Northern Ireland haulier becomes 1,500th FORS Practitioner

FORS member Linda Lutton from Dumfries Freight in Northern Ireland has become the 1,500th FORS Practitioner.

The first FORS Practitioner qualification was awarded in April 2012, and its popularity among FORS members in the last seven years has resulted in the 1,500th FORS Practitioner milestone.

FORS Practitioner training consists of a series of ten workshops for managers and support staff working in road transport.  A qualified FORS Practitioner is fully versed in what a business needs to meet the requirements of FORS and is best placed to embed this best practice within their organisation, to deliver tangible safety, environmental and commercial benefits.

Linda Lutton, Office Manager at Newry-based Dumfries Freight Ltd, and Transport Assistant Orla Davidson, both completed the qualification together, meaning the 1,499th and 1,500th FORS Practitioners share the same office.

Family-owned haulage company Dumfries Freight has been in operation since 1990 and first gained FORS Bronze accreditation in 2018.  The company is an industry leader in tipper transportation and operates across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as running a cross-channel service linking customers to Great Britain.

Linda Lutton has been working in the business since 2006 as office manager, where part of her role included implementing the FORS accreditation, with Orla Davidson joining in April 2018 to assist in the transport office.

Linda Lutton said: “The job has changed over the past number of years with more technology now available to measure performance across the business. These measurements have allowed us to now manage the business more effectively.

“Becoming FORS Practitioners offered us the opportunity to enhance our knowledge of FORS.  Orla was new into the industry and it gave her a chance to gain further insight into how to develop and improve systems within the office environment.”

The company says completing the FORS Practitioner workshops has expanded the number of partners they now work with, for whom FORS accreditation is deemed a sign of competence and dedication to excellence.

Lutton added: “Customers see we are a business that runs safely, efficiently and in an environmentally conscious manner. But not only are our clients benefitting from our qualifications, the business is too – we’ve developed our thinking to help us make clear improvements both on the road and in the office thanks to FORS.”

FORS Practitioner training is delivered in ten half-day units, providing a complete package of fleet management learning, including managing work related road risk, safe and efficient fleet utilisation, reducing fuel use and minimising fines and charges.

Individuals may complete the ten workshops in any order and at a pace that suits them, with each session counting as 2.5 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours – taking part in all ten workshops equates to three complete days of CPD training.

Northern Ireland FORS Manager, Peter Morrow added: “Congratulations to Linda and Orla and the team at Dumfries.  Reaching 1,500 FORS Practitioners is a huge milestone for the scheme, and really shows that FORS members see the benefit of supporting their staff to achieve this qualification.”

For more information on becoming FORS, please click here. For information on FORS Practitioner workshops, please click here.