Is there a forklift truck driver’s licence?
No, there is no forklift driver’s licence, nor is there any central licencing authority.
Are there some sort of regulations nonetheless?
Yes. Every employer has a responsibility to ensure that their employees received adequate training prior to their using forklift trucks.
The regulation that employers need follow is Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 98)
What kind of training employees must follow?
The training is based upon the type of forklift truck the employee is going to use. Trainings are provided by an in-house or an external trainer, who will issue a document acknowledging the employee’s qualification; however, such document is not an official licence.
Employers are required to give written permission for any employee to operate the truck. It is at the employer’s discretion to decide for how long this permit remains valid.
It is advised to keep the performance of every operator monitored to prevent any accident in the workplace.
For further information, these books are available:
Approved Code of
Approved Code of Practice and Guidance
HSC Code L117
Provision and Use of
Approved Code of
HSE Code L22
Recognised Accrediting Bodies for Fork Lift Truck Operator Training
The Accrediting Bodies Association 2012 (ABA) was established following a review by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) of the L117 Approved Code of Practice for Rider Operated Lift Trucks. The HSE has taken an advisory role in the ABA.
The ABA serves as a framing structure for any association that wants to provide training for future fork lift drivers.
What does the ABA do and what are their obligations?
Even though there is no fork lift truck driver’s licence, the ABA has a Code of Practice which stipulates that each accrediting body shall hold a national register of all operators trained by their employees.
What are ABA members’ relationship with ABA?
All ABA training providers have to notify the association of the training they have given to employees. Those providers apply a nominal charge for delegate registration to cover administration costs.
Why kind of advantage does the ABA provide?
The ABA is the insurance of a recognised standard of qualification for employees in the UK. As there is no official licence, the presence of such an association is the closest thing to a national acknowledgement of their skill.
For employers, the ABA is the only guarantee that their employees have received a good training. That way, employers know that the certificate acknowledging their employees’ qualifications are legitimate and are valid everywhere in the UK.
For further information, please consult the following websites:
The ABA official website: http://www.abawt.co.uk/
Some ABA members’ websites:
AITT – Association of Industrial Truck Trainers www.aitt.co.uk/
TTTLtd – Thomas Truck Training Ltd cheshireforklifttraining.co.uk/
NPORS – National Plant Operators Registration Scheme www.npors.com/
RTITB – (formerly the Road Transport Industry Training Board) – www.rtitb.co.uk/
Fork Lift Operator Training
What does the law state?
Regulation 9 of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER 98) states:
“Every employer shall ensure that all persons who use work equipment have received adequate training […]”
What does this entail?
The terms “adequate training” is rather vague and does not define any precise quantity of training per se; however it is generally acknowledged that this training is measured in days rather than hours; as accidents that come with driving a fork lift truck can have dramatic consequences, both on a personal and financial level.
What are the most common stages of training?
Trainings are more often than not divided into three different stages, each with providing a different skill set:
- Basic training: basic skills and knowledge required for safe operation of the equipment.
- Specific job training: knowledge of the workplace and its specific needs
- Familiarisation training: hands-on training under close supervision
Of course, trainings will vary depending on the type of fork lift truck used in a given company.
What do trainees get at the end of the training?
As mentioned above, trainees cannot have a licence; however they will receive a certificate at the end of their training that will acknowledge their qualification on the type of fork lift truck they will use.