IRTE Conference Countdown
The IRTE Conference
27 September 2018

Meet the speaker: Sharon Mitchell, FTA

Sharon Mitchell, manager of standards, audit and accreditation at the Freight Transport Association, shares her insight into the growing role of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) in the transport sector.

Q - What role does the Freight Transport Association (FTA) play in the transport sector?

FTA represents, informs, trains and audits the operators of over half the HGVs in the UK, the consignors of 90 per cent of the rail freight and of 70 per cent of our international trade. Through our effective influence of Government and the wide range of support services we offer we are able to help our members to move goods safely, efficiently and sustainably.

Q - How can an organisation gain membership into the FTA and what benefits does it bring?

FTA Membership is open to any business that operates commercial vehicles or consigns goods by any mode of transport. Memberships starts from as low as £125 for a single vehicle operator. Membership benefits include inputting to FTA policy decisions, access to high quality information services from acknowledged experts and access to training and auditing services that support compliance with legal requirements and best practice.

FTA has grown to over 16,000 members in the past two years demonstrating the quality of our services and the value for money of Membership.

Q - What is the FTA Truck Excellence accreditation scheme?

Truck Excellence is a certification scheme that audits an operator's compliance with their O licence undertakings. It was designed by the industry for the industry and aims to:

  • demonstrate consistent attainment of high levels of compliance by road freight transport operators with the operator licence undertakings
  • create a recognised compliance quality mark for use by members with other parties
  • provide equivalence to comparable schemes and alternative means of achieving them

The benefits for operators who demonstrate the scheme standards include;

  • Increased safety for your drivers and other road users
  • Recognition from the industry, customers and the public for the highest operating standards
  • Reassurance in the legal compliance of your truck fleet
  • A cost-effective solution to compliance

Q - Describe the auditing process that a member needs to undergo to seek accreditation in the scheme.

Operators complete and return a scheme application form providing details of their operation that they are seeking certification for.

Operators must demonstrate they meet the requirements set out in the scheme standards document. This will be achieved in the first instance by passing a systems audit conducted at a location identified as the most appropriate to demonstrate the organisation’s systems. One central systems audit will be carried out provided the operator employs a coherent national standard and the same policies, procedures and systems can be demonstrated throughout the organisation. Otherwise, audits at a number of locations will be required. The audit includes the sampling of vehicle and driver files and records to evidence that the footprint of a system is in place.

Once passed, the scheme certification remains valid for one year from the initial audit, provided the standards continue to be met.

Sharon Mitchell will be speaking at the IRTE Conference on 28th September at Chesford Grange, Hotel, in the morning session 'The new world of compliance: Truck Excellence, CLOCS, FORS and safer operations' - for more informative visit

Chris Rixson

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