In this weeks Leading the Way blog, Charlotte Harris, Fleet Manager, explains how she recently achieved FORS Practitioner status and why Bristow & Sutor advocates continuous ongoing development in its employees.
Over to Charlotte …
Last year, Bristow & Sutor achieved FORS Silver status. The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) is a voluntary accreditation scheme which provides an independent benchmark and level of quality within fleet operations. FORS accreditation demonstrates which operators are achieving best practice in safety, efficiency, and environmental protection. In order to achieve Silver accreditation, firms must meet a number of criteria, undergo rigorous analysis, undertake intense training modules and also be compliant with the Work-Related Road Risk (WRRR) standard.
I am delighted to say that following this achievement, my personal development as Fleet Manager at Bristow & Sutor has continued. I have now completed the FORS Practitioner programme and I am proud to be a registered FORS Practitioner, having met the FORS Standard in safe, green and efficient fleet management.
Bristow & Sutor’s commitment to exceeding the industry standard is reflected in this approach to ongoing development opportunities. My continued learning through FORS is set to be of benefit to our clients, such as Transport for London (TfL), as this experience has ensured I am up-to-date and knowledgeable on the very latest ideas, thoughts and approaches.
In order to be recognised as a FORS Practitioner, I was required to complete a series of workshops. These are usually held all over the country, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, all sessions moved to virtual online platforms. This also coincided with members of staff being furloughed and having more available time to undertake learning and development opportunities. Bristow & Sutor are strong advocates of furloughed staff continuing to learn as this has good mental health and wellbeing benefits, as well as ensuring employees are fully prepared and performing to their full potential once they are able to return to work.
Each FORS training session was undertaken with 15-20 other fleet-related professionals from other businesses and sectors. I found this extremely useful as sharing best practice advice often transcends industry and can be applied to a variety of situations and circumstances. Throughout this process, I have learned more about developing fleet management policy, managing work-related road risks, delivering driver training and assessing fitness and health. I was also exposed to collision procedures and analysis, safe and efficient fleet management techniques, insight into reducing fuel use and minimising environmental impacts; as well as minimising transport fines and charges, measuring and monitoring road fleet performance and managing noise in logistics.
Whilst it was necessary for me to complete some of these sessions towards the company’s FORS Silver accreditation, I thought it would be beneficial if I utilised my time productively and took all ten of the workshops on offer. This was fantastic for my own development but would also contribute towards Bristow & Sutor receiving FORS Gold, should the business decide to obtain that accreditation in future.
Training and development is actively encouraged within Bristow & Sutor and when I suggested attempting to obtain FORS Practitioner status, the internal reaction was very positive and encouraging. On a personal level, I was very proud when I recently received my certificate. Having a physical embodiment of the time and hard work I have put into this training is motivating and I can’t wait to put all that I have learned to good use. This felt like a natural progression to my work over the past 3 years. Bristow & Sutor recognises that development is good for employees, which in turn is good for the company and for the customers and clients we serve.
Bristow & Sutor continues striving to provide the best service possible and is committed to its ethos of Cool, Calm and Collected.