Introduction to iTRUK's practical test of operator skills
A new, long awaited, accrediting body has been announced which will cater for forklift operators, instructors and small and large companies.
The current standards for forklift operator training date back to the 1960s and although they have changed over the years, they do not accurately reflect all of today's modern and varied applications and indeed forklifts.
The purpose of iTRUK's accreditation and courses is to assist instructors to set up and conduct basic training for fork lift truck operators. Its contents are only suitable for instructors who have undergone properly structured training in instructional techniques and skills assessment, who are themselves experienced and highly skilled lift truck operators.
iTRUK offers two different types of training and testing as follows:
1). Training and testing to the current standards laid down by the Accrediting Bodies Association
2). Training and testing to iTRUK's standard. This type of training and testing offers an alternative of using a fork lift truck in a safe and efficient manner but it more closely resembles what operators actually do in real life.
As with conventional training the course durations are:
Novices. These are operators who have little or no experience of lift trucks. This is the starting place for the majority of operators and requires the most comprehensive programme to equip them to pass the basic training before moving on to further stages.
Experienced Operators. These operators will have worked with lift trucks but have not attended a formal basic course of training with a suitably qualified and registered instructor. It could also be an experienced operator needing to operate a different type of truck. A course for this category of operator can be of reduced duration and the content may differ according to the level of skill and knowledge already held.
Trained Operators. Whilst it is not compulsory, it is good practice to have operators attend a refresher course every 3 to 5 years. All registrations with iTRUK will be valid for 3 years and will be removed from their database unless refresher training is recorded. This training can be short because the operator has already undergone training and achieved a required standard in the past. This refresher training should serve as a reminder of correct practices and perhaps give an update on changes in legislation.
In order to comply with the Approved Code of Practice it is essential that all three stages of training are undertaken. The training must be thorough and comprehensive. It is the responsibility of an employer to ensure that this training has been carried out for all operators and that records are kept so that this training can be verified if necessary. These records must include written authorisation for individuals to operate the equipment.