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Practical forklift operator training: Lesson preparation

If you have studied the sessions on classroom teaching you won't be surprised to see that the very first part of practical teaching is preparation. Again I can only stress that it's the most important part of teaching, at least until you know the lesson by heart.

DECIDE OBJECTIVE. Decide exactly what is to be taught and be careful not to digress onto other lessons. In particular, don't teach the trainees what they already know form previous lessons.

HOW LONG is difficult as it depends on the trainee's ability but you will soon have some ideas after you have conducted a few courses. Out of interest, the RTITB expect a trainee instructor to take around 40 minutes for one simple lesson with one trainee.

WHERE am I going to do the training? Is there a suitable area? It needs to be relatively flat, free from potholes and most importantly, free from pedestrians and other hazards.

CLASS SIZE. Whilst it's OK to have as many people as you want for a classroom session, with practical work, restrict the numbers for safety. The ideal instructor/pupil ratio is 1:2. One pupil doing the exercise and the other with the instructor. It's OK to have three as a maximum and it's obviously OK to conduct one to one training but DO NOT exceed three trainees for a practical session.

EQUIPMENT NEEDED. Make sure everything is available: Forklift truck of the correct type, pallets, cages, stillages, cones etc. It needs to be big enough to set up a forklift test course.

PPE. The instructor should make sure that the trainees are complying with the 1992 PPE regulations. Safety shoes are a must and reflective jackets may be required. Check the company's policy on PPE to make sure.

REHEARSE. Very difficult this one but do make sure that you can do the demonstrations correctly and without error.

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