In a move to encourage more small operators to progress through its best-practice scheme FORS (the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) is to cancel the £238 Gold standard evidencing fee for fleets of up to three vans from 1 January 2018.

Anne Johnson, FORS operations director, said: “The decision to scrap the evidencing fee for smaller operators will be a welcome saving for many and we anticipate the move will provide an incentive for more smaller operators to progress through to FORS Gold status and to enjoy the many benefits that exemplary levels of best practice can bring.”

Meanwhile FORS is to stiffen up its compliance procedures by cutting the period between mandatory FORS Bronze re-approval audits for Gold accredited members from three to two years – this change is also effective from the new year.

Gold members are obliged to undertake Bronze re-approval audits in order to maintain their accreditation.

The move will affect operators applying for Gold for the first time as well as existing Gold members. The decision was taken by the FORS Executive Group (part of GSAG, the scheme’s Governance of Standards Advisory Group), after it deemed a three-year period between on-site audits was ‘simply too long’.

The annual process to renew FORS Gold and FORS Silver accreditation through the online evidencing system remains unchanged.