It is important that lift-truck operators are trained to the standards outlined in the L117 ACOP, whether using in-house trainers or external training providers. There are a number of organisations who provide accreditation for lift-truck training schemes. These voluntary schemes are intended to:
HSE no longer administers an accrediting bodies scheme, but if you decide to use one, the way a typical scheme is likely to operate is outlined below.
Although accreditation is voluntary, the use by an employer of an accredited training provider (ATP) provides some assurance that the training provided will be at least to the standard described in the ACOP and guidance. Each accrediting body will be able to provide details of appropriately qualified and experienced ATPs to enquirers who seek advice about lift-truck training, along with a description of their assessment criteria.
The Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA) can provide advice on workplace transport training.
Accrediting bodies accredit organisations or individuals as ‘accredited training providers’ who are deemed competent to provide (or, in the case of individuals, to be) the instructors who carry out the training.
An ATP may be an organisation, individual or an in-house training scheme. The main conditions of accreditation are that ATPs use qualified and experienced instructors only, that they follow course syllabuses approved by the accrediting body and that they be subjected to regular monitoring visits by the accrediting body. The training must also be carried out in suitable premises, which may be a dedicated training centre or an area set aside for the purpose at an employer's premises.
To become accredited, a training provider applies to one (or more) of the accrediting bodies. If the training is to be carried out at a training centre, the accrediting body will inspect that facility. If training is to be carried out at employers' premises, then the applicant is asked to demonstrate that they have all the necessary equipment and documentation, and to arrange to conduct a training course at which an assessor from the accrediting body would be present.
There are two levels of instructor associated with accrediting bodies: accredited and registered. Both are trained as instructors, and assessed as being competent, on a course approved for the purpose by an accrediting body.
An accredited instructor (AI) will additionally have been inspected by the accrediting body, be subject to regular monitoring and have to use a course syllabus approved by the accrediting body. AI registration is valid for 5 years, after which the instructor is reassessed and reaccredited.
A registered instructor (RI) is trained and tested to the same standard as an AI. Registration is for a 5 year period after which the instructor is reassessed and re-registered. However, an RI is not inspected, monitored or subject to control over their course syllabus by the accrediting body. This does not mean that the standard of training provided by an RI is necessarily lower, nor that they do not follow a syllabus produced by an accrediting body. However, being outside the accredited system, the training may not be as uniform as that provided by an AI, nor is it subject to the same control. Some in-house training schemes are provided by an RI, and the employer may not consider it necessary to apply for accreditation because they monitor their own standards.
Certificates issued by an ATP (or AI/RI) will quote their accreditation number, the name of the accrediting body, and the name and registration number of the instructor who conducted the training. Certificates should always provide sufficient information to allow the training to be traced back to course content. If training has been limited (eg lifting to (say) 3 metres), then the certificate should identify this limitation to ensure operators only undertake work for which they have been trained. Note that there is no legal requirement for certificates, which are often confused with licences, but ATPs will always issue them and HSE encourages their use as a good way of demonstrating that training has been provided. There is no such thing as a lift-truck licence.