Author Bio ▼

Simon Turner is Campaign Manager at Driving for Better Business and Chairman of the Association for Road Risk Management.
September 5, 2023

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Driving for Better Business Blog: Standards and accreditation

Learn about the benefits of using fleet safety standards and accreditations to improve your road risk management.

Standards and accreditations serve various purposes in terms of fleet safety. They provide an external checklist and structure for ensuring compliance and good practice; they demonstrate good practice, and they usually result in evidentiary trails to document the company’s governance. This covers the three bases of governance – plan, do, record.

Legal compliance

Legal compliance is the foundation of any safety culture but not the whole of it. Some standards processes focus more on legal compliance, including Operator Licence undertakings, than others. Be very clear about what a specific accreditation helps you to achieve and demonstrate.

Standards and external recognition schemes which emphasise legal compliance include Mission Zero, Earned Recognition, and Van Excellence.

Earned Recognition, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) scheme, centres on proving legal compliance, although this is not restricted to transport compliance. It also requires the operator to record and submit its compliance data digitally.

External standards may enhance legal compliance but they cannot replace it.

In-house expertise

Generally the more prescriptive the standard, the easier it is for an organisation without professional fleet management to follow. More prescriptive standards can be a useful stepping stone for companies who are starting to address their road risk.

FORS (the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme), Mission Zero and Van Excellence fall into this category.

ISO 39001 is the international standard for road safety and is a full management system for identifying and managing work related road risk. Although 39001 can be seen as the gold standard for road safety, it does take more in-house resource to implement.

FM Conway IMS & Road Safety Manager Dave Conway, says: “Continual improvement in road safety is a journey. For some companies, prescriptive standards will be a useful stepping stone to creating a full and robust management system which should be the goal for all health and safety professionals.”

Standards are useful for:

  • Providing a framework for managing road risk
  • Setting objectives and continuous improvement plan
  • Proving best practice to existing and potential customers and the community
  • Reinforcing a positive safety culture within your organisation
  • Identifying and filling gaps in your practices and procedures
  • Some organisations stipulate specific accreditations or standards compliance within their contracts to ensure suppliers manage their work-related road risk

Managing road risk effectively will always bring benefits, not least peace of mind and a safer workforce. In addition fleets should see:

  • Fewer collisions and near misses
  • Less vehicle damage
  • Potentially lower insurance premiums
  • Lower uninsured loss, fuel usage and unscheduled downtime
  • Better brand protection

Accreditations to consider:


ISO 39001:2012 is concerned with a robust road traffic safety (RTS) management system.


The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme is a voluntary standard for all fleets. There are three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Its Silver standard is aligned to the CLOCS construction standard.

Van Excellence

Van Excellence is a voluntary standard aimed at van fleets of all sizes, run by Logistics UK.

Earned Recognition

Earned Recognition is run by the DVSA. Road transport operators governed by O-licensing rules can voluntarily submit their compliance data to DVSA’s ER system, thereby proving their legality and reducing the likelihood that their vehicles will be stopped by enforcement officials.

CHAS for Contractors in Transport and Distribution

CHAS (originally the Contractors Health and Safety Scheme) covers 13 key areas of risk management. CHAS goes well beyond road risk to ensure that companies have proper processes in place to protect against scandals, modern slavery, financial malpractice, corruption, environmental damage and much more. This is considered best practice for public sector procurement.

Mission Zero

Mission Zero aims for zero collisions, zero emissions and zero prohibitions. It is accepted (along with FORS Silver) by Transport for London as meeting its work-related road risk requirements.

Driving for Better Safety - Free eBook download

This eBook will guide you through some of the key understandings you need to be able to manage driver safety effectively and, at the end, provide a series of free resources you can access to help you ensure your own driver safety management system is robust, legally compliant and in line with industry-accepted good practice.

Download this eBook from Driving for Better Business and SHP to cover:

  • Why do we need to manage driver safety?
  • Duty of care – a shared responsibility;
  • Setting the rules with a driving for work policy;
  • Managing driver safety;
  • Ensuring safe vehicles;
  • Safe journeys and fitness to drive;
  • Record keeping;
  • Reporting;
  • The business benefits of good practice;
  • Additional resources

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