.


FORS Practitioner workshops 1 – 10

TMconsultant offer a pre audit FORS help service. For more information on how we can help you pass your FORS bronze accreditation, just click here!

FORS audit experience

The FORS audit experience, how was yours?

What can you expect when you have your FORS audit? Should it be like a visit from the DVSA?*

Well, the FORS audit experience doesn’t have to be painful in anyway and you should expect to have an informative and pleasurable meeting with your FORS auditor. That said, this isn’t always the case. In my experience of FORS audits, (and I have been to a quite a few) I would say that it is possible you may encounter the odd auditor who can make you feel somewhat uncomfortable.

Now we can all agree there is always room for improvement but getting unwanted advice and obnoxious and dismissive comments isn’t necessarily what you signed up for. As far as I’m aware the general ethos of FORS (or more specifically Fleet Source) is to employ knowledgeable auditors who also posses good people and good customer service skills. In most cases that is the case. In fact, I have had the pleasure of meeting many FORS auditors whom are extremely talented transport consultants in their right and are really engaging people. However, if you have finished your audit exhausted with frustration, then how come a few have slipped through the net?

Finding the right people for the job

I can’t comment for Fleet Source or FORS but one can assume, as with all employers that finding the right people for the job can be difficult. I can speak from experience as I have made some not so great employment decisions. You meet the candidate, interview goes well, good CV etc. But after a few weeks it turns out they aren’t quite who they say they are, and that perhaps you may have misjudged your decision making process. Anyway, the point being it is understandable how some auditors may have the knowledge but lack certain other necessary skills required for the job.

Should I complain about my FORS audit experience?

Ok, so what happens if you encounter said auditor and haven’t had that great FORS audit experience? Well, you need to log a complaint. I know no one wants to sound like a whinge, but it’s vitally important you do log your concern. This way, something will be done about it and it will ultimately minimise the chances of someone else being subject to the same problem. However, you must ensure you do this the correct way. So here’s my list of Do’s and Don’ts after finding yourself in this unfortunate position.

  1. Do be polite at all times and stay on good terms. Even if this person is pushing your buttons!
  2. Don’t lose your temper, as the last thing you want is to have is a complaint logged against you and your company
  3. Do wait until your audit report comes back before you do any complaining. You need to have all the facts, remember knowledge is power!
  4. Do be meticulous. Go through each action point and work out what you disagree with and what you think the auditor has got wrong/missed etc
  5. Do think carefully about how you are going to approach the personality issues encountered. Be as positive as possible.
  6. Do be factual, concise and honest
  7. Don’t make any demands but you do need to think about what outcome you would like to achieve. If you have a genuine issue then I can say FORS will listen and deal with your complaint in a very professional manner
  8. Do refuse an auditor if they are known to be difficult. When allocated an auditor, you do have the right to refuse and request another one.

I’m not going to publish any names in this post about the FORS audit experience. However, if you are about to apply for your FORS Bronze audit, then feel free to get in touch and I will happily let know the names to watch out for!

*Please note this isn’t to say DVSA visits and DVSA officers provide a bad experience. All DVSA officers whom I have met are very professional and have been very good at making the operator feel at ease. It’s just a more pressured experience as the stakes are much higher!

Have you had any bad or indeed great FORS audit experiences? I’d love to hear about them! Let me know in the comments section.

Hoban Haulage Ltd pass their FORS Bronze standard audit

Congratulations! Hoban Haulage Ltd pass their FORS Bronze standard audit!
This was a new application which Hoban Haulage passed in a record two weeks and what a fantastic achievement and is testament to their commitment to compliance and helping to make London’s roads safer.

Hoban Haulage purchased our complete FORS Help package and we worked remotely. They followed the to do list and our advice ensuring a first time pass.

A few words from the MD…..
“Thanks Nick for your brilliant FORS Help package, I followed your advice and ensured all the templates fitted to my business. Your help was invaluable and I recommend anyone who wishes to pass their FORS Bronze without a hitch to go with TMconsultant! “

If you need any advice or FORS help, then just get in touch. TMconsultant, here to share the knowledge!

link2london grab hire pass fors audit

Link2London Grab Hire pass FORS Bronze standard audit

Congratulations! Link2London Grab Hire pass their FORS Bronze standard audit

Link2London Grab Hire pass FORS Bronze standard audit! This was a re-audit for Link2London Grab Hire and what a fantastic achievement and is testament to their commitment to compliance and helping to make London's roads safer.

I have worked with Link2London Grab Hire for a number of years now so it was not a problem to ensure they were ready for the audit. I provided my support in the form of the TMconsultant Operator and Driver Handbooks, all the requisite documentation and advice.

A few words from the MD.....

"I would like to thank Nick from TMconsultant very much for all the hard work and dedication to Link2London Ltd. We just couldn't do this without him!"

Thank you Lucian, as always it is a pleasure to work with you.

If you need any advice or FORS help, then just get in touch. TMconsultant, here to share the knowledge!

link2london fors certificate 2017-18

Reis Grab Hire pass FORS Bronze standard audit

Reis Grab Hire pass FORS Bronze standard audit

Congratulations Reis Grab Hire who pass their FORS Bronze standard audit

Reis Grab Hire pass FORS Bronze standard audit with ease! A great achievement and is testament to their commitment to compliance and helping to make London’s roads safer.

Reis Grab Hire purchased the FORS help documents package with TMconsultant’s assistance passed their FORS Bronze standard audit with no advisories or major action points. We created a to do list based on the information gathered and carried out a catch up once a week to ensure Reis Grab were on track. We were also present during the audit, to further assist our client on the day. We started work on 6th February and the audit took place on 24th March 2017.

A few words from the MD…..

“REIS GRAB HIRE LTD, would like to thank TMconsultant represented by Nick for the amazing work he’s done in guiding us and helping us to obtain the FORS BRONZE accreditation..”

Many thanks to Sebi, a pleasure to work with you.

If you need any advice or FORS help, then just get in touch. TMconsultant, here to share the knowledge!