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Forklift Certification and Operator Training


Forklift certification of operators is an invaluable qualification. A fully trained operator will save a company time and money in the long run - with increased production time, less damage to materials and fewer mishaps. Competent forklift certification is ultimately dictated by selected bodies. This section outlines the main governing bodies in the USA and UK responsible for this.

Forklift certification in the US


Firstly all operators of industrial / heavy duty vehicles, under federal law, need to have received complete training. Training programs have to adhere to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and must not only be composed of practical forklift training exercises but classroom type instruction. Assessments are required to be conducted at least every third year to keep within the regulations stated by OSHA.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) not so long ago came up with a National Standards Strategy (NSS). What the NSS does is act as a guide when companies are confronted with "standardization challenges" (typical of global economies) and it also takes into account concerns regarding safety and the environment. Anyway the ANSI has released a paper that outlines the standards for vehicles fitted with forks i.e. forklifts.

Forklift certification in the UK

The first body that plays a role in setting a standard is the Road Transport Industry Training Board or RTITB. What this is, is a self-regulating and objective training regulatory body. A company or employer can purchase their accreditation, by doing this what the company is doing is ensuring is that specified objectives will be met and that regular monitoring will be undertaken.

The second organization is The Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register or ITSSAR which has been running for over eleven years. This is a non-profit body that's primary concern is the instruction of operators, trainers, examiners and teachers involved in the filed of industrial / heavy duty trucks, including forklifts. They apply all regulations as dictated by the Health and Safety Commission Approved Code of Practice and pertains to every industrial segment.

This body also releases what are known as "performance standards and training & testing standards." These are valuable resources to both operators and instructors - giving insight into learning techniques. The ITSSAR also acts as a watchdog over forklift training centers. Those wishing to gain accreditation open themselves up periodic assessments and all ITSSAR training staff are also monitored. Both these are conducted by ITSSAR Training Standard Advisors. They then produce a documented report of their findings which then has to pass through the ITSSAR Chairman.