For the third year running, FORS has confirmed there will be no change to its pricing for subscription and audits.
The move’s expected to boost the appeal of the scheme to smaller operators. By building on the momentum of the decision to scrap Gold evidencing fees, FORS is proving its value to operators of 1-3 vehicles.
As of January 1st 2018, the Gold-level evidencing fee of £235 was no longer levied against smaller operators. The intention was to make operational best practice more cost-effective for firms with less than 4 vehicles.
FORS Fees – An Ongoing Effort
It’s no secret that FORS fees have long been a deterrent to smaller operators looking to pursue accreditation. Recently, however, the scheme’s implemented changes to reverse this perspective.
As touted in UK Haulier among others, FORS has been working hard to stimulate interest in continued compliance. In 2017, the scheme injected its membership package with further value. The additions included:
- New FORS Driver Licence Checking Service
- New FORS Audit Toolkit (to assist with initial Bronze applications)
- 8 new funded training courses
- 8 new eLearning modules
FORS Director, John Hix, highlighted the ground made by the scheme. In a statement, he suggested the scheme’s efforts to encourage ambitious smaller operators to seek higher tiers of compliance has helped FORS to develop ‘a wide range of meaningful member benefits’. He added:
“We recognise too the ever increasing costs that operators must bear, and our price freeze, we hope, goes some way to easing the pressure.
“FORS really is gaining traction with operators up and down the UK. Over two-thirds of our membership is outside of the M25, with a growing number emerging overseas. It proves…that the fundamental FORS message of operational best practice resonates with operators regardless of their location and irrespective of their fleet makeup.”
FORS & Earned Recognition: Double-Threat
Additionally, the emergence of FORS alongside the beginning of Earned Recognition may be seen as an opportunity by savvy operators. With FORS fees becoming ever more affordable, firms will have more money to spend on strengthening their system. One particularly important aspect a business should look at before it applies for its first Bronze audit is efficient operator compliance software. By installing a system that satisfies both the criteria of both FORS Bronze membership and Earned Recognition, an operator will be perfectly poised to ensure optimum compliance going forward.