Fleet Matters Ltd
A better way - an easier way to achieve FORS
Telephone: 07845 407064
Email: info@fleetmatters.org
FAFQs - Frequently asked FORS questions
You'll find a lot of useful information here about FORS, how it works and the various processes and stages involved in getting FORS.  To help you find what you want more quickly, I've put some links below.  It should make finding answers easy.  I will look at adding more links later.  If, like me, you prefer to speak to someone and ask a question, just email or call:   07845 407 064  

So, QUICK links to common questions:
  1. FORS - easily, efficiently
  2. FORS - before registering, what it means
  3. FORS - registered - what next
  4. FORS Audit - before, during and after
  5. FORS Silver - hints and tips


Is FORS easy to achieve?

YES, if you use my Bronze Manual, and follow the system.


How do I pass a FORS Audit easily?

Give them exactly what FORS wants, no more, no less. Keep it simple.


What is your system?

A FORS v5.0 Bronze Manual, fully aligned to the Bronze Standard, so all you do is adopt it and implement it.  It's that simple.


What is in your FORS Control Manual?

Your manual contains:

  • All the Policies required by FORS.
  • All the Risk Assessments required by FORS.
  • All the Method Statements required by FORS.
  • Other items required by FORS.
  • Step by step instructions for action required by FORS.
  • Checklists for the actions required by FORS, so you miss nothing.

All fully satisfying the current standard. For more details, click here.


Why is it so easy?

My manual is the only FORS Manual perfectly matched to the Standard. Recently, an Auditor apologised to my client for not speaking for a while. He said “I’m not ignoring you, I don’t need to ask questions, it’s all in here”. “In here” referred to my FORS Bronze Manual.
 

What's the benefit of keeping it simple?

Simple saves you time, money and effort.  It's EASY to start and EASY to maintain. Complex and costly is unnecessary, harder to understand and harder to maintain.


What do I need to know before registering?

Find out what FORS requires before you register - once you are registered, you are automatically enrolled and the countdown clock will start, giving you 90 days to pass your audit. That's less than 90 working days to:

  • Get all the Risk Assessments in place
  • Get all the Policies in place
  • Get all the Method Statements in place
  • Get all the support systems and processes in place
  • Get all the third-party documents in place
  • Get all the manadtory staff training done
It sounds like a lot, and it can seem complicated, but it is actually quite simple to achieve. And remember - My FORS Bronze Manual contains all the forms and documents plus all the extra information required by FORS, all ready for you to use.

I have registered with FORS - what next?
  1. You have to satisfy all the points above
  2. You have to pass an audit within 90 days

How often do you update your manual?

I only update the manual when the FORS standard changes, and that is about every two years.


Do you provide an update service?

Yes - BUT the FORS standard is only updated every two years. If there are any genuine FORS changes or genuine FORS additions, I will let you know.
 

How much does this "update" service cost?

Because there are hardly any genuine FORS updates, and these can all be found on the FORS website anyway, there is no charge.
 

What support do you provide?

I offer a totally flexible, multi-option support package so that you get whatever level and type support you need to prepare for and pass your FORS audit.  So, a bespoke FORS Bronze or Silver Manual, all the forms and documents FORS requires, on site support meetings with you or your transport manager, telephone advice, email advice.  

I'll work with you to make the whole FORS process easy and simple to pass.  I'll explain what you need to do, why you need to do it and how to do it.  If you require, I can work through the process with you.  

What I DO NOT provide - A service or a product that you do not need, that FORS does not require.
 

Haven't we met before?  I've been told you've retired?

Having been in the industry for many years, we may have met.  Retired?  Regarding the many recent calls about my supposed retirement, let me clarify, I didn't retire - I re-invented. I developed a better way. 
Having developed a better, easier way of achieving and keeping FORS, I can only deliver that better service independently. I'm busy working with my very happy clients to pass their FORS audits very easily. 

So, if you'd like to do things more easily, do less work to get or keep FORS, and save time, save money, save effort in the process, and become a happy client, give me a call and let's set you on the better way. 


Audit management
When we work together, I will micromanage every aspect of your audit experience to ensure a positive outcome.  

BEFORE:
  1. The Auditor should contact you at least 2 days before the audit, although 19 hours is the shortest notice I have encountered. If this happens to you, don't worry, we will manage it.
  2. Start time is 09:00, but this can be flexible. Whatever time we agree, if an auditor is late, let's be reasonable and be patient. The auditor is human, and can suffer car problems and traffic congestion like anyone else, and will usually try to let you know. Keep the kettle boiling and don't eat all the biscuits.
  3. They will have conducted a number of checks on you and your business prior to attending. Don't worry, we will have conducted all those checks already, and it will be fine.
DURING:
  1. The auditor will work their way through the audit report form, you will be invited be invited to provide documents required by FORS as evidence.
  2. Usually the auditor will mention the evidence they're noting, and check they have all the information they require before moving on to the next section.
  3. Only one auditor didn't do this, and submitted a report with numerous omissions and errors. In addition, the auditor made a number of bizarre requirements outside the standard. This was easily dealt with. As I've been working with the same system for five years, we were able to show where the auditor had got it so badly wrong. Thankfully this is rare.
  4. The auditor is not allowed to tell you whether they think you have passed or failed.
  5. But don't worry - we will know. 
AFTER:
  1. The auditor submits their report, this is checked for quality control.
  2. My clients get their pass notification within 10 days.
  3. Then we celebrate.
MAJOR ACTION POINTS:
  1. MAJOR action points must be rectified within 30 days of receiving the result. Any single MAJOR action point automatically triggers a MAJOR action point at M1 - so you will have two MAJOR.
  2. When you rectify the MAJOR action point, it doesn't go away - it becomes a MINOR, and will be looked at again at the next audit. It's FORS' way of noting that you've had a problem, put it right, and making sure you've kept it right.
MINOR ACTION POINTS:
  1. MINOR action points should be rectified within 90 days of receiving the result. These will be checked at your next audit.
  2. Currently FORS are not enforcing the 90 days time limit, but they will be looked at during the next audit. It's their way of noting you've had a problem, and making sure you've kept it right.
  3. Sometimes the auditor's comments make no sense whatsoever, it's just a word salad, in which case we ignore it.
APPEALS - To appeal or not to appeal? That is the question:
  1. I will only advise you to appeal if you have genuine grounds for appeal, if it's worth the effort, and if it will make a difference.
  2. I won't waste time, effort and expense to gain or change nothing.

What are the auditors like?

Having met many auditors over the years, some, many times, I've built up good working relationships with them based on mutual trust and respect.  They're all professional industry experts with considerable experience, and genuinely nice people as well. They want you to pass your audit, because we all have an interest in making the industry safer and more compliant.

It's nice for all sides to meet a familiar face at audit.   The auditor will know our system, and that it contains all that FORS requires.  They'll have a straightforward audit. It'll make their job so much easier.   
 

SILVER
FORS Silver tips and hints
  1. It's easy to achieve FORS Silver if you provide what is asked for, and keep the process simple.
  2. I can supply a FORS Simple Silver Solution with all the forms and documents and wording you need to achieve Silver.
  3. The published timings for Silver are only a guideline.
  4. If you're a bit late don't worry, FORS likes you to pass and stay enrolled.
  5. Annex 2 training requirements - have some flexibility.
  6. Use two computers to do your application, the site has a habit of losing information, and has been doing this for years.
  7. You need to be able to insert data and upload forms, then check that it has actually loaded successfully.
  8. The site may show "application successfully saved", BUT it may not be.
  9. Inability to upload documents is a frequent problem.
  10. You can call the Helpline 55p a minute and they will upload documents for you.
  11. 55p a minute? Yes as of 07/11/19, but it's worth it rather than waste ages trying to overcome the site failings.
  12. Top Tip - copy and paste all your free text into a word document and save it, then when the site refuses it all or loses it all, you can go back and copy it in again and again and... well, you get the idea.
  13. When assisting clients with Silver we have two computers going, and rations for a fortnight.
  14. Using two computers is also useful if you need to log out or the site logs you out - it happens - to get back in so you don't lose what you were trying to put in.

Can you bribe an auditor?

No - but a generous plate of biscuits and enough tea and coffee on demand will ensure we keep them on side.


How many meetings does it take to prepare for and pass a FORS audit?

Generally, three meetings plus audit support should be sufficient to prepare you for your FORS audit. If you need additional support, I can provide that.


How many types of Bronze audit are there?

Three - and you won't know which type you'll get until the day.
 

Can you provide support at our audit?

Yes, I can be present and support you at audit to ensure you achieve a pass.
 

We've failed our audit, can you help us with an appeal?

Yes, we will look at why you failed, and objectively establish if you have grounds for appeal against a FORS Audit failure.
 

Why should we consider having an independent advisor at the audit?

There are a number of reasons why you will benefit from having an independent adviser at your audit. It's understandable to be nervous at an audit, and this can lead to evidence being missed or information being misrepresented.  Sometimes auditors miss evidence or make a mistake.  I will control and manage the audit process for you:

  • To ensure that all the evidence required is produced.
  • To ensure that unnecessary or commercially sensitive information is not revealed.
  • To ensure that the audit is to the Standard, there are no “extras” asked for.
  • To ensure that no other information is sought.
  • AND if something is overlooked by the auditor, or they make a mistake, I'll ensure it is brought to their attention and put right.
 
Why don't you charge for Driver Handbooks?

Currently, FORS only requires that you have one handbook available for your drivers. I provide a free copy of the relevant FTA Handbook for your fleet.
 

Do you supply a Highway Code?

I can supply Highway Code - or a relevant web link - to be available for all your drivers.



Fors Audit assistance makes it as simple as ABC
 


The FORS Audit help and assistance to suit your situation
 


We keep our system simple, making it quicker and easier to implement the FORS Audit support we provide
 


The support and advice you need for your FORS audit
 

For any questions or enquiries, please do get in touch
by email at info@fleetmatters.org
or call 07845 407064

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