Updated: Mar 28, 2020
FORS version 5 was officially launched in October 2018 at the annual FORS conference and came into force for audits taking place after January 14th, 2019. The v5 FORS Standard introduced 17 new mandatory written policies and procedures. In addition, a range of mandatory risk assessments and method statements covering each vehicle and load type are now also required. All documentation must be reviewed, approved and signed by senior management at least annually and operators must demonstrate that policies and procedures have been effectively communicated to all relevant employees.
M1 of the version 5 Standard requires documented policies, procedures, risk assessments and method statements for the following;
M8 Health and safety
M10 Transport infringements
V1 Serviceability and roadworthiness
V5 Load safety
V7 Tyre management
D2 Driving standards
D3 Staff induction
D5 In-vehicle communication
D6 Health and eyesight
D7 Working time and drivers’ hours
O2 Fuel, emissions and air quality
O3 Road traffic collisions
O4 Passenger safety
O5 Specialist operations
O6 Operational security
O7 Counter terrorism
For each of these sections there needs to be detailed information specific to the fleet type and the operational activities of the business. For some existing FORS members the new requirements are proving to be a challenge. The need for detailed documented policies and procedures covering all the sub-demonstrations of the FORS Standard means that operators cannot simply rely on generic paperwork from previous years.
This is certainly the case for many Silver accredited operators that have not been audited against the Bronze requirements for two years. Failing the Bronze re-approval audit can result in being downgraded from Silver as the first requirement of Silver accreditation is to maintain Bronze.
The two most common complaints we hear from new operators looking to gain FORS accreditation or existing operators preparing for their re-approval audit are;
1) They cannot seem to fully apply the criteria to their business or fleet type and incorrectly assume some requirements don't apply to their activities. (This usually results in an audit failure due to lack of preparation).
2) They do not have the time, resources or expertise in-house to create and manage all the policies, procedures and requirements.
Preparing for the FORS audit can be a time consuming and stressful process. The cost and inconvenience of a failed audit or the potential to lose customers by not being accredited can have a significant impact on businesses of all sizes.
Many operators have benefited from our pre-audit and continuous management services which we offer in addition to general compliance packages for O-Licence holders. We also work with van, mixed fleet operators and owner-drivers. Our consultant is a certified auditor and an active transport manager dealing with vehicles and drivers on a daily basis. This gives us an unrivaled understanding from the operators perspective and its the reason we maintain a 100% pass rate using simple, effective management systems.
To find out more about the services and the assistance we can offer, contact us today for expert guidance and support.
Tel: 0203 488 0103