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UK Forklift Licence Renewal

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What you might not know is never before has there been such a demand for people to renew their forklift licence in the UK as more positions becomes available in various industries operating in forklift machinery.

Yet many of us are unaware that nowadays operators in the UK are issued with certificates of training, which act as documentary proof they have received the necessary training and instruction to qualify them in the forklift industry. Furthermore it is down to the employer to safeguard that trainees meet all the required criteria, testing and performance standards issued by recognised institutions before they take on any roles using forklift machinery. Some of the top recognised bodies who provide the essential forklift training and certification in the UK, include the Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register (ITSSAR) and the Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB).

Forklift Licence Renewal

Avoid getting stung with a hefty fine

Operating a forklift without a certificate is not only illegal, but costly, and anyone found to be doing so can be fined up to £4,550, rising to £45,000 if operation of the forklift is continued without a certificate. These figures are pulled from 2012 statistics, so the possibility of them being higher is very likely. It is essential that anyone wishing to operate forklift machinery must be approved by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) authorities before doing so. If you already have your forklift certification, it is your responsibility to check it is up to date.

Training courses & online facilities

If you are not working for an establishment who can provide your training for you (i.e., you are in a different job to the forklift industry), it is possible to obtain your forklift certificate privately by enrolling online or with your nearest institution. Online tests are also available for those who are unemployed as well as written tests, some of which are free, however, the fee will vary depending on who you go through, so it’s worth doing your research. Taking the tests through your employer is always the best option because the costs are covered by them and you should be able to use their premises and machinery. As soon as you have passed the written test, try and get your driving exam out of the way – something your employers should also be able to provide for you as long as you provide your written certificate. It is possible to take the test privately, but again, it will cost you more to do it this way.

Forklift Licence Renewal

Forklift licence sell by date

Unlike a driving licence, forklift certificates don’t actually run out. However, it is a recommendation by the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) that all forklift operators take a refresher course, which is down to the employers discretion and usually no longer than every three years. Employers are hot on the tail of such action due to company regulations to minimise the risk of a claim, and their insurance policy usually insists certificates are kept up to date. What you need to know about in-house training Although in-house training is perfectly acceptable, it is the employers’ responsibility to thoroughly check that all documentation towards certificates and training is legitimate. Companies often use their own trainers so it is essential they meet the required criteria and are properly accredited, using registered examiners and instructors. It is always advised certificates are checked for any duplicitous information and they can be easily validated by a relevant accreditation body. This means any UK recognised bodies such as the ITSAR, RTITBN, including the registration number of the examiner, should be checked to avoid any fines or legal action being taken.

Forklift re-training and testing applies to everybody – experienced and non-experienced

For those employees who have previously gained their forklift certificate and have reached the HSC recommended three year expiry date; a one day re-testing option is available upon proof of all legal certified documentation. Those who do not have their certificates will be required to undertake a two to three day basic training course, available with most certified bodies in the UK. Experienced forklift drivers who have been operating without a recognised certificate for several years will also have to undertake the course to enable them to be legally fit to drive a forklift vehicle under the current regulations.

To summarise

For reassurance with all your forklift training queries don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and speak to one of the many experienced and helpful Health and Safety Executives available in your area. They will be on hand to answer any questions regarding the legal requirements and implications for a forklift licence renewal, making it a simple and hassle-free process for both employees and employers.

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