Forklift operator training in the UK is controlled by one of five accrediting bodies. Three of these only accredit rough terrain type machines so will not be discussed here but a link to them can be found on this page. The original accrediting body was the Road Transport Industry Training Board or RTITB for short. Training companies and training centres along with instructors are all accredited. These bodies keep a register of all qualified instructors. These instructors all have to take a refresher course every five years. The accreditation covers such things as course duration, number of trainees attending and also the course contents.
Training companies and instructors who are accredited can usually be relied upon to give a first-class training service. They will cover the course content thoroughly and set up a practical test in accordance with the Accrediting Bodies Association, (ABA), recommendations which is the de facto standard for forklift operator training and testing. They will also include a written test, the questions having been set by the accrediting body, and will also teach pre-shift checks as part of the overall course syllabus, testing the trainees to ensure that these pre-shift checks are understood.
It should be noted that there is no absolute duty in law to use a qualified, registered instructor to undertake forklift operator training but problems can arise if this is not done if there should be an accident which is then subsequently investigated by HM factory Inspectorate. They will want to know who trained the operator involved and will also want to see the certificate of training that has been provided. There will also be anxious to make sure that the training has taken place in the recent past. It is usual although not mandatory for refresher training and testing to take place every three years.
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