In 1988 the first code of practice (now L117) covering operator training for rider operated lift trucks was produced (as COP26). L117 was last revised in 1999. L117 provides guidance regarding the requirements for lift truck operators to have undergone basic training. The supplementary guidance accompanying the code of practice has always included reference to bodies recognised as “competent to accredit and monitor organisations to train instructors and/or train, test and certificate operators”. This recognition was designed to “help employers select training organisations or lift truck suppliers who offer a good standard of training”.
In 2010 the HSE held a conference to address the way forward for L117. Subsequent consultation, led to the HSE deciding that it no longer felt it necessary to continue to recognise these bodies in L117 or manage the accrediting bodies scheme on a day to day basis. They wished to “hand the scheme back” to the bodies themselves to manage and for the HSE to take an advisory role. HSE as the regulator provides advice to the new association on any points that arise in relation to L117.
The ABA says: "Much time and effort has been spent by the accrediting bodies creating a new way of working together for the benefit of the workplace transport industry and at the forefront of our minds during this process has been the improvement of training standards, coupled with much clearer transparency for those utilising the accrediting bodies system.
The new association formed as a result of this effort is the “Accrediting Bodies Association - Workplace Transport (ABA) and our code of practice (available to download below) sets out our aims, objectives, operating criteria and much more.
The workplace transport industry will benefit from these changes and will, we hope, find it simpler to work with us to increase productivity and profitability whilst also reducing workplace incidents, injuries and deaths".
You can download a free copy of the ABA's leaflet here.