In the UK, forklift licences generally do not have an expiration date. However, forklift operators are required to undergo refresher training and evaluations periodically to ensure they remain competent to operate forklifts safely.
Here at TAG Forklifts, we can provide comprehensive forklift training to make sure you’re able to safely operate a wide range of forklifts in a diverse variety of environments.
Do Forklift Licences Expire in the UK?
No, forklift licences issued in the UK do not have an official expiration date. Once issued, licences remain valid indefinitely.
However, regulations state that employers must provide refresher training and evaluations for forklift operators to ensure they maintain competence. So you cannot simply get certified once and continue operating forklifts forever without receiving updated training.
Forklift Refresher Training Requirements
To comply with Health and Safety Executive (HSE) approved code of practice L117, employers must arrange refresher training and assessments for forklift operators.
Refresher training frequencies depend on the type of forklift licence:
- Novice operators – more frequent training required such as every 6 months.
- Experienced operators – refresher training at least every 3 years.
During refresher training, operators get updated on changes to equipment, procedures, regulations and refresh key skills through practical exercises. It ends with a short assessment to confirm competence.
Why is Refresher Training Important?
Forklift refresher training provides several key benefits:
- Ensures operators are up to date with the latest health and safety best practices and regulations. Forklift safety guidelines evolve over time.
- Allows evaluation of abilities – experienced operators can develop bad habits over time which training addresses.
- Covers changes to equipment, systems, procedures at the workplace that operators must stay on top of.
- Reduces risk of incidents – statistics show most forklift accidents involve experienced operators, hence the need for periodic refresher training.
What Happens If Training Lapses?
If an employer fails to provide refresher training and evaluations within required timeframes, forklift operators may be deemed not competent to continue operating forklifts safely.
Consequences of inadequate refresher training include:
- Fines and penalties – failure to maintain training is breaching regulations. The HSE can take enforcement action.
- Insurance issues – insurers may invalidate policies if training is not kept current.
- Legal liability – employers can be prosecuted if lapsed training is linked to forklift incidents.
Ultimately, it’s in an employer’s interests to arrange regular refresher training for their forklift operators to avoid these outcomes.
IPAF Forklift Licences
IPAF (International Powered Access Federation) offers training for specialist equipment like cherry pickers and other powered access platforms through the Powered Access Licence (PAL) card scheme.
IPAF PAL cards remain valid for 5 years from the date of training. To renew an IPAF licence, operators must retake the full PAL training course for the categories of equipment they use.
Forklift Training Solutions from TAG Forklifts
Here at TAG Forklifts, we provide high quality counterbalance and warehouse equipment training, preparing operators for RTITB and NPORS certification.
Our expert instructors will ensure you develop the core skills and knowledge needed to handle forklifts safely and pass assessments. Contact us today to learn more about our flexible forklift training options and pricing.