FORS styles itself as a common force for good 21 May 2015

FORS (the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) – which now boasts more than accredited operators and over 200,000 vehicles – is gearing up to deliver national coverage.

Its organisers are determined to deliver a single scheme that governs professional standards and operational effectiveness in road transport.

That's the take-away from the inaugural meeting of the FORS governance and standards advisory group (GSAG), attended by fleet operators, trade associations and public authority representatives.

GSAG has been established to ensure that the FORS standards remain relevant to industry requirements, protect the integrity and reputation of the scheme and embed FORS right across the UK.

It comprises industry representatives, local authorities and enforcement agencies, and its agenda ranges from responding to operator needs, to developing the accreditations and raising professional standards – with a goal of improving road safety and the industry's image.

"We have been championing FORS in our region since 2012 and we look forward to further developing the scheme and would encourage other local authorities to get on board," said John Bourn, senior specialist transport planner, North East Combined Authority.

"With the scheme being rolled out nationally this is an important opportunity to increase understanding of the benefits of FORS nationwide for both contract specifiers and fleet operators," he adds.

FORS is certainly on a roll: at Microlise's inaugural Transport Conference, at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, the telematics giant announced that it is providing support to fleet operators in attaining and maintaining FORS Bronze, Silver and Gold accreditation.

Matt Hague, executive director for product strategy, explained that, as well as providing support with telematics, Microlise offers several products geared to helping operators achieve the requirements of all three FORS standards.

They include remote training featuring the Microlise Knowledge Portal, Document and Workshop Management modules, and the Microlise DriveTab, a ruggedised tablet device designed specifically for transport operators.

"While many operators accept that we can provide support in achieving FORS accreditation with the Microlise Fleet Performance and Journey Management products, they might not realise that we can offer so much more through standard solutions," said Hague.

"The great thing about the Knowledge Portal is that operators can add in and manage their own or third party content, which can be deployed to staff," he explained.

"Customers can create and manage their own training packages and campaigns, with all management and driver interaction and course progression recorded in the system for FORS compliance reporting."

Brian Tinham

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