31202Doing Your Bit: Counter-Terrorism in the Courier Industry

For the responsible owner driver, accreditation to FORS (the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) is one of the most accessible and proactive ways of maintaining best practice and compliance within the transport industry. With an extensive range of accreditation pathways covering safety, environmental practices and operational efficiency, FORS plays a vital role in measuring and monitoring the professional performance of their more than 4,700 members.

New Online Security Training Launched

The scheme recently launched their latest training resource: an e-learning module aimed at training in security and counter-terrorism, created in response to an increase in the use of commercial vehicles in terrorist-related incidents. Produced with the support of the DfT (Department for Transport), TfL (Transport for London), the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) and HS2 (the planned high-speed national railway network), the module has been designed to provide training to maximise personal and community safety.

Fleet Source, one of the UK’s leading providers of training for the road transport industry, has revealed that 75% of commercial drivers (including owner driver operators) want appropriate training in counter-terrorism. While the module is principally aimed at lorry and van drivers, other transport industry professionals (including management) are also being encouraged to participate in the training.

Mode and Methods

The training course is delivered entirely online, so anyone – from the owner driver working odd hours to the busy manager or administration staff member – has access to a flexible learning portal. The e-learning module is free to accredited members of FORS and can be completed in around 20 minutes.

The Security and Counter Terrorism training module trains drivers in multiple aspects, with the purpose of focusing them to be cognisant of not only their personal safety and that of the community, but also the potential of vehicles to be used as a weapon. In addition to addressing practical measures, the module is designed to assist drivers in identifying and reporting potential terrorist threats and suspicious activity.

Aspects covered in the module include:

•Identification of suspicious activity and behaviours
•Reduction in the risk of fuel theft
•General vehicle safety and security
•Identification of potential and imminent terrorism
•Personal safety, vehicle attack and hijacking

Supported by the Met

In addition to the collaboration with the abovementioned agencies, the latest FORS learning programme has the committed support of the Metropolitan Police. Spokesman for the counter terror desk for the Met road and transport command, Wayne Watling, said that the threat to the UK that terrorism poses makes the involvement of the Police in the development of the programme essential. He said that the training helps drivers gain the required knowledge to “do their bit” for national security and counter-terrorism and report any suspicious activity as soon as possible.

May the FORS Be With You

For anyone who makes a living as an owner driver in the transport industry, accreditation to FORS provides an easy and accessible route to attaining “exemplary levels of best practice”. For an annual subscription (with different levels of membership available), as well as a range of benefits like offers, discounts, guidance documents and toolkits, the scheme offers free and funded training opportunities that are designed to improve road safety records, increase efficiency and take advantage of networking opportunities.

Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day owner driver courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.

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