While mandatory training within the transport and logistics industry is nothing new, it’s important that fleet managers for haulage companies not only ensure their drivers are correctly certified in the first place, but also that they are up to date with their training in order to remain compliant.

FORS (the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) has recently introduced some new training requirements, with the view to raising and maintaining industry operational standards. The announcement of the changes came at the Annual Members’ Conference, in front of 450 delegates who had gathered for the third edition of what’s fast becoming a premier industry event.

So, what do the changes in Version 5 of the FORS Standard mean for drivers and haulage companies? Read on to find out.

New Requirements for a Changing World

The changes to the mandatory training are designed to address a number of issues that may concern the way haulage companies operate, including:

•The threat of terrorism
•Encompassing a greater range of vehicles
•The improvement of air quality

The director of FORS, John Hix, stressed that the changes will help fleet managers and drivers not only to stay up to date with important legislation, but also furnish them with the knowledge and skills to ensure best possible practice across every level of their operations.

In a Nutshell

To maintain FORS Bronze level, currently drivers are required to have undertaken a safety eLearning module in the preceding 12 months. In the updated requirements, Bronze members must now, in addition, complete a Security and Counter Terrorism module within the past 24 months.

For Silver level drivers, the new mandatory standard means they must have completed a professional LoCITY Time to Clean Up eLearning module in a preceding 24-month period.

Gold level accredited HGV members must complete a LoCITY Driving course in the classroom, while fleet managers (or the nominated person) must be either working towards or have attained (depending on whether it’s a Gold level approval or re-approval) the qualification of FORS Practitioner, within the past five years.

While it doesn’t usually apply to haulage companies’ operations, Gold level members who operate passenger-carrying fleets are now required to undertake an approved environmental awareness course within the past five years.

Be Prepared

The FORS Standard is of the utmost importance to the transport industry. It is updated every second year so it remains a comprehensive and definitive accreditation system, with members able to achieve Bronze, Silver or Gold level membership.

The new mandatory industry training comes into effect in January 2019, and all fleet managers and individual drivers are encouraged to make sure they are prepared and compliant well before the January 14 date.

For transport professionals, the training programmes offered by FORS via convenient eLearning modules as well as lessons in the classroom afford a complete package. They allow drivers and fleet managers access to training in legislation and practicable skills to ensure safety, compliance and best practice across the board.

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage companies or self-employed drivers with jobs in road transport and haulage work. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

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