beginner forklift training in UK

Novice forklift training course is intended for those beginners with little or no driving skills on any type of trucks who wish to obtain such certification.

This training tends to be comprehensive and will include many subjects for an obviousreason. The training course covers classroom training, supervised practical training and driving and written evaluation.

Successful students will learn the present government legislation, operating skills, and safety knowledge. These are important competencies in the safe operation when the operator is assigned to the actual job.

The trainees will certainly gain enough knowledge and confidence in the safe and professional manner of forklift operation.

Now, if you are wondering how long it would take you to complete such course, it would take this much time, read on.

How Long Does It Take to Complete Beginner’s Training

The typical beginner’s forklift training is 5 days long covering all the topics needed to become a certified operator. The ideal ratio of trainees to the instructor is 3:1, this is very important so that each student can receive the focus and attention of the trainer to gain much enough competency.

Some training centers accept a fewer number of applicants. If the class is composed of just 2 students, it will only take them 4 days to complete the course. The fewer the number of students the faster the course can be completed.

I do not recommend you to enroll in a class with a large number of trainees. You will not receive enough attention and could affect the way how you receive the learning. 

Contents of the Forklift Training Course

These topics are the typical curriculum you can find in the training course. Depending on the standard of the training school, they may include more. But for your learning, here are the subjects you will learn:

  • Basic intro to the forklift type the course is intended for
  • Present and applicable government legislation (HSE ACOP, LOLER, PUWER 98, Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989, etc)
  • Manufacturer’s recommended procedure like maximum load capacity, the weight of the truck, attachment of accessories (man basket, fork extension, etc)
  • Video presentations discussing safe operation of the fork truck
  • Pre-operation inspection, equipment checklist compliance, and discrepancy reporting, post-use inspection
  • Familiarization with the controls and procedural operation of the forklift
  • Practices in the safe use at the workplace
  • Starting of the machine, an actual operation that includes moving and steering, and halting/stopping of the fork truck’
  • Proper approaching to fetch the load and transporting it to the designated area
  • Handling loads in pallets, in bulk stacking of heavy loads
  • Safe stacking of load at height, de-stacking in the rack
  • Correct practices about placing and retrieving of load to and from the rack
  • Refueling/recharging of the machine.
  • Theoretical examination (written test) to measure the delegate’s theoretical knowledge
  • Practice driving to assess the trainee’s driving skills

At the end of each training course, a successful applicant will receive a certificate of training and operator’s ID card. Your certification is nationally recognized. You can use it for employment anywhere in the UK.

How Much It Would Cost You

It will cost about £650-£800 to pay for the training. The training fee will depend on where you are located in the UK, the kind of standard the training provider has and the type of truck (telehandler, reach truck, ordinary counterbalance, etc) you want to be trained on. 

Likewise, the more comprehensive the training course will be, the more expensive it is as well.

There are hundreds of training centers across the country choosing the right one where to take the course might be daunting, this is why we made available for you the important criteria when choosing a training center, see below.

How To Choose Forklift Training Centre in UK

You will find a lot of training centers around the UK that give training for all skill levels from absolute beginner to experienced veteran. But not all schools are the same, here are what you need to look for when enrolling a course at the school:

  • When choosing a training center, just simply make sure that their programs are in line with the standard of these accrediting bodies: RTITB, ITSSAR, CITB, AITT, Lantra, NPORS.
  • Enquire how many trainees they accommodate in a class, obviously, the fewer number the better so that you can receive the best attention you deserve.
  • Choose the training center that provides a lengthy yet comprehensive curriculum, don’t fall to their promises that you can complete the training in a very much shorter time. Novice or beginner forklift training takes about 3-5 days to finish.
  • Find a training center that can place you for the job after the training. Job placement assistance is one of the services the center can provide.
  • Do not make a quick decision, go get out there, survey other training centers in your area and find what’s best that suits your requirement.
  • Cheaper is not better. Do not get enrolled in a cheaper one, get comprehensive training in as much as possible, even though if it is much expensive.
  • Find the center with modern types of equipment and training facility.

Remember these points when choosing a training center, many beginners will make mistake, I would not want you to commit the same mistake as I did. Nevertheless, I wish you good luck with your new career, always stay safe and follow what’s right.


It is always an advantage if you have the right knowledge when operating the forklift. This machine looks simple to operate but make no mistake, it could cause a serious accident and even death. This is why taking the training and getting certified is always an utmost concern. Take some time and spend a little investment to complete the beginner forklift training course.

We wish you good luck!