Moving forward with FORS

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st 2020

The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) is a voluntary accreditation scheme for fleet operators which aims to raise the level of quality within fleet operations and to demonstrate which operators are achieving exemplary levels of best practise in safety, efficiency and environmental protection.

Traffix were the first Midlands traffic Management Company to achieve FORS Bronze status in 2015. Here Traffix Health & safety Officer Kerry Draper explains what FORS means to our business.

FORS Bronze

What impact has receiving the FORS Accreditation had on Traffix?
FORS membership has sharpened us up regarding our vehicles and their use. It has pushed us forward as individuals by increasing our awareness, as drivers it has improved our capability and as a business our record keeping has improved.

Can you give an example of this in practise?
We carry out internal driving tests, which entails a member of staff carrying out a live assessment of a driver to check their competence with every single operation of a traffic management vehicle. The examiner and the driver both have to complete evaluation forms. New employees or any crewmember that is not comfortable driving a 3.5tonne TM vehicle undergoes this training until they and we are happy that the required standards are met.

Are clients insisting on FORS before engagement?
It is definitely something we are noticing more of in terms of client stipulation. Some of the big construction businesses are looking for FORS when they carry out supplier analysis and other clients will only consider a FORS accredited company when going out to tender.

How has the additional training requirements impacted the business?
At Traffix we have always given our employees the best training available, FORS has helped us improve in certain areas. The FORS training consists of various modules from awareness of cycles and other vehicles through to anti-terrorism. The anti-terrorism training is key to our event work and in particular the Hostile Vehicle Mitigation protection we provide with IPV’s at football matches. Every operative must successfully complete certain modules and undergo an eye test twice a year, which we facilitate in-house. We are looking to increase the number of FORS practitioners we have in the business. The completion of ten modules to achieve this status.

FORS conduct audits to maintain status, how does this work?
We are audited once a year by FORS. This takes place over a single day and they are looking for evidence of compliance across thirty to forty sections. For example we have to show we have records for every six weekly test carried out on an IPV in accordance with VOSA regulations. Also, every six weeks we have every tail lift independently inspected in accordance with LOLAR regulations to ensure that the vehicle is fit to carry the regulated weight. If FORS find just one issue with any given section the audit is halted and rearranged once the anomaly has been corrected. To mitigate against such a moment we are vigilant at Traffix and in five years have passed every audit at the first time of asking.

Are you looking ahead at FORS Silver?
Most definitely. A good example of our thinking is the new tracking system we are looking to introduce to our vehicles, which includes the evaluation of emissions. But instead of recording the vehicle performance the system will record the performance of the driver. This will require a unique key code known only to the individual driver, without which the vehicle won’t start. Every time the vehicle is started the code is input, as a business we can then monitor the driver’s performance, for example speed, braking, excessive acceleration and when the engine is idle. Vehicles idling are a big cost to our business in terms of fuel wastage and potential damage to the turbo charger; there is also the obvious environmental cost too. This and other initiatives will hopefully enable us to achieve FORS Silver. Then we’ll be going for Gold.