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

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

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

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

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

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 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.


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.


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

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

Everything in the Support Package plus.....

Dedicated FORS Practitioner Consultant

Remote audit sit in

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!

operator licence

How to apply for an Operator Licence

(2018 revised post). I often get asked “How do I apply for an operator licence” and questions relating to the application process. This is mainly because it can seem like a daunting prospect as there are many detailed aspects to the process, which will need thoughtful consideration. There are many pitfalls and if you don’t get it right first time, could delay the granting of the licence or worse, the application could be rejected. It’s also worth noting (nearly) all applications must now be carried out online, with very few exceptions. As information prior to application is now almost nonexistent, here is my helpful guide on how to apply for an operator licence and (to hopefully) speed up the process for you.

Step 1. Get it together, be prepared

Ensure you have all the requisite information/documentation required before you start the application. For an overview of the vehicle operator licensing system and to ensure you are applying for the correct licence, you can view/download a copy of the GV74 guide here. This is dated 2011 and makes references to ‘vosa’. Don’t be put off as the information is still relevant.

Specifically you will need:

  • Forms/Information
    • Main application (old GV79 form)
    • Advertisement (old GV81 form)
    • Transport Manager (old TM1 form)
    • Current financial levels – See below but ensure you view the online guidance as this is where most applications can fail
    • Scale of fees – so you know how much to pay
    • Signed maintenance contract
    • Supplementary environmental information.
  • Guidance notes – All guidance (old GV79G, old TM1G) is now online see Step 2
  • Contact Information – This is the main person dealing with the application. They must be available to be contacted during the weeks after the application has been submitted
  • Contact address – This is the address used for correspondence. It can not be a PO Box or third-party address and must be an address in Great Britain
  • Establishment address – This is the address in which the business keeps its core business documents, specifically relating to the operator licence. This can be the same as the contact address
  • Company information – What is your trade and are you a Limited Company, Sole Trader, LLP, partnership, sole trader etc. You will need to provide company information as it appears on the Companies House website. You will also need to provide names and date of birth of all Company Directors
  • Type of licence – Do you require a Standard, Standard International or a Restricted Licence? Click here for more information on types of licence
  • Transport Manager – If you are applying for a standard or standard international operator licence, you will need to employ the services of either a full-time or external transport manager to demonstrate professional competence. The old TM1 form is now part of the online process. You will need the TM1 form and guidance notes (included in the online version) and your TM’s original CPC certificate. Restricted licence holders do not need to employ the services of a transport manager. However, I can not stress the importance of ensuring you do at least have access to professional advice and or consider employing the services of a professional consultant. It is worth noting that where compliance is concerned, restricted licence holders are subject to exactly the same legislation as standard licence holders. If you in need of a transport manager, do get in touch as we can help you find one.
  • Vehicles – How many vehicles and trailers are you going to use? If you’re planning to expand the business in the not-to-distant future, it may be worth adding in a margin. You’ll also need the details of your vehicles if you know them. If you’re hiring/leasing for more than one month you will still need to provide the vehicle(s) details, if you have them
  • Safety inspections – You’ll need to state the maximum number of weeks between safety inspections, and details of who will be carrying out the inspections. There are a number of factors to consider here. What will the annual mileage be, what kind of work will the vehicles be subjected to. If you’re unsure get advice. You’ll need to get a signed contract between you and your supplier if you are out sourcing your maintenance
  • Operating centre details – This is where your vehicles and trailers will normally be kept. You must ensure that you have enough off-street parking spaces at your operating centre(s) for all of your vehicles and trailers. You will need to state whether the premises is owned by you, leased or rented. If rented or leased you’ll need to get a letter of permission from the landlord
  • Advertisement – You will need to advertise your intentions via a local paper. Make sure you use the correct format and wording. This will be at your expense, usually around £300 to £450
  • Financial evidence – You need to show the traffic commissioner that you have sufficient financial resources to maintain your vehicles and run your business. Make sure you provide original evidence of financial documentation. Note the rates change every January! This is very detailed by nature so familiar yourself with the guidance to ensure you get this right first time
  • Previous licences – Gather information relating to anyone named on the application (including partners, directors and transport managers) who:
    • Currently or have previously held a goods or public service vehicle operator’s licence in any traffic area
    • Has had a licence refused, revoked, suspended or curtailed in the EU
    • Have attended a Public Inquiry before a traffic commissioner
    • Have been disqualified from holding or obtaining an operators licence by any traffic commissioner
    • Within the last twelve months, have you, your company or organisation or your partners or directors purchased the assets or shareholding of any company that, to your knowledge, currently holds or has previously held an operator’s licence in any traffic area
  • Convictions – Get information and background details on anyone named or has any connection with the application who has been convicted of any relevant offence. So that’s partners, directors, transport managers, any company named on the application, parent company if you are a limited company or any employees or agents
  • Payment information – You can pay by card online or by cheque/postal order and card via the paper version. You’ll need the signature of who the person paying. For current rates, you will need to either request them from the central licensing office or start the online application.

Step 2. Apply for your operator licence

It is now only possible to apply for your operator licence online. However, under certain circumstances, it is possible to apply using the old paper version. That is if you don’t own a computer and or you are unable to use a computer. If you do want to apply using the paper version make sure you use the most up-to-date versions of the GV79, GV81 and TM1 forms. The only way to do this is to call the central licensing office (DVSA) on 0300 123 9000 and request the requisite documentation.

To apply online go to the website here and follow the instructions. It’s actually very intuitive and easy to use. It’s in pretty much the same format as the old GV79 form with all the same criteria, just online. You can pay the fees and upload all the requisite documentation, all from the comfort of your computer. Signatures are still required, the difference being it will be an ‘e’ signature. You will need to register with GOV.UK Verify first to be able to complete this part of the application.

Step 3. Complete the operator licence application

For the online application, you’ll need to register with the Government Gateway. You’ll also need to register with Verify which is a way to prove who you are online for online signatures. Make sure you have all the requisite documents beforehand, see Step 1. Once you have completed the form, there will be an online checklist and paper applications will be included on the GV79.

Check list

  • You have completed all applicable questions on the form
  • You have checked that the declaration is signed and dated by an authorised person
  • You have provided the whole page of the newspaper for each advertisement placed. The date and the full title of the newspaper are shown on the page holding my advertisement
  • You have provided original financial evidence. You understand that photocopies are not acceptable
  • You have enclosed a cheque or provided payment details to cover the application fee and you understand that this fee will not be returned, even if the application is withdrawn or refused.

All applicants for either a Standard National or International operator licence must supply the following information.

  • Original Certificate(s) of Professional Competence in Road Haulage Operations or evidence of qualification(s) giving exemption, for all Transport Managers listed on the application
  • Completed and signed the online TM1 form for all Transport Managers listed on my application. You may need to supply the following information depending on your answers some of the questions.

Depending on your answers to these questions further information may be required for some applicants.

  • You answered stating that an external contractor would carry out the safety inspections for the licence and you have enclosed a copy of the maintenance contract with that contractor
  • You answered ‘Yes’ to part regarding insolvency and have enclosed the relevant documentary evidence of the relevant insolvency history
  • You answered ‘Yes’ regarding convictions and have enclosed full details of the background circumstances of all convictions declared.

Step 4. Undertakings and Declaration

You will need to read and digest the operator licence undertakings. Once understood you can sign the declaration. This must be either the owner, partner or director. As mentioned for the online system, you’ll need to prove who you are via the Verify service as well.

I have provided these below so you have a prior understanding of an operators’ responsibilities.

Operator Licence Undertakings

I understand that by signing the application I am accepting the undertakings below; that they will be recorded on the licence; that failure to comply with the conditions or undertakings recorded on the licence may result in the licence being revoked, suspended or curtailed; and that failure to comply with these conditions is also a criminal offence.

  • The laws relating to the driving and operation of vehicles used under this licence are observed
  • The rules on drivers’ hours and tachographs are observed, proper records are kept and that these are made available on request
  • Vehicles and trailers are not overloaded
  • Vehicles operate within speed limits
  • Vehicles and trailers, including hired vehicles and trailers, are kept in a fit and serviceable condition
  • Drivers report promptly any defects or symptoms of defects that could prevent the safe operation of vehicles and/or trailers, and that any defects are recorded in writing
  • Records are kept (for 15 months) of all driver reports which record defects, all safety inspections, routine maintenance and repairs to vehicles, and that these are made available on request
  • In respect of each operating centre specified, that the number of vehicles and the number of trailers kept there will not exceed the maximum numbers authorised at each operating centre (which will be noted on the licence)
  • An unauthorised operating centre is not used in any traffic area
    Furthermore, I will notify the traffic commissioner of any convictions against myself, or the company, business partner(s), the company directors, nominated transport manager(s) named in this application, or employees or agents of the applicant for this licence and, if the licence is issued, convictions against the licence holder or employees or agents of the licence holder
  • I will ensure that the traffic commissioner is notified within 28 days of any other changes, for example a change to the proposed maintenance arrangements; a change in the financial status of the licence holder (e.g. if placed in liquidation or receivership), or a change to Limited Company status or partnership, that might affect the licence, if issued.

Step 5. Get it checked

I can not stress the importance of getting a second set of eyes to check over your application for an operator licence. The devil is in the detail and you simply can’t afford to leave anything out. This could be a colleague who understands transport or if it’s just you, you could use the services of a professional consultant.

Step 7. Interim or not

It is possible to apply for an interim licence. This means you can operate in the interim while your application is in process. However, it is worth noting that your application will need to essentially be ‘pre approved’ for the interim to be granted. So, if there are any complications or question marks regarding the main application, it is unlikely an interim licence will be granted.

Step 6. Apply (send)

For the online system, once you have completed the above steps, just click to send. For the paper version, collate all your documents and importantly do make sure you send your operator licence application via ‘signed for’ post or special delivery.

Remember, if you do not send all the information needed it will lead to a delay in the granting of the licence, or the application could even be refused.

Top tips

  • Make sure your financial evidence is in the name of the applicant or licence holder
  • Provide original documents with your application
  • If you’ve only just opened your account, get an opening statement from the bank showing the required level of money for your licence
  • Make sure you have enough surplus finances to support the number of vehicles you have applied for
Operating Centre and Maintenance
  • If you don’t own the site, get written permission from the person who does
  • Make sure your advert is published in a newspaper that can be purchased in the area where your operating centre is located
  • Check the advert wording is correct before sending it off to the newspaper
  • Make sure your advert is placed in the newspaper within the required timescale
  • If maintenance isn’t in house, then complete a formal contract signed by you and the contractor
Transport Manager
  • Make sure your transport manager’s original CPC is provided with your operator licence application. It will be returned
  • Complete the TM1 form with your transport manager
  • If your transport manager will be specified on more than one licence, set out how they will meet all their responsibilities in a separate letter. This will need to include:
    • Days and intended time spent visiting each operating centre
    • How they will travel
    • Addresses and distance to travel
    • Duties to be carried out
    • Detail any other work including how much time is spent on said work
    • If there is a TM assistant carrying out day to day duties. How the duties are distributed. If the assistant is qualified, make sure you sent the original version of their TM CPC certificate. This will be returned.
Previous history
  • Tell the Traffic Commissioner about any operator licences you’ve previously held or been involved in
  • Make sure you disclose any adverse financial history of other businesses you’ve owned (not just transport)
  • Tell the Traffic Commissioner about any convictions and penalties for you or the business

Main reasons for delays and rejections

  • Forms not being completed in full (including TM1 from for standard applications)
  • Incorrect information on forms
  • Incomplete documentation
  • Financial standing not being met
  • Maintenance contracts not being submitted
  • Not submitting further information relating the TMs other work
  • Not declaring any insolvency or conviction history. They will check!

In conclusion

In conclusion, make sure you have all the required information and you have the correct information ready for your application of your operating licence prior to your application. Make sure you have the correct types of documentation, be methodical and get it checked!

For further reading and information, I have complied the definitive list of .gov and DVSA downloadable guides and forms.

Need a Transport Manager or an External Transport Manager?

Here at TMconsultant we hold a database of transport managers covering the whole of the UK. So if you’re in need of a transport manager, simply complete the employers application form. We also provide all the requisite policy manuals, forms, and tools to get a new operator up and running which you can find in our shop. Alternatively just get in touch! Here to share the knowledge!


Transport Manager Duties

Top-line Transport Manager Duties

This list of Top-line Transport Manager Duties is not exhaustive and is intended to be used as a guide only. I have broken the jobs by daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually.  Many of the jobs are interlinked and will need to be repeated where necessary. For a more detailed breakdown of the TMs duties, we have compiled the definitive transport manager’s compliance pack that contains all the requisite policies and procedures, risk assessments, declarations, and helpful tools, essential in helping you to effectively and continuously manage all transport activities.

Transport Manager Duties


  • Ensure all drivers have a daily defect report book
  • Ensure 3.5t drivers have a daily working time book. Including drivers who are swapping from EU to GB regs
  • Ensure VU has paper roll inserted and drivers carry a spare
  • Enter all defects are entered into a master defect book or the MS for cross-referencing
  • Ensure all defects are rectified immediately, information has been recorded accurately and signed off – No rolling defects
  • Collect any completed defect report books and working time record books
  • Record any of the below on the Master Spreadsheet (MS)
    • Fines
    • Accidents
    • Incidents
    • Insurance claims
    • Breakdowns
    • Roadside stops
    • Complaints
    • Driver info changes
    • Training
  • Check planner schedule for any vehicle maintenance due dates
  • Ensure any vehicles due for maintenance are booked in with suppliers
  • Carry out pre-employment assessments for new drivers
  • Carry out induction training for any new drivers
  • File any relevant documentation


  • Review/cross-reference all defects
  • Check whether part-time or agency drivers have or have not driven for any other company. If yes, they must complete the Agency or part-time driver activity record
  • Check planner for vehicle maintenance
  • Book in vehicles for PMIs, MOTs, Servicing, Brake Tests, Tyre changes
  • Enter fuel and tyre usage on the MS


  • Collect Tachograph data and charts from drivers and VUs for analysis
  • Send off data for analysis
  • Make a record of the date sent and when reports are returned using the MS
  • Complete the Tachograph analysis discussion with drivers
    • Cross-reference charts with reports
    • Drivers must justify any infringements in writing on the report
    • Drivers must sign off any infringements and TM countersign
    • Check:
      • Digital Over Speeding – Instances whereby a vehicle has been recorded exceeding the predefined maximum speed limit for HGV/PCV’s. Small instances may indicate a steep descent. Review of any instances that exceed 3 minutes in duration.
      • Events and Faults – Lists all error messages and diagnostic events that the digital tachograph unit within a given vehicle has recorded, such as tampering with the unit, removal of power supply, or mechanical/electrical failure. Review this section in detail.
      • Driving without an Appropriate Card – This error occurs when the VU registers that the vehicle has been moved without a driver, enforcement, or workshop card being in place. In all likelihood, this error is brought about by small movements or shunts. However, they need to be explained where possible
      • Unknown Driver – Indicates in detail every instance whereby a vehicle has recorded itself in motion, without a driver, workshop or enforcement card being inserted. Although most instances will constitute a small shift or shunt, a review of this section in detail and paying close attention to any instance which exceeds 5 minutes in duration is recommended.
    • Record driver infringements on MS. Analyse trends to determine whether a driver needs any further training, reprimands (warning letter)
  • Cross-reference PMI sheets with defect reports and carry out investigations for any discrepancies – Sign off PMI sheets
  • Complete a spot check daily walk round check with drivers to ensure they are doing this properly – provide training where necessary
  • Check with publications and online recourses for new legislation and general information relating to operating vehicles/training
  • Review planner and make any necessary adjustments
  • Book in vehicles for PMIs, MOTs, Servicing, Brake Tests, Tyre changes
  • Carry out monthly driver meetings including a toolbox talk – record each toolbox talk using the training record sheet
  • Carry out relevant driver licence checks
  • Carry out relevant eyesight checks
  • Carry out a monthly review/status meeting all staff involved with transport and with all connected departments


  • Processes review and update policies and processes where necessary


  • Ensure all vehicles are booked in for Pre MOT and MOT
  • Book drivers in for annual Driver CPC training and or any other required training
  • Carry out an annual review meeting with Directors and connected departments to include policies and processes according to Operator and Driver Handbooks
  • Review and update policies and processes where necessary
  • Directors to sign off updates
  • Communicate policy changes to drivers – Carry out annual review meeting with drivers including any policy updates – drivers to be given new updates with training and driver declaration sign off

For more information regarding the documentation and services we offer and Top-line Transport Manager Duties, please visit the TMconsultant shop or alternatively please just get in touch. If you are looking to become a Transport Manager, have a look at the National Careers Service page for Transport Managers and also a blog I wrote, Looking for an External Transport Manager?

Here to share the knowledge!


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!