External standards can be very useful to all fleets in terms of managing, documenting and proving best practice and compliance. There are many different standards available to operators, and some will be more applicable or useful to your operation than others. We will highlight some of the most common and provide more details about their focus and next steps.
Which audited management standards are applicable to my fleet?
It’s worth noting that if you run commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, the priority for all fleet managers must to be to ensure that the fleet complies with all Operator Licence undertakings and relevant regulation.
Although most standards involve an audit of good operational practice, not all explicitly include every legal requirement. External standards are an enhancement of daily legal compliance, and not a replacement for it.
Equally, some standards, such as Earned Recognition, essentially ask operators to prove legal compliance. This is an excellent ambition. However the function of law is to set a minimum standard for that which we must, or must not, do in order to serve the public good. Best practice in risk reduction will generally exceed legal expectations.
Standards are useful for:
What are the benefits of implementing management standards?
By driving continuous improvement, and giving the business deadlines and external scrutiny, standards can help fleets to achieve all kinds of business benefits. Companies which manage their road risk can expect to benefit from:
- Fewer collisions and near misses
- Less incidental or insured vehicle damage
- Potentially lower insurance premiums
- Lower uninsured loss
- Less unscheduled downtime
- Better brand protection
- Lower fuel costs
ISO 39001 is the template for best practice road traffic safety management in an organisational context. ISO 39001 addresses the contribution that can be made by organisations to prevent avoidable death and serious injury across the road traffic system. While ISO 39001 provides direction on key safety issues and a strong focus on achieving better results for the interim and long-term, it does not prescribe specific safety measures. These are left for the organisation to determine through safety management processes. The most reported benefits are increased awareness and interest on the part of top management in addressing road safety, as well as reduced costs to the organisation, including repair bills and insurance premiums and improved corporate image.
More information about the standard can be found at https://www.iso.org/files/live/sites/isoorg/files/developing_standards/docs/en/ISO_39001_Startup_Guide_2017-06.pdf
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) Earned Recognition scheme is a voluntary scheme for all operators who can demonstrate a strong track record of compliance and adherence to the standards. Operators must be able to show that they have robust systems and processes that promote effective and proactive transport management. The scheme is designed to work for operators of all sizes. The scheme ensures that compliant operators with DVSA Earned Recognition status obtain best business value from the enforcement regime and enables DVSA to divert its resource to target the seriously and serially non-compliant where the risks to road safety are highest.
More information about the standard can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dvsa-earned-recognition-guidance-and-forms
The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme is a voluntary standard run for Transport for London by Sopra Steria. The scheme’s aim is to raise the level of quality within fleet operations and to demonstrate exemplary level of best practice in safety, efficiency, and environmental protection.
The scheme provides a quality and performance benchmark for operators of vans, heavy goods and passenger carrying vehicles. It has three levels – Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
More information about the standard can be found at https://www.fors-online.org.uk
CLOCS is a national Standard for ensuring the safest construction vehicle journeys. It is the direct result of collaboration between the construction and fleet sectors to address shared issues. It draws together evolving and applied best practice from several standards, policies, and codes of practice to provide one industry standard that can be implemented by regulators, clients, principal contractors, and fleet operators. Operators who have FORS Silver will be CLOCS compliant.
More information about the standard can be found at https://www.clocs.org.uk
Mission Zero is a quality standard for all types and sizes of vehicles. It is a scheme designed for organisations to adopt a roadmap towards the vision of zero collisions, zero emissions and zero prohibitions. The standard covers a wide range of road transport law and industry good practice. Operators are required to demonstrate compliance in five key management areas of an operation.
More information about the standard can be found at https://missionzero.org.uk
Van Excellence is a voluntary standard aimed at van fleets of all sizes. Run by Logistics UK, it has been developed to allow van operators to demonstrate a best practice framework and that their standards meet the requirements of the audit standards. member fleets to ensure they apply best practice to the operation and maintenance of their vans and drivers.
More information about the standard can be found at https://logistics.org.uk/vanexcellence
The CHAS (The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) Vehicle Compliance Scheme is a road risk accreditation to help clients and contractors to improve their levels of legal compliance. It aims to share best practice and demonstrate the business benefits of managing work-related road risk more effectively for those who drive, supply, and deliver for work using light commercial vehicles weighing 3.5 tonnes or less.
More information about the standard can be found at https://www.chas.co.uk