Forklift training history

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Instructor's test and the start of ITSSAR

overturned forklifts

In 1979 a new body called the National Industrial Truck Training and Certification Committee or NITTACC was formed although this only lasted for a short while before being wound up. There was a meeting at RTITB’s London headquarters in Wembley on 29th May 1980 which was attended by heads of training companies along with representatives of the RTITB and the Health and Safety Executive and I was privileged to attend that meeting.

Prior to this meeting, instructors were tested on their ability to drive trucks to the same standard as operators, (i.e. allowed a maximum of 40 penalty points on test). It was at this meeting the requirement for instructors to attain a higher level of test result was proposed and as a consequence since then, instructors have not been allowed to score more than 25 penalty points on their practical tests without failing.

In the mid-1980s a meeting was called at a public house in Daventry on a Saturday morning and was attended by many heads of training companies. I was there as, by then, I had my own forklift training business. The object of this meeting was to try to find a way of getting rid of the so-called cowboy trainers that existed in the industry at that time. There was also the worry that a commercial training company was accrediting other commercial companies.

As a consequence of this meeting an organisation known as the Association of Industrial Truck Trainers or AITT was formed and I managed to get myself elected to the original committee. It was decided that a second accrediting body was needed and as a consequence after some considerable work had been done the Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register came into existence. This accrediting body, known as ITSSAR, exists to this day and has identical responsibilities to the RTITB in the accreditation of training companies and instructors.

Because of this, both organisations use the same test for forklift training. They also use a similar course syllabus and theory test papers. Industry is free to choose which accrediting body it prefers. Links to all the accrediting bodies including the three smaller ones can be found here. It should be noted that nowadays accrediting bodies monitor training companies on a regular basis to ensure that training is being carried out effectively. In addition all instructors have to undergo a period of retraining every five years if they are to continue forklift training.

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