Eighty seven companies have achieved gold Fors accreditation since its nationwide roll out in February this year.

The scheme has seen a 129% rise in the number of companies achieving gold accreditation in the period, with over 21,700 vehicles now accredited with the Fors gold standard.

The accreditation scheme, which aims to improve safety, reduce emissions and raise industry standards, offers three levels; bronze, silver and gold.

Operators must demonstrate exceptional performance in road safety, reducing emissions and a commitment to raising industry standards to achieve the Fors gold standard.

Steve Agg, Fors governance and standards advisory group chairman, said: “We are delighted with this rapid growth in Gold accredited operators.

"This demonstrates the industry’s commitment to raising standards. We will work with current and new organisations to ensure that more operators graduate through the scheme and that the benefits of Fors are experienced nationwide.”

Fors said that scheme uptake since the scheme became self-funded had been “remarkable”, adding that the response showed the demand for a single professional nationwide standard.