Jacqueline O’Donovan on the importance of GSAG
O’Donovan Waste managing director promotes FORS Governance and Standards Advisory Group
FURTHER to her stint as a guest speaker at the recent Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) annual conference, Jacqueline O’Donovan, managing director of O’Donovan Waste Disposal, has continued to promote the FORS Governance and Standards Advisory Group (GSAG), in order to demystify its purpose and benefits.
FORS is a voluntary accreditation scheme for fleet operators which aims to raise the level of quality within fleet operations, and to demonstrate those operators who are achieving exemplary levels of best practice in safety, efficiency, and environmental protection.
Whilst GSAG does not have a direct role in the day-to-day management of FORS, it was established to consist of a credible and technically competent group of people able to input to the development of the FORS Standard.
The group members are tasked with recommending changes, improvements, and additions to the scheme, shaping the standard and ensuring it is robust so that it promotes continuous improvement and remains relevant to industry needs, whilst being compatible with all relevant legislation and compliance.
Ms O’Donovan (pictured) feels that it is vital that the independent GSAG panel consists of representatives from across a variety of businesses and fleet sizes in the transport sector and is keen to ensure that other SMEs join.
‘It’s vital that SMEs are encouraged to join so they get to voice their opinions, challenges, and make recommendations to enable the standard to be adopted and relevant,’ she commented.
Ms O’Donovan has always been vocal about the benefits and structure that being a FORS operator can bring. Her family business, O’Donovan Waste, has been a FORS Gold operator for more than 11 years since becoming the first independent operator to achieve the gold standard back in 2011.
‘Since we first registered for FORS and progressed from Bronze to Gold, we have improved operations significantly as we looked at costs and practices in a totally different way which has enabled us to grow, train, exceed best practice, and improve our bottom line,’ she said.
‘The access to training and support provided, not only to drivers but management, really enhances the way a haulier works and is a huge benefit to any business. Any scheme that can make the roads a safer place and encourage people to join our industry has to be a winner.’
FORS concession director Ian Henderson said: ‘O’Donovan Waste Disposal is a true exemplar in the waste and recycling sector, demonstrating how a genuine commitment to a safe, efficient, and environmentally protective fleet operation can deliver tangible benefits.
‘I’m very proud to know that FORS has been an integral part of O’Donovan’s journey to becoming a leader in its field, and with Jacqui O’Donovan at the helm, I’m confident the company will extend its fantastic 11-year status as a FORS Gold accredited operator.’
He added: ‘Jacqui has also taken the time to describe the benefits of FORS accreditation to the wider industry, regardless of their fleet size and make-up, as evidenced by her presentation and role on the GSAG panel slot at our FORS Annual Conference.
‘Her commitment to FORS has been fantastic and I’m looking forward to her invaluable contribution as we look to transform the scheme over the coming months and years.’
GSAG chairman Steve Agg commented: ‘FORS is a unique, industry-led accreditation scheme open to all fleet operators. Member companies commit to operate to higher standards than the normal requirements across a range of areas including fleet operations, the environment, and road safety.
‘The FORS logo is a sign of distinction for those operators who seek to differentiate their business and allows them to demonstrate their commitment to the highest possible operational standards.’