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What is IPAF Training and why do you need it?

What is IPAF Training and why do you need it?

23 March 2012 Email this article

When you’re working at height with powered access platforms, hazards are a part of daily life and before you do anything, you must ensure you've taken care of your own safety and those around you. So it’s good to know that a safe working standard has already been established, by the industry body IPAF (The International Powered Access Federation), to help you follow health and safety laws.

IPAF is a leading provider of quality standard training for powered access machinery. IPAF - The International Powered Access Federation and is a not-for-profit organisation that provides vital industry training for powered access equipment. The organisation promotes the safe and effective use of equipment; through providing technical advice and information.

Why do you need IPAF training? 

With ever increasing work at height regulations, you must ensure that as a MEWP operator, you’re trained to use machinery safely and effectively and keep up to date with current legislations. The IPAF training programme for platform operators takes care of this for you and this organisation sees more than 90,000 operators being trained each year, and have in excess of 450 IPAF approved training centres.

The training courses are held at various places around the UK and if you are an employer with lots of staff, a trainer may come to your workplace for the course. Whether you are an operator, instructor or manager - IPAF training is crucial to your understanding and safe use of powered access platforms.


What does the training involve? 

All training takes place at approved training centres (mostly manufacturer and rental members of the IPAF) and they set their own course fees. You can expect a high standard of training – (with regular audits by the IPAF), small classes and some courses lasting a couple of days. The courses combine theory and practice and there’s a written and practical test. The IPAF training operators' course covers the use of hydraulic work platforms, scissor lifts, telescopic and articulating booms, van mounted platforms, vertical platforms and truck mounted platforms. What you can expect to learn from a demonstrators course – the ability to carry out the required tasks involved in the role of Demonstrator which is to familiarise operators with their responsibilities and demonstrate pre-operational and safe operating procedure and the limitations of MEWPS.

Here's a list of IPAF courses available;


•                IPAF Static vertical personnel platform - one day course

•                IPAF Static boom - one day course

•                IPAF Mobile vertical - one day course

•                IPAF Mobile boom - one day course

•                IPAF Push Around Vertical – half day course

•                IPAF Spider training - two day course


Contact our training team for more information on the latest IPAF Training Courses.


All levels of IPAF training are covered, with courses specifically provided for operators, demonstrators and instructors. Other IPAF training courses include; harness use and inspection, loading and unloading, and MEWPS for managers. IPAF MEWPs for Managers equips managers with the skills and knowledge they need to deal with changing demands of working at height and use of MEWPs. The IPAF MEWPs Instructor Assessment Programme is a five day course that aims to train people to understand the IPAF training programme (in terms of knowledge of machines and communicating information).


Why get an IPAF card? 

When training’s completed, you’ll receive a PAL Card, (Powered Access Licence), a safety guide, log book and certificate. With IPAF training, you’re fully prepared for safe working at height, as IPAF training standards are accepted everywhere, (certified by TUV as conforming to the international standard ISO 18878:2004 Mobile elevating work platforms – Operator (driver) training).

The PAL card is recognised worldwide across industries, as proof of platform operator training (to the highest standard). The card is valid for five years and shows the types of equipment that the owner has been trained to operate, along with the level at which they’ve been trained.

As an operator of powered access platforms, IPAF training will leave you feeling safe and confident when operating MEWPs. As an employer, when all your operators have the PAL card – you’re safe in the knowledge that you’ve covered all legal requirements, provided all necessary training for access equipment and made the whole working process a lot more efficient and productive.

How to get your IPAF training started

You can take an IPAF course either at your own premises, subject to certain criteria, or at one of the IPAF training centres based in Hickstead, Basildon, South London, Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham and Southampton.

Contact our IPAF Training team for more information