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!

hiremech-pass-fors-bronze-audit-renewal

Hiremech pass FORS Bronze audit renewal

Congratulations to Hiremech who pass their FORS Bronze audit renewal

We are very pleased to announce forklift hire aces, Hiremech pass FORS Bronze audit renewal this month! Although Hiremech passed their initial audit last year, the company has remained focused on improving their transport systems. The review process for the transport department has been ongoing which made preparing for re-application a smooth and easy process.

A few words from Brian at Hiremech….

“Nick is our transport consultant at Hiremech Ltd and has been working with us over the last 2 years. He provides ongoing advice on how to best maintain and improve our transport department. We are a successful Caterpillar forklift dealership based in North London, and with Nicks help and support, I believe year on year we have made massive strides in improving our transport department. On behalf of Hiremech Ltd I would like to thank Nick for helping us to ensure we passed our FORS bronze audit for another year! I will be working with Nick in the future, to help keep our transport fleet safe legal, and efficient.”

Thank you for your kind words Brian, a pleasure working with you and the Hiremech team.

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

clarks-of-amersham-fors-help

Clarks of Amersham pass FORS Bronze standard audit

Big congratulations! Removal and storage specialists Clarks of Amersham pass FORS Bronze standard audit with flying colours in one month! This is a massive achievement and is testament to their compliance commitments.

Most of the help was carried out remotely with the assistance of Chiltern Development Training who assisted on site. With a driver training day, telephone and email support prior to the assessment Clarks demonstrated their commitment right from the start. They applied themselves from the outset taking on board all the advice and guidance necessary to pass their FORS audit first time, which took place on 12th January 17. So that’s just over 4 weeks to gain their Bronze award!

A few words from the MD…..

“At Clarks of Amersham we constantly strive to improve our customer service and as such need to keep our staff trained and motivated. This is not always the easiest of tasks and often difficult to deal with in house, so we decided to employ the services of an outside agency. After reviewing several companies we elected to go with TM Consultants. This has proved to be a great choice for our business. They have helped us re-write policies and manuals keeping us bang up to date with the latest legislation. They have even helped us to obtain the FORS bronze standard, something we could not have achieved without their input. We look forward to working with them further in the coming months and years.”

Many thanks to Michael and the team, it was a pleasure working with you and looking forward to the future.

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

FORS Bronze Standard VS4.0 operator handbook

How to compile your FORS manual the easy way

In my post Why We Like Policies and Procedures for Transport Managers I talked about the importance of policies and procedures as they provide the framework for all your transport operations. Today, I want to provide you with some insight as to how to compile your FORS manual the easy way. Thus preparing you for a successful FORS audit.

It’s easier that you think!

This isn’t to diminish the importance and usefulness of FORS in anyway but once you have your starting point and the requisite components it shouldn’t be too taxing.  However, you should give yourself plenty of time as the actual process is time consuming. Follow the rules below and you’ll be on to a winner!

Rule 1. Follow the Standard

I have gained all my experience through helping companies achieve their FORS Bronze accreditation and I know FORS auditors hold the same opinion when they turn up to an audit. Like all humans they prefer to have an easy audit and for that reason they want to see a concise, well written manual containing the correct information which follows FORS Standard. I can not stress how important this is. When you compile your policies and procedures for your audit and follow the Standard you will have completed 80% of your audit requirements.

Rule 2. Use the Standard

I remember the line “the answer’s in the question” in the Reeves and Mortimer quiz show, Shooting Stars. When first reading through the FORS website it can be minefield of information and broken links and to prepare can be a very daunting prospect. However, the answer is in the question. All the policies and procedures are within the Standard itself. Together with the guidance notes, will provide you with, if not all the information required, certainly most of it. The rest is bespoke company policy you will need to research and compile yourself. Ensure you use the numbering system M1, M2 etc. Use the headers and even the text to compile your document from the Standard and the Guidance notes. If you do this, you will lay the foundations needed to write a great manual. It’s worth noting your drivers will also need a handbook of some description which you can compile in the same way, thus ensuring you have left nothing out. Obviously, you won’t need to include all the Standard for the drivers. Criteria for which will become self evident.

Want an even easier solution?

If you just don’t have the capacity to compile your own policies and procedures then fret not. I have written both Operator and Driver template handbooks which follow the FORS standard. These tried and tested documents never fail to impress the auditors and I have a 100% pass rate for helping Operators acheive their FORS audit. For more information and to purchase please visit my shop.

Thanks for reading my post on how to compile your FORS manual the easy way. If you found this useful please like my Facebook page. If you would like to discus your policies and procedures, Help with FORS or anything Transport Management, please do get in touch.

 

fors-standard-update-v4-0-2016

New FORS Standard update V4

The New FORS Standard update V4 has now been released, along with details of how this affects current members.

In this post we’ll have a look at the New FORS Standard update V4FORS review and update their Standard on a two-yearly cycle and covers the pathways to FORS Bronze, FORS Silver and FORS Gold accreditation.

Firstly, who will the New FORS Standard update V4 affect?

New organisations
  • If your organisation is already registered on Thursday 29th September 2016 but not yet accredited, you will be audited against version 3.3 of the FORS Standard
  • Organisations registering with FORS after 29 September 2016 will be will be audited against version 4.0 of the FORS Standard.
Existing organisations
  • Already FORS accredited organisations with a renewal date up to and including Wednesday 9 November 2016 will be audited against version 3.3 of the FORS Standard
  • Existing FORS accredited organisations with a renewal date after Wednesday 9 November will be audited against version 4.0 of the FORS Standard.

What’s been updated in the new FORS Standard update V4?

There have been number of changes as to how some elements and are named and some elements have been swapped around. There’s also been some updates more relevant for the PCV sector and driver training. Here’s a run down of new FORS Standard update V4 changes.

Management
  • M2 Responsibilities and Accountabilities – Now called ‘Organisational Structure and Responsibilities’, but no other significant changes
  • M3 Responsible Person – Now called ‘Responsible Person/s’, operators are required to ensure that there is sufficiently qualified / experienced resource in place for the operation to continue without interruption
  • M6Review – No significant change, but now with a more detailed explanation of what needs to be demonstrated
  • M7 Change – This section is now ‘Complaints’ (formerly M8). It explains the need for effective management of complaints made by customers or the public
  • M8 Compliants – This section is now ‘Transport Fines and Charges (formerly D8). It explains the need to record and react to fines or unpaid charges
  • M9 Resourcing – This section is now ‘Transport Updates’ (formerly M10), but now requires an operator to receive information that’s specific to running a vehicle fleet
  • M10 Updates – This section is now ‘Information Management’ (formerly O5), but no other significant changes
  • M11 – This section is now ‘Tyre and Fuel Management’ (formerly V3), but now requires more evidence of managing the full life-cycle of tyres, as well as a system of monitoring and managing fuel consumption
Vehicles
  • V2 Daily walk around check – Now called ‘Defect Checks’, operators are required to demonstrate that checks are done on each vehicle operated by a driver (accounting for multi-vehicle use within a shift)
  • V3 Fuel and Tyre Usage – This section is now ‘Insurance’ (formerly V4), but no other significant changes
  • V4 Insurance – This section is now ‘Vehicle Excise Duty and SORN’ (formerly V5). It requires operators to demonstrate that VED is managed and SORN declarations completed where required
  • V5 Vehicle Excise Duty – This section is now ‘Safe Loading and Load Restraints’ (formerly V6), but now with more focus on load restraints
  • V6 Safe Loading – This is a new section called ‘PCV Safe Loading and Load Security’
  • V8 Working at height and the prevention of falls from vehicles – Now called ‘Personal Safety in or around Vehicles’. This requirement has been made more relevant to the PCV sector, and now focuses on safety around the vehicle (not just working at height)
  • V9 Vehicle Manoeuvring – No significant change, though now includes more comprehensive demonstration
Driver
  • D1 Licensing and Qualifications – This section now requires operators to use a risk-based system at least once every six months
  • D2 Driving Standards – This section now includes the requirement to issue the latest version of the Highway Code to drivers, and to instruct them to observe the requirements contained within it
  • D3 Staff Training – This section is now ‘Induction Training’. It requires a structured process for the induction of employees that focuses on heath and safety and vulnerable road users
  • D4 In-vehicle Technology – This section is now ‘Professional Development’ (formerly D3), but with no other significant changes
  • D5 Health and Safety – This section is now ‘In-cab Technology (formerly D4), but with no other significant changes
  • D6 Driver Fitness and Health – This section is now ‘Health and Safety’ (formerly D5). It now includes more comprehensive demonstration
  • D7 Drivers’ hours and working time – This section is now ‘Driver Fitness and Health’ (formerly D7), but with no other significant changes
  • D8 Monitoring Driving – This section is now ‘Drivers’ Hours and Working Time’, but with no other significant changes
  • D9 – This section is now ‘Driver Infractions’ (formerly D8 Monitoring Driving), but with no other significant changes
Operators
  • O2 Specialist Goods – This section is now called ‘Specialist Goods and Abnormal Loads’. It now requires an operator to effectively manage the transportation of abnormal loads and appoint a DGSA where necessary. ‘Waste’ is also defined as hazardous waste only
  • O3 Incidents and Collisions – This section is now called ‘Incidents and Insurance’. It combines the requirements of O3 and O4, but no other significant changes
  • O4 Insurance Claims – This requirement is now incorporated into section O3
  • NEW O4 – This new requirement is called ‘Engine Idling’
  • New O5 Record Control – This new requirement is now called ‘Vehicle / Equipment Theft and Unauthorised Access’.
Silver
  • S1 – Operators must now have at least 30 calendar days left on their bronze accreditation when applying for silver
  • S3 Vehicle Warning Equipment – This section is now called ‘Audible Warning Systems’. The most significant change is the requirement for operators to fit a reversing alarm to all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes GVW
  • S5 Driver Training – This section is now called ‘Vulnerable Road User Safety Training’, and now requires any driver training to be FORS approved. Additionally the annual training can now be completed either as an e-learning module or a classroom based session, with at least 90% of drivers having completed (or been booked to complete) the necessary training – I’ll let you know the details on this in the next post.
  • S6 Transport Related Fines and Charges – This section is now called ‘Performance Data’ (formerly S7), and include the need for operators to monitor NOx and Particulates as part of the capture of emissions data
  • S7 Performance Measurement – This section is now called ‘Fuel and Emissions’ and is a development of G6
  • S8 – This section is a new requirement called ‘Road Risk’.
Gold
  • G1 Maintain FORS Silver – This section is now called ‘Maintain FORS Bronze and FORS Silver’ and adds in the requirement to maintain accreditation at all levels
  • G2 Promoting FORS Standard – This section is now called ‘Promoting the FORS Standard’, but with no other significant changes
  • G3 Published Case Study – This section is now called ‘Published and Updated Case Study’ and reaffirms the need for operators to update FORS case study material once a year
  • G4 Performance Measurement – This section is now called ‘Performance Data’. It includes the need for operators to be actively reducing the impact of emissions including NOx and Particulate Matter
  • G5 Staff Training – This new section is called ‘Driver Health and Fitness Review’. It requires operators to carry out a detailed check of the health and fitness of each professional driver
  • G6 Fuel and Emissions Champion – This section is now called ‘Professional Development (formerly G5), although there are no other significant changes
  • NEW G7 – This new section is called ‘Strategy for Recruiting New Drivers’. It requires operators to have a plan in place to recruit new drivers into the industry NEW G8 N/A This new section
  • NEW G8 – This new section is called ‘Noise Assessment’. It requires operators to document an assessment of noise emitted by their operation or activity

In summary

There are quite a few changes for the New FORS standard update V4. The great news is they will all be covered in my own updated comprehensive Operator and Driver Handbooks which will be available in the TMconsultant shop soon. I’ll let you know when they’re ready!

Even though FORS have updated their website they have, in fact made it even more difficult to navigate!

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