Following a recent audit, the Knights of Old group has sucessfully maintained the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) bronze standard requirement at its Kettering headquarters. Originally achieving FORS Bronze status in 2010, maintaining the standard is testament to the groups ongoing committment to safety, training, and emissions reduction.
‘FORS’ is a voluntary scheme for fleet operators and is widely regarded as the industry standard in operating (safety, environment and efficiency) practice focusing on four main areas: management, vehicles, drivers and operations.
This standard has been driven increasingly by the groups customers making it strategically important that Knights of Old does its upmost to maintain standards and compliance. From the drivers, transport managers to the driver trainers and the Knights of Old fleet itself, ‘FORS’ standards have an increasingly important role in the industry.
Speaking on behalf of Knights of Old Kettering, Tony Quenet, Compliance Manager said: “The Bronze standard is based on procedures and controls around our transport operation. It provides reassurances that our operation is being run safely, efficiently and in an environmentally sound manner.”
‘FORS’ is broken down into three standards: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each standard demands different requirements and as a result different levels of investments. While the FORS Bronze award does not require heavy investment from a vehicle point of view, it does require high operating standards. “This standard complements our existing ISO standards. As a result we have a lot of the ‘FORS’ requirements already in place. One of the reasons for this is that Knights of Old group already puts a lot of focus on staff training and driver fitness and health.” Added Quenet.
The FORS standard also puts particular focus on vulnerable road users and the safety of other road users like cyclists. Since October 2014 a new requirement (V7) was included in the FORS Bronze standard in order to align with the Safer Lorry Scheme. ‘FORS’ operators are expected to demonstrate evidence at audit that all applicable vehicles meet the ‘V7 – Vulnerable road user safety’ requirement. For example one requirement is that a vehicle must be fitted with safety warning stickers to remind cyclists of blind spots. Tony Quenet concluded: “Precedents set in London were certainly some of the major reasons behind the launch of this standard. However, more and more customers outside London require the FORS standard hence our Kettering, Northampton and Luton are all FORS accredited.”