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Building a resilient FORS Community for the road ahead


FORS – the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme – recently welcomed its largest-ever delegation to the sixth FORS Annual Conference at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.

Under the theme for 2023 ‘Building a resilient FORS Community for the road ahead’ the FORS Annual Conference is free to all FORS Accredited Operators, providing an opportunity to connect and learn about key areas of the transport industry. The event included more than 40 exhibitors as well as presentations from industry experts, offering practical guidance on maintaining compliance, enhancing safety and achieving greater business efficiency.

Speaking at a panel session, as a member of GSAG, the FORS Governance Standards and Advisory Group*, Chris Yarsley from Logistics UK shared his thoughts on the importance of collaboration across the industry to achieve good road safety and legislative compliance. As part of his role on GSAG, Yarsley sits within the Vehicle Safety Equipment Working Group, advising the wider group on safety elements that will feature in the upcoming Version 7 of the FORS Standard.

Senior Traffic Commissioner Richard Turfitt was a key speaker at the event. Turfitt revealed that one of the main problems he encounters at Public Inquiry is the failure of management to correctly oversee key compliance areas. He urged operators to ensure that there was active involvement from senior leadership, who should be fully aware of every aspect of their operation. This, he said, includes the most basic of control measures, such as drivers’ hours and daily walkaround checks.

Another important area to monitor, Turfitt indicated, was key performance indicators (KPIs). He asked: are infringements being recorded, addressed and action taken as a result? One of the most important areas Traffic Commissioners look at when presented with a case is to assess whether the company under investigation is checking against performance improvements and taking a risk-based approach to management.

Finally, Turfitt recommended that all operators should sign up for updates from agencies such as DVSA and the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, to be notified of all legislative changes that may affect their business. It’s not just about signing up for a scheme and treating it as a box ticking exercise, Turfitt concluded, but showing that you are actively engaged in managing compliance.

When Director of Enforcement at the DVSA, Marian Kitson, took to the stage, she outlined to delegates the organisation's vision for 2030, emphasising two key goals of enhancing road safety and promoting greener transportation. Sustainability is a cornerstone of the DVSA's strategy, with a focus on improving air quality by addressing all pollutants emitted by the transport sector, including harmful particulates released from tyres.

Kitson went on to highlight the work being undertaken around evolving technologies. With one in eight cars sold by 2030 expected to feature elements of automation and self-driving technology, the DVSA's preparation for this shift is crucial.

Kitson recognised that the DVSA was well established in setting standards, assessing and testing, but stressed that the organisation wishes to put equal emphasis on informing, educating and advising operators, creating a framework where people are encouraged to be compliant. In conclusion, Kitson underlined the importance of collaboration and learning from other industries to enable all, including FORS Accredited Operators, to benefit from driving on safer roads.

FORS Accredited Operators continue to enjoy the benefit of free attendance at the annual FORS conference, providing them with valuable insights and expertise from industry leaders. This is just one of many ways in which FORS delivers exceptional value to its community. Additionally, FORS Accredited Operators have access to complimentary regional training, webinars and other informative events, along with a comprehensive range of legislative and business-focused information readily available through FORS digital channels.

A full review of the 2023 FORS Conference can be found at:

https://www.fors-online.org.uk/cms/fors-annual-conference-2023-report/?utm_source=PR&utm_medium=Release&utm_campaign=Report

* Further information on the role of GSAG can be found at:

https://www.fors-online.org.uk/cms/governance/

Published On: 23/11/2023 16:00:00

 

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