The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has announced that its Van Excellence scheme is to be recognised by Transport for London (TfL) as meeting the contractual requirements of its work related road risk clauses.

The FTA claimed this means London-based operators can now choose Van Excellence as an alternative compliance scheme to the Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), which until the end of 2014 had been run by TfL since its inception in 2008.

Prior to TfL transferring FORS to be operated as a concession by the FORS Community Partnership (FCP) led by AECOM, the two schemes shared an equivalence of audit, under which an operator recognised by one scheme would also comply with the other. But at this point the FORS standard changed and no longer recognised Van Excellence as equivalent.

According to the FTA, following 18 months of negotiations, it has now reached an accord with TfL to enable the schemes to co-exist.

James Hookham, the FTA’s deputy chief executive, told What Van?: “It is the solution we were looking for, TfL has its standards and is prepared to accept Van Excellence audits as meeting its standard.”

Ian Wainwright, head of Freight and Fleet at TfL, said: “We recognise the FTA’s Truck and Van Excellence schemes, when supplemented by additional audit items, as compliant with one of our contractual requirements.”