ND Brown Ltd has become the first vehicle hire fleet in the UK to gain FORS Vehicle Hire Company accreditation.
This new type of accreditation – part of a trial by FORS – is specifically designed to enable hire and leasing companies to demonstrate that its vehicles meet the FORS Standard.
Under the trial accreditation, it is the hire vehicle itself which is covered by the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) accreditation, only when it is being used by a FORS accredited operator and will allow FORS members using temporary hire vehicles to meet ad-hoc additional demand, to continue to meet FORS requirements.
The new FORS Vehicle Hire Company accreditation will help operators meet requirements set out in the new FORS Standard which stipulates that short term temporary (hire) vehicles employed by FORS operators, must be FORS accredited. It is being trialled at highway maintenance and utility vehicle hire specialist, ND Brown Ltd, which runs a nationwide fleet of over 550 specialist commercial vehicles.
Under the new accreditation, FORS members choosing to hire vehicles from companies with FORS Vehicle Hire Company accreditation will know the vehicles meet FORS Bronze or Silver requirements and are in line with their own best practice standards.
FORS Vehicle Hire Company accreditation is a new type of FORS Associate status, whereby only the vehicles are assessed for compliance. FORS Associate status is offered to suppliers who provide an exclusive offer or discount on products and services aligned to the requirements of the FORS Standard. To qualify, vehicle hire companies who are not FORS members must prove its vehicles are equipped with the FORS mandatory safety equipment and are maintained and managed to the relevant FORS requirements.
Paul Wilkes, FORS Business Services Manager, explained that the ND Brown Ltd trial has been set up to ensure this type of accreditation adds value for existing FORS members.
Wilkes said: “The nature of contractual work is such that many FORS members will use temporary vehicles to meet additional client demand, and so have been asking how these hire vehicles can be recognised as operating to the same standards as their own fleet. I’m delighted that ND Brown Limited is working with us to trial this new type of accreditation. It is testament to the company’s long term commitment to safety standards that they have been able to meet the FORS requirements.”
ND Brown Ltd, which is already a FORS Associate, has successfully completed its FORS Vehicle Hire Company accreditation audit, and can now provide vehicles that meet the FORS Bronze and FORS Silver requirements.
Lee Kind, National Accounts Manager at ND Brown Ltd commented: “Since January 2015, ND Brown Ltd have been committed to the supply of FORS compliant vehicles on a self-drive hire basis to the Highway Maintenance, Utility, Infrastructure and Municipal sectors nationally.
“As a direct reaction to the government’s demands on our industry for clients and their end users to equip all commercial vehicles to a UK wide FORS Standard, and in a bid to raise the level of quality and best practice across the UK’s fleet hire sector, ND Brown Ltd set out to supply vehicles equipped to a minimum FORS Silver Standard.
“Our involvement in the FORS Vehicle Hire Company accreditation trial highlights our commitment to raising the standards of vehicles available to the hire market to the same level as operators have done and is a testament to our foresight and commitment to providing the highest specification vehicles to the latest standards and demands.”