Around a month ago FORS unveiled the new FORS standard, marking the tenth anniversary since the standard was introduced. The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) has always been keen to promote the importance of training in personal development and raising operational standards within any given industry, new mandatory training requirements have now been introduced at all levels of accreditation and are aimed at not only drivers but also managers.
Version 5 of the FORS standard clearly has an ever-growing emphasis on training among other things, 450 delegates at the annual FORS conference were able to get a first glimpse of the new requirements and innovation behind version 5.
The new FORS standard 5 aims to help tackle one of the most discussed issues at the present moment, how we can increase the quality of our air and reduce toxic air pollution. As well as requirements to help reduce the chances of vehicles being used by people in acts of terrorism. Arguably the biggest change is the provision for a wider variety of vehicles to be included in the FORS standard such as two wheeled vehicles and buses or coaches, enabling more vehicles and industries than ever before to gain FORS accreditation.
The training content and requirements aren’t the only areas that are expanding and becoming more innovative, we are continually seeing new methods utilised by FORS to implement these new standards. The way in which we complete training is also evolving, e-modules and practical training are taking over from classroom-based courses. Providing a variety of different training types allows everyone to complete at least one module in their preferred way, some people will respond better to practical training where as others with prefer the online e-modules. Also, an e-module is a lot more accessible and easier to complete for drivers, these mean employers do not have to pay for travel and accommodation to complete other requirements such as Safe Urban Driving.
FORS director, John Hix commented by saying, “Our FORS Professional training programme is a vast reservoir of learning for managers and drivers – arguably the most complete portfolio of training available to transport professionals today. Managers and drivers are on the front line of operations,” he said, “and they can make a real difference to the environmental impact of their operation, reducing its road risk too, and, above all, promoting a safety mindset. Our new, mandatory training requirements ensure managers and drivers keep pace with current trends and new legislation; equipping operators with the essential tools to pursue ever-increasing levels of best practice.”
So, what exactly are the new requirements for each level of accreditation?
FORS Bronze – FORS Professional ‘Security and Counter Terrorism’ eLearning module within the last 12 months.
FORS Silver – ‘LoCITY Time to clean up’ eLearning module completed within the past 24 months.
FORS Gold – van or HGV fleets are required to undertake FORS Professional ‘LoCITY Driving’ classroom training course, while those with car or passenger-carrying vehicle fleets are required to undertake a FORS-approved environmental awareness training course – both within the past five years.