As someone who works in fleet operations, you will want to stay on top of your game and ensure your best work possible. You may also want to gain recognition for high-quality work and help to set and maintain fleet industry standards, This is where the FORS online comes in.
What is FORS online?
It is a type of fleet accreditation; signing up to FORS online commits you to keeping certain standards within your fleet. Once you have the FORS online accreditation you can prove your fleet is run with exceptionally high standards.
FORS is an abbreviation for “Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme” and holds over 4,800 members in the UK. Membership of the scheme is voluntary and isn’t free, but it is well worth the investment of time, energy and money you put in.
This post outlines the benefits of membership of the FORS online for fleet professionals as well as tips to gain and maintain your accreditation.
Read More: What Is Defined As A Fleet?
FORS Online: How Does It Work?
- First of all, you need to register your business for the scheme. You can do this via the FORS online website.
- Next, you will receive an initial audit from FORS to make sure that your business qualifies for the FORS bronze standard.
- Once stage 2 is passed, your business is automatically accreditated as a bronze FORS online member.
To work your way up the ranks and see your business receive a silver or even a gold accreditation stamp, FORS provides online learning material on how to achieve this. Your business and operational standards rise as a result.
How Does Your Business Benefit?
Membership of the FORS online scheme focuses on three core operational aspects:
- Environmental Standards
Essentially, by signing up to FORS online, you are committing yourself to enhance your business and to level up your everyday operations. However, membership also means that you gain more knowledge and experience with improved fleet safety measures, to make your fleet more efficient and how you can make your fleet more green. As a result, these factors come together to bring a whole range of additional benefits. These include:
- Less likelihood of road accidents
- Enhanced mileage and fewer emissions
- Increased industry knowledge
- More time left over
- Saving money in the long-term.
For Beginners & Intermediates: Free Fleet Manager Guide
Improve Brand Recognition And Become An Industry Leader
Accreditation with FORS online also means that, if successful, you can equip each of your accredited company vehicles with a bronze, silver or gold badge. Much like when you feel a sense of reassurance when seeing a 5* hygiene safety rating at a new restaurant, you can do the same for your fleet.
This leaves a good impression on your clients.
Having passed rigorous testing with an official scheme, your clients are more likely to acknowledge your business as having high standards. Individuals are more likely to trust their time and money with companies that are accredited for their high standards. This is where the accredited stamp/sticker comes in. Subconsciously, these are often interpreted as a verification check.
How Do You Make Sure That You Keep Your FORS Accreditation?
Becoming a member also means that you may be pushed even harder to uphold industry standards. To keep your bronze, silver or gold accreditation, you will need to maintain, as mentioned above, thorough safety, efficiency and environmental standards.
If businesses are serious about maintaining their FORS accreditation, fleet tracking or truck tracking software comes in and can help in many areas.
Read More: What Is Fleet Tracking?
How Can Fleet Tracking Help With Safety?
Good fleet tracking software gives you an overview into each of your vehicle’s speed history. This means that as a fleet operator, you know with certainty which vehicle was speeding, when and where.
Read More: How Does Fleet Management Ensure Safety?
Moreover, fleet tracking software also comes with driver identification. This means that you also know which driver was driving over the speed limit. As a result, fleet tracking gives the working relationship between a fleet operator and driver a sense of transparency. If the driver knows that speeding is marked, they are less likely to.
For Beginners & Intermediates: Free Fleet Manager Guide
What About Efficiency?
Fleet tracking software also comes equipped with special features to improve your fleet’s efficiency. This includes monitoring systems that are based on alerts to a web application. This helps you to identify vehicle misuse and prevent employees from using your company vehicles for their own needs.
It also helps to enhance your vehicle’s route planning. Vehicle tracking software also calculates the most efficient possible routes for your vehicles. These routes update thanks to real-time GPS technology, meaning that if the original route is blocked by an unforeseen road accident, your new route is calculated in a matter of seconds.
And Environmental Standards?
You can help maintain your FORS online accreditation by improving your environmental standards. Fundamentally, vehicle tracking software helps to reduce your mileage and fuel costs. Therefore, less time on the road means less time that your vehicles emit CO2 into the atmosphere.
Furthermore, fleet tracking software also provides you with fuel consumption information. An accumulation of vehicle data may influence you to switch to an electric fleet. Switching to an electric fleet is an environmentally-friendly option, which helps to maintain your FORS online accreditation. Switching to electric company cars is also a great way to reduce your company car tax since CO2 emissions are a direct factor in how much company car tax you pay.
Read More: Switching To Electric Company Cars
Conclusion: Maintain Your FORS Accreditation With Vimcar
Gaining and maintaining high company standards and a good FORS online accreditation can seem like a daunting task – but it doesn’t have to me. Vimcar, with its industry-leading Fleet Geo fleet tracking solution, is there to give fleet operators greater control over their operations and improve their standards.
Fleet Geo helps maintain high fleet operational standards, saving your business time, money and allowing it to grow. Contact us today to arrange your personalised Vimcar package from as little as £7.90 per vehicle.
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Any organisation that involves some degree of fleet management will benefit from participating with the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme. More commonly known as FORS, this accreditation scheme provides a range of resources to help monitor fleet operations and improve performance across the board. FORS online membership may be voluntary, but any organisation within the transport sector looking to improve standards when it comes to road safety, fuel efficiency and green credentials will benefit from engaging with the scheme.
More top tips for your FORS online accreditation
FORS Online Accreditation: From Bronze To Silver And Gold
Getting started with FORS online is straightforward. To kick things off, you’ll need to register your organisation with the FORS online scheme. Once a company has registered, FORS will perform an initial audit to determine whether or not an organisation meets the criteria for bronze accreditation. If a company fails to meet the criteria for bronze accreditation, FORS online will suggest where improvements can be made. After this point, businesses can submit their application for a second audit. After initial registration, bronze accreditation must be attained within 90 days.
Fleets will need to actively work to maintain their bronze accreditation before they can think about pursuing silver or gold status. To secure a silver status, fleets will need to be compliant with Work Related Road Risk (WRRR) safety standards, as well as meet the basic requirements of the CLOCS Standard.
Once silver status has been attained, fleets can look forward to securing gold accreditation. In order to achieve this top-tier level of accreditation, fleets need be able to demonstrate significant performance improvements over the silver standard. What’s more, fleets need to be actively promoting the FORS online standard throughout key areas of operation. Self-monitoring is crucial for any fleet looking to achieve gold accreditation.
FORS Online Benefits For Drivers
Many drivers choose to pursue FORS online training to improve their overall driving standards. Even experienced drivers choose to continue FORS online education to ensure high levels of driving are maintained throughout their careers. In addition to improving in-depth driving knowledge, FORS online training offers specific qualifications that can greatly benefit those involved in the commercial driving sector.
For example, anyone regularly driving routes in urban centres and heavily populated areas should definitely consider Safe Urban Driving (SUD) training. This particular course allows drivers to anticipate and better handle the specific demands and hazards experienced when driving in urbanised locations.
Drivers who have committed to FORS online training will almost certainly benefit from increased productivity during their work hours. Business owners also reap the rewards of safer, more responsible driving. There is likely to be less instances of speeding or dangerous driving that might incur fines. What’s more, fleet operatives adhering to safe driving practices are far less likely to be involved in traffic accidents. This not only negates the impact of driver and vehicle downtime in the event of an accident, but also helps keep insurance premiums to a minimum.
FORS Champions Explained
In short, a FORS champion is any organisation that actively promotes the FORS online accreditation scheme. In addition to promoting the scheme, would-be FORS champions should also be leading the field when it comes to improving driving standards in the commercial driving sector. Any organisation deemed a FORS champion needs to be exemplary when it comes to safety standards, efficiency and environmentally-friendly operation.
Contractors or fleets looking to become FORS champions need to fulfil some strict criteria. One option is for an organisation to ensure that FORS online best practice standards are adhered to throughout their operations. This includes within supply chains, as well as in day-to-day business activity.
Would-be FORS champions also need to actively promote FORS principles to other entities engaged with their business. It’s not enough for FORS champions to simply meet base-level criteria. In order to maintain authority as a FORS champion, an organisation will need to conduct rigorous monitoring to ensure standards are being maintained.
How Can Fleet Efficiency Benefit From FORS Online Accreditation?
Complying with and promoting the core FORS online principles brings obvious benefits to organisations and fleet efficiency levels. By promoting a culture of safer and more efficient driving, businesses can significantly reduce their carbon emissions and reap the financial rewards of lower overall fuel costs.
However, FORS online provides an exhaustive range of additional benefits to operators looking to fine-tune the efficiency of their fleets. Performance management tools can help fleet operators refine safety standards, while making quick gains to overall efficiency. More targeted tools such as fuel usage trackers are also useful for keeping an eye on fuel consumption throughout a fleet and highlighting any problem drivers or vehicles within an operation.