In many countries fork lift truck operators are issued with licences. We frequently hear stories of individuals from these countries, who, seeking employment in the UK as fork lift truck operators, offer this licence, with authentic translation, as proof of their operating ability. Whilst there may be no reason to doubt the authenticity of such a document, it would be unwise for a potential employer to accept it at face value. At the very least, the skills required to obtain that licence may not have been appropriate to either the kind of truck or the operating environment for which the individual is to be employed.
When handling Foreign licences, it is best to treat them as you would a training certificate from an unknown, unaccredited trainer: with caution. To ensure that you're operating safely within the law, always arrange for employees to be formally assessed, following up with any additional training that may be required".
Many countries have a system of licensing for forklift drivers, which is a completely legal and normal practice, but are they legal in the UK? The answer is quite simply no. This is not because the UK doesn't’t believe in the validity of the licences from abroad, but because we don’t have licences for forklift driving at all in the UK – instead, to legally drive a forklift you need documented training.
The UK legislation relating to forklift truck operator training is contained in the Approved Code Of Practice a copy of which in PDF form can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page.
After receiving basic training and obtaining a certificate, (licence), to prove it, an operator should be subjected to further stages of training which are outlined in the ACOP. Bear in mind it is the employer who must decide if a forklift truck operator's training was suitable for the requirements of the application.
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