ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE: GSAG: lifting the lid on FORS’ advisory group

Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Governance and Standards Advisory Group, or GSAG as it is more commonly known, exists to be a credible and technically competent industry representative body that performs a core role in developing the FORS Standard. GSAG is the ultimate body overseeing the scheme’s governance and is a key element in maintaining the integrity and relevance of FORS on behalf of fleet operators – including van operators – specifiers and the public we serve.

The GSAG membership is made up of FORS Accredited Operators, Specifiers, trade associations, and industry-relevant public and professional bodies. We strive to build a diverse membership of stakeholders who are supportive of the scheme’s aim to improve all aspects of fleet operations for the benefit of society at large.

Organisations that are interested in joining GSAG are required to write to and give an explanation as to why they’d like to join. The process from there is managed by Steer Group, the FORS Governance and Standard service provider. Steer has responsibility for managing various working groups, including GSAG and FORS Executive Group. For more information, visit the FORS website (

When I engaged with FORS and with GSAG I wanted to help generate a more positive profile for the transport profession – both in terms of the businesses and the people working within it. FORS offers a publicly visible means for fleet operators and transport specifiers to show that they care passionately about our environment and the safety and efficiency of all that they do. 

FORS has become an established mark of quality, recognised among van operators and beyond, and as such remains an essential component in enabling users of transport to select the very best fleet operators.

Many readers will no doubt be aware of the recent news that Transport for London has granted ‘equivalency’ to alternative schemes. I understand the rationale because competition is essential to any business in driving innovation and combatting the complacency that monopoly can breed. 

What I disagree with, however, is the catch-all term ‘equivalency’ being used in respect of schemes that are only truly ‘equivalent’ to FORS in specific areas – in this case as they pertain to compliance with TfL’s Work Related Road Risk initiative. To me, this causes confusion in the marketplace and doesn’t serve the overall aim of raising standards in fleet operations.  

Truly equivalent competitor schemes are welcome, as any initiative to improve standards should be, but only FORS offers the comprehensive operational standard that fleet operators and specifiers have demanded since 2008. There is no doubt in my mind that FORS remains unparalleled for those operators who want to clearly demonstrate that they hold themselves to the most rigorous standard across a broad range of operational areas.

For more information on FORS Professional training, visit



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