The following represent many of the questions we are frequently asked both by employers and employees in relation to materials handling training.
What is a fork lift licence anyway?
There is no such thing as a licence to operate a fork lift. Many people refer to their certificate of basic training as a "licence" but this is not the case. The certificate that we issue to successful candidates on our courses is properly known as a "Certificate of Basic Training" and is accepted as proof that the holder has attended an accredited training course and passed the fork lift test. Many people think it is like a car licence but this is not the case and never has been.
How often should I attend refresher training?
There is nothing laid down in law about this but the Approved Code of Practice advises "refresher training should be given". For this reason, many employers arrange for refresher training and re-testing at somewhere between 3 and 5 year intervals. Refresher training may also be required out with this period if perhaps you've not used lift trucks for some time; only use the lift truck occasionally; appear to have developed unsafe working practices or have had an accident or near miss.
I have lost my certificate can you supply another?
Our contract is with the company who paid for the training. We will consider supplying a replacement certificate if we are asked to do so directly by the customer. Please note that we reserve the right to make a small charge for this.
Does a certificate for a counterbalance lift truck allow me to operate a reach truck?
No. You must take a further course of training and be tested on a reach truck. This is also true for any other sort of machine such as order picker, pallet truck etc.
Can I take my certificate to another company to get a job?
The accredited certificate of basic training is recognised as proof that a person has attended an approved course and passed the practical and written tests. For this reason most prospective employers will accept it as long as it is not too old.
How long does it take to train a person who has never sat on a truck before?
The standard novice course is 5 days in duration with 3 persons attending, 4 days for 2 persons and 3 days for just one person.
How long is a course for re-tests?
One day with a maximum of 3 persons attending.
What is an accrediting body anyway?
Training companies should be registered with an accrediting body and have their courses approved by them. The HSE authorities recognise that training conducted by an accredited training company will normally be conducted to the highest standard although there are several "cowboy" training companies around who cut corners in order to reduce prices. These should obviously be avoided and you can phone the accrediting body to establish if the course you are being offered actually complies with requirements.
I have heard that the fork lift test uses a "penalty point" system. How does this work?
Every time you make a mistake during your test you incur penalty points. At the end of the test these are added together and you must not score more than 40.
41 points is a failure.
Whose responsibility is it to check the truck over and when should this be done?
Normally it is the operators job and this should be done either at the start of every working day or the start of each shift in multi-shift applications. Some companies have a different arrangement and if this is the case you should obviously comply with this.