FORS Standard Version 6 Summary of Changes

FORS Standard Version 6 Summary of Changes

It’s that time again when FORS update their Bronze, Silver, and Gold Standard. We wanted to let you know what the FORS Standard version 6 summary of changes are, as soon as we did.

We’ll be updating our FORS Help packs, which will be available to purchase at the end of June.

If you have any questions regarding FORS, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to share the knowledge!

Summary of change between Version 5.1 and Version 6

M1 FORS documentation

New table created as Annex 3 which highlights
which requirements shall have a policy and/
or procedure and/or risk assessment/method
statement.

Clarification that operators are able to
demonstrate M1 using policy documentation
attributed to other schemes

Reminder: small operators may
demonstrate M1 verbally

M2 Records and information

No change

M3 Responsible person

No change

M4 Staff and resources

Pre-appointment checks for drivers should
include a declaration by drivers of any collisions,
both at work and off-duty, which involve
engagement with an insurance company and/or
the police

M5 Communication

Communications with drivers shall include
a declaration for drivers to acknowledge
awareness of their individual responsibilities

M6 Vehicle fleet

Clarification on the process for providing vehicle
registration marks or vehicle identification
numbers for trailers
The date from which dormant or previously
used operating centres shall be included in the
vehicle fleet register, has been updated

M7 Regulatory licensing

Regional/city vehicle permits relating to safety
or environmental requirements added as an
option, where applicable, to the current list of
licences and permits
FORS operators shall report to FORS any
licence or permit revocations, suspensions or
curtailments that are relevant to FORS

Where an operator licence is held, FORS
operator shall declare any enforcement
sanctions within the past 12 months and any
impending regulatory action

M8 Health and safety

Clarification around operational and driving at
work risks to be assessed under O1, including
prescribed passenger routes, and designated
routes to and from construction sites, and
addition of notified routes for abnormal
indivisible loads (AIL)

M9 Complaints

No change

M10 Transport infringements

No change

M11 Transport updates

Removal of reference to LoCITY scheme bulletin

V1 Serviceability and roadworthiness

Policy and supporting procedures for first-use
inspections shall include information on leased
and loaned vehicles, as well as hired vehicles
required in Version 5.1

V2 Daily walkaround checks

In addition to trailer coupling and load restraint
required in Version 5.1, where relevant, the
walkaround check shall also cover other
specific components listed
Drivers expected to repair minor defects shall
be competent to undertake these tasks

V3 Insurance

No change

V4 Vehicle tax

No change

V5.1 Load safety for HGVs

No change

V5.2 Load safety for PCVs

Maximum passenger and luggage weight limits
shall be considered

V5.3 Load safety for vans

No change

V5.4 Load safety for cars

No change

V5.5 Load safety for P2W

No change

V6 Vehicle safety equipment

Class V and Class VI close-proximity mirror
fields of view may now be achieved using a
camera monitoring system
Removal of reference to London’s Direct Vision
Standard vehicle safety scheme

V7 Tyre management

No change

D1 Licensing

Frequency of driving licence checks for higher
risk drivers shall be increased using an
approved risk scale – recommended (should) in

Driver licence checking procedure shall include
a requirement for drivers to sign an annual
declaration

D2 Driving standards

No change

D3 Staff induction

No change

D4 Professional development

No material change; language changed for
clarity only

D5 In-vehicle communication

No change

D6 Health and eyesight

No change

D7 Working time and drivers’ hours

Procedure for obtaining, processing and
analysing the relevant drivers’ hours shall also
include information on secondary employment
and its impact – recommended in Version
5.1 (should)

O1 Routing

The procedure in place to plan and adhere
to compliant, safe, and efficient routes shall
include adherence to any route scheduled by
the FORS operator or any route authorised by a
competent authority

Any route scheduled by the FORS operator,
or authorised by a competent authority,
shall include abnormal indivisible loads
(AIL) movements
In addition to the requirement in Version 5.1
for the risk assessment to include prescribed
passengers routes and designated routes to
and from construction sites, the risk assessment
shall also include any notified AIL routes

O2 Fuel, emissions, and air quality

No material change; language changed for
clarity only

O3 Road traffic collisions

No change

O4 Passenger safety

Clarification that all vehicles designed to carry
one or more passengers are in scope of this
demonstration

In addition to the passenger safety instructions
in Version 5.1 to include wearing seat belts, the
safety documentation shall include information
on not distracting the driver

O5 Specialist operations

No change

O6 Operational security

No change

O7 Counter terrorism

No change

S1 FORS Bronze

No change

S2 Performance data

Requirement changed from actively monitoring
and benchmarking to actively monitoring and
managing operational performance
An operational performance action plan shall be
documented, including performance indicators/
operational targets, and methods/tools
employed to monitor data
Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) management
should be included within data capture and
monitoring tools

S3 Fuel, emissions and air quality

The commitment to reducing fuel consumption
and minimising environmental impact shall
include the fuel efficiency and emissions
reduction initiatives that are in place or are
included in the operational performance action
plan now required for S2

S4 Road risk

Change to language regarding managing work
related road risk:
• Added reference to the operational
performance action plan now required for S2
• Changed language from “evidence of a
review meeting with the insurance provider”
to “evidence of a review with the insurance
provider” for clarity

S5 Professional development

Professional development shall be relevant to
the specific roles and responsibilities of drivers,
the responsible person, and all other staff in
the fleet operation – recommended (should) in

The amount of CPC training completed by
drivers should be seen as a guide for the
professional development of all other staff
Driver licence acquisition training should be
introduced

S6 Vehicle safety equipment

Regional or city vehicle permits relating to
vehicle safety requirements may be included
as evidence, where applicable, so long as they
meet or exceed the FORS Standard

S7 Noise pollution

Removal of customer locations from noise
impact assessment
Clarification that FORS operators may use
the FORS Noise Assessment template to help
evidence this requirement

S8 Internal communications

Silver re-approval: FORS operators shall
demonstrate internal communications for
previous 12 months

List of relevant materials that should be
used to assist internal communications
campaigns updated

S9 Sub-contracted services

No change

G1 FORS Silver

No change

G2 Recruitment and retention
(previously G4)

G2 Performance data

Requirement removed
Data elements of the demonstration
incorporated at S2

Recruitment and Retention (G4 in version 5.1) –

No change

G3 Sustainable operations
(previously G6)

G3 Gold case study – requirement removed
Some elements of the demonstration are
incorporated into new G3 as recommended
good practice

Sustainable Operations (G6 in version 5.1)
The review of fleet operation to improve
operational performance shall inform fleet
replacement decisions

At least 50% of the fleet should meet ‘ultra-low
emission’ engine standards

The fleet replacement plan should demonstrate
progression towards 100% ultra low emission
fleet

FORS operators may also provide evidence of
promoting sustainable initiatives

G4 Staff travel
(previously G8) Staff Travel (G8 in version 5.1)

No change

G5 Professional development

No change

G6 Contracted services
(Previously G9)

Rewording of the requirement for clarity
Where it is difficult to influence suppliers, FORS
operators should demonstrate best endeavours

The FORS list of accredited operators should
be explored when placing contracts for
transport suppliers

The following requirements from Version 5 have been removed and some
elements incorporated into Version 6 where appropriate:

G2 Performance data – requirement removed

Data elements of the demonstration incorporated at S2

G3 Gold case study

Requirement removed

Some elements of the demonstration are incorporated into new G3 as recommended good practice

G7 Promoting FORS

Requirement removed

Elements of community engagement, and supporting other operations, incorporated into new G3 as optional

FORS Silver

FORS Silver, what you need to know before you take the plunge!

After obtaining and maintaining your FORS Bronze accreditation, you may be thinking of progressing to the next level, FORS Silver. Perhaps you’re looking to gain more clients or bag larger contracts, maybe you want to improve compliance and go above and beyond your current Bronze accreditation. It could be you only want to take the Bronze audit every other year once you have gained your FORS Silver accreditation. Whatever your intentions, there are a few points to note before you take the plunge.

Policies, risk assessments, and requirements

The FORS Silver application has evolved to be very detailed and requires specific information including policies, risk assessments, and other requirements to be submitted. You will need to ensure you have these in place prior to your application. These include:

  • S1. FORS Bronze – you will not be able to apply for FORS Silver without gaining the initial Bronze accreditation. If you don’t have FORS Bronze, we can help with this. For more information visit our FORS Bronze Help page here.
  • S2. Performance Data – you are required to supply performance data to monitor operational performance and demonstrate meaningful improvements
  • S3. Fuel, emissions, air quality & Anti Idling – you will need to be committed to the understanding and management of operational performance levels and the impacts on the environment. Monitor, manage and review fuel consumption, emissions, and environmental impact. Ensure that activities will take into account the health and quality of life of all our employees, customers, suppliers, and the public
  • S4. Road Risk: Driving standards, RTC & WRRR – you will need a policy and processes in place to ensure safe standards of driving, consideration for other road users and reduce the risk of death and injury are in place
  • S5. Professional Development – you will need to demonstrate you have had all drivers (and other staff involved in the fleet operation) trained in accordance with FORS mandatory training requirements. See below
  • S7. Noise Pollution – you will need to assess noise impacts of operational activities, driver behaviour, and equipment used at operating centres and relevant customer locations
  • S6. Vehicle Safety Equipment – extra safety equipment is required including reversing system, left-turn system, camera system, in-cab display screen, in-cab audible warning system – close proximity sensor and driver audible alert
  • S8. Internal Communications – you will need to promote FORS and the requirements of the FORS Standard across the organisation and raise awareness of road risk, environmental impact, efficiency and terrorist threat and achieve long-term behavior change
  • S9. Sub-Contracted Services – you will need to ensure you have a policy, process, and template contract in place

Staff training (S5. Professional Development)

FORS Silver requires extra staff training, over and above the Bronze requirements.

  • Drivers will need to complete either Safe Urban Driving on cycle training (SUD) or Van Smart classroom training & LoCity eLearning for Drivers. There are funded courses available from Fleetsource via the link below, places are limited however
  • Fleet Managers are required to complete practitioner modules 2, 5 & 7. Currently (at the time of writing) there is a lack of courses on offer, so managers can alternatively, complete the WRRR eLearning modules, collision investigator & road risk champion. Managers need to email FORS (email link) and request to be added to the waiting list for Practitioner Modules and will need to be evidenced in your application. Managers will also be required to complete LoCity eLearning.

Return on investment (ROI)

Lastly, as with all company spend decisions, you need to work out your return on investment ROI. Is obtaining Silver worth the extra work and cost? ROI is a financial ratio that compares the gain or loss from an investment, relative to its cost. Essentially how much revenue you will get in return for your investment. There are a few ways to calculate ROI, however, you can use an online calculator such as this one.

How can TMconsultant help?

TMconsultant will provide a dedicated FORS consultant and supply all the required documentation templates to assist with your Silver accreditation. We will reduce the time and hassle to ensure your FORS Silver application is as painless as possible. Our consultants are either FORS auditors themselves or hold the FORS practitioner certificate, rest assured you will be in safe hands!  We charge a one-off guaranteed pass fee of £775.00 and you can purchase directly from our shop here. Alternatively, check our FORS Silver help page here for more information.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or would just like to have chat feel free to get in touch. Here to share the knowledge!

FORS Bronze audit

Top 10 reasons why operators fail their FORS Bronze audit

At TMconsultant, we strive to help with making life easy and stress-free for operators to obtain their Bronze accreditation. So we thought we would let you know our top 10 reasons why operators fail their FORS Bronze audit. All our consultants are current FORS auditors, so they see the same avoidable errors.

M7 Risk Assessments

There is a total of 16 risk assessments an auditor will ask you to evidence for your FORS bronze audit. However, there are two of the 16 that might not be applicable to your business, (Coupling/uncoupling & specialist operations). As a minimum, you will be required to evidence the remaining 14. Below are the most common risk assessments that operators fail to evidence at an audit.

1. COSHH

There are no operators that don’t need a basic COSHH risk assessment. It still amazes us how many operators are adamant they do not require COSSH. However, their employees handle, Diesel, AdBlue, Washer Fluid & come into contact with oil and grease.

2. Speed, adverse weather conditions, and seat belts.

Please remember to include the above important points into your risk assessments. Many operators do seem to forget these points, your Auditor is specifically looking for them.

3. Routing

You still need a routing risk assessment that covers potential risks, even you do not have regular routes or are subject to construction routes.

4. Passenger Safety

If FORS Auditors had a pound for every time we’ve heard “we don’t carry passengers” or “this is for buses, we don’t run busses”, we’d all be very wealthy. The passenger risk assessment applies to all vehicles in your fleet with passenger seats. Make sure you have your passenger safety risk assessment ready.

5. O6 Operational Security & O7 Counterterrorism

This one always surprises us. This section of V5.1 has had so much communication from FORS including the online Tool Kit’s. However, operators are still failing to evidence a risk assessment to cover this section.

Need help with risk assessments? You can purchase our risk assessment templates as a pack or individually from our shop.

Polices

There are several policies in the FORS V5.1 Bronze standard that require special attention and require specific content.

7. D4 Manager training

Transport managers and responsible people (Directors) are required to have completed a FORS approved refresher course within the last five years, (see our blog for more details). This section has accounted for the most major action points since Jan 2020

8. D6 Health and eyesight

Companies forget to include in their policy that an eyesight check will be conducted after a driver is involved in a road traffic collision, incident, or near-miss.

9. D7 Drivers’ hours and working time

This policy can very detailed, and although the operator generally knows the rules on drivers’ hours/WTD, they will overlook the lost or defective company/driver tachograph card procedures. This is something your FORS Bronze auditor is specifically looking for.

O1 Routing & O2 Passenger safety

We find many operators overlook both these policies. Make sure you don’t!

10. O3 Road Traffic Collisions

A company will usually have this policy but will neglect to add the important element that “a driver shall be assessed for well-being and competency to ensure they are fit to return to driving duties”.

Still unsure?

We hope our top 10 reasons why operators fail their FORS Bronze audit have helped. However, if you are still unsure, then you can purchase our Bronze audit packs, alternatively just get in touch.

FORS Help Basic – Documents including a to-do list

FORS Help Support – Documents plus email and telephone support

FORS Help pre-audit package – Documents, support plus two site visits

FORS-Standard-updates-5.1

FORS Standard updates 5.1

I have been getting quite a few inquiries regarding the FORS Standard updates 5.1 as to what exactly they are. I have also noticed a competitor is providing misinformation and even the FORS website itself is somewhat confusing. So here are the updates…….

FORS Standard updates 5.1

FORS Standard updates 5.1

Yup that’s it and there are no updates for Bronze at all. So what about COVID-19 I hear you cry? Well, it is important to note you will need to ensure you have certain safety measures in place, we posted a blog this a few weeks back which you can view here. Topline points below.

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. 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 that are 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

I spent some time delving into the FORS website regarding COVID-19, specifically this page. Most of the info is very useful however, there are a number of their associates are offering COVID-19 tool kits which might not necessarily be what you were expecting.

Are you looking to gain your FORS Bronze accreditation? Do you need help with FORS Silver? Look no further as TMconsultant can help. Feel free to get in touch! Alternatively, if you need more information about our FORS Help services click here.

 

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 Bronze Help

FORS Help Bronze

Streamlining FORS Bronze Success Together

Preparing for your FORS audit can be a daunting task, often overwhelming for operators and transport managers. Given the intricate details contained within the Standard, it's entirely natural to find the task a bit daunting. This is precisely where TMconsultant and our team of FORS Practicioners come in—to provide you and your company with essential FORS Bronze Help. We unravel the Standard making the entire process stress-free and even enjoyable. Our goal is to ensure your success on the first attempt!

FORS Help Basic
£359 + vat

Policy & Procedural Templates

Download Risk Assessment Templates

Download Forms and Declarations

Download Helpful Tools

Technical Support

FORS Help Support
£549 +vat

Everything in the Basic Package plus.....

Full phone & e-support from start to pass!

Bronze Worry Free
£1550+vat

Everything in the Support Package plus.....

Dedicated FORS Practitioner Consultant

Remote audit sit in

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!

Bus and coach drivers Driver CPC deadline approaching

Changes to fines for commercial drivers

Changes to fines for commercial drivers

(Forward post from DVSA)

Changes to fines for commercial drivers rules will affect lorry, bus and coach drivers who drive tired will be fined for every time they’ve done it in the last 28 days.