Forklift Operator Training
When you complete basic training for a forklift, you will be given a certificate. This will prove that you have the minimum standard of knowledge and skills to operate a forklift at the time that you took your test. This qualification essentially lasts forever in that it is very unlikely that you will ever have to complete the full basic training course for the same type of forklift again.
The second and third stage of training is specific job training and familiarisation training. However, unlike basic training, these are not one-off courses. As the name suggests, the former is training specific to the job at hand; thus, it will vary from business to business. Meanwhile, familiarisation training will require you to practically apply the knowledge acquired from the first two stages of training.
Depending on the training centre, training typically lasts 3-5 days. The time it takes will vary according to your previous experience:
- 5-day training: This would be required for new operators with no prior experience.
- 3-day training: If you have had prior experience operating a forklift in some way but have no formal training, 3-day training will likely be suggested.
- 1-day training: If you are an experienced operator who has already been certified, you would be given a one-day refresher course to keep your certification current.
How Long Will Your Forklift Qualification Last?
Typically, your forklift truck certification is valid for up to three years. Employers tend to not accept any certification older than this. Forklift health and safety regulations can change at any time, and therefore training that you had a few years ago could already be out of date and no longer in line with current regulations.
Forklift Certification Renewal
There is a specially designed refresher forklift training course for when your certificate effectively “expires” after three years. When you complete the refresher course, your certification will be renewed for another three years. This course will also be used to correct any bad habits that an operator has picked up along the way.
How Do I Check If a Forklift Certification Is Valid?
As an employer, it will be your job to check that all the documentation provided is valid, both for employees and agency staff. An authentic training certificate will be from the Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB), the industry regulator for all safety and competence training for forklift operators. RTITB training certificates include a unique number for verification purposes. Newer certificates also have a QR code for the same reason.