A forklift certificate, commonly referred to as a forklift licence, is a record that an individual has completed professional forklift training. While this certification doesn’t technically have an official expiry date, the gap recommended by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) between course completion and updating your knowledge is a maximum of three years.
The key reasons for this are to always ensure an operator’s forklift skills are kept current and that good driving practices are consistently maintained. Below, we’ll explore certification for forklift training, including the different types of courses available to enrol in, how much they cost and what can happen when an incident occurs and you have not undertaken training.
What is meant by the term forklift licence?
As using a forklift proficiently requires in-depth knowledge and precise levels of care that extend to the forklift itself, those working nearby and the loads they must carry, you’d be forgiven for thinking that those who operate them require a licence. The truth is there is no such thing as a forklift licence, despite it being a common term seen in many job ads seeking operators for sites across the UK.
Instead of a dedicated licence, a certificate of training is required by forklift users which effectively proves that they have completed basic training to operate a forklift truck competently. In order to ensure their skills are always up-to-date with safety regulations, rather than a driver’s licence for a car that can last a lifetime, these certificates should be updated at three-year intervals.
What types of forklift training are available to pick from?
There are four different kinds of training available, novice, semi-experienced but untested, conversion and refresher.
Novice training is a course created for beginners, with no prior knowledge of driving lift trucks. It is designed to provide candidates with the basic skill requirements to operate forklift trucks and the ability to perform their duties safely and efficiently. These courses account for the trainee forklift operator’s complete lack of knowledge and take the most time to complete out of all training options (3-6 days), making them also the most expensive.
Semi-experienced training and untested forklift operator training courses are designed for those who have a basic knowledge of driving forklifts but do not possess any formal training or certification to show their skills. These courses can last up to a total of three days and cost less than novice training.
Conversion courses are for operators seeking to expand their abilities, training them how to drive other types of lift trucks. Like the options designed for those with some experience, conversion courses are also less expensive, but take even less time to complete, with a single day all that is required to acquire new skills.
Finally, Refresher courses are advised to be undertaken every three years to ensure forklift drivers stay updated with the latest safety best practices and regulations outlined by the HSE. Additionally, these courses are also insisted upon when an operator is seen to be operating a forklift truck in an unsafe fashion or in more serious circumstances, involved in an accident.
What can happen if you don’t complete your lift truck certificate of basic training?
Some individuals and enterprises are under the mistaken impression that simply understanding how a forklift works, without professional forklift driver training, is enough to operate one efficiently. As an operator, your own personal safety, as well as that of those working nearby, can be severely jeopardised by you lacking the skills to operate a forklift efficiently. Companies are obliged to ensure all staff using forklifts are fully trained and certified to avoid paying hefty fines issued by the HSE when an accident or inspection reveals inadequate safety measures were put in place.
Is certified forklift training expensive to complete?
Trainees and companies curious about the cost of forklift truck training will be pleased to know that courses vary in price depending on the skill levels of those seeking certification. While for a complete novice, courses typically cost between £650 and £750, for semi-skilled operators or those seeking a conversion course that allows them to use new kinds of equipment, prices are far lower, ranging from £250 to £350.
Need a high-quality forklift for your West Midlands firm?
At West Mercia Fork Trucks, we are committed to making certain all our customers are competent and qualified to operate our equipment, whether you’re buying or hiring. To facilitate the safe use of West Mercia forklift trucks, we make sure lift truck training advice is readily available, assisting operators to stay safe while working.
Before undertaking forklift training, you can complete our free site survey or take expert advice from our dedicated consultancy service where you’ll find answers to all your questions. Contact our professional team today for further details.