Getting your forklift licence in 2022 to work in the UK is a good way to improve your chances of getting hired. It also ensures that you have completed a forklift training course making you competent to drive forklift safely and efficiently. In this section of the website, we have provided you, licence seekers, helpful information about forklift training and licensing.
When you have a forklift licence ready in your wallet you can easily present that to your potential employer. It is your ticket for a long-term rewarding and fulfilling career. Having a licence makes you more secure in your career.
Employers look for candidates with a readied licence because it lessens cost-cutting measures, they do not have to send their operator to training schools increasing work efficiency, productivity and company profit. Aside from the fact, it reduces the probability of forklift-related accidents.
Getting licenced to drive a forklift does create a big difference!
This video shows how is the forklift training course is being performed:
Before you continue, you might want to read these FAQs:
- At What Age You Can be a Forklift Truck Driver?
- How Long and How Much It Will Cost Taking the Training If You Are a Beginner?
- How the Job Centre Can Help You Get Forklift Training?
- Do Forklift Drivers Need to Undergo Medical?
- When Will a Forklift Licence Issued in the UK Expire?
- Is the Counterbalance Forklift Licence also Covers Reach Truck?
- How Much Does Telescopic Forklift Training Cost?
- How Much Does Telehandler Training Cost in the UK
Getting Your Forklift Licence (Step-by-Step)
1. Identify the skills you have and the forklift you would like to operate
Training course should be specific to your ability and the type of truck you want to drive. Once you’ve specified your requirements, you can use that to make enquiry with a training centre. See below skills.
2. Contact a Training Centre Where You Want to Enroll
The best place to get training from is in the training centre, they have complete facilities, state of the art equipment and qualified instructor to supply you the much-needed training.
If you're an employer, you can contact a training centre either to enroll your operators to take the course there or hire its trainer to conduct the training onsite. The latter method is the appropriate way.
3. Attend the Classroom Lecture
Once enrolled, you will be attending a classroom discussion. This will take up much of the time. At the end of the lecture, you are to be given a written test to measure how well you performed during the lecture.
4. Complete the Forklift Written and Practical Tests
These tests will determine your future. The instructor will administer a written test and conduct the practical driving test. If you satisfy the trainer and he’s happy with your performance, he will give you a thumb’s up.
5. Receive Your Certificate
At the end of the training course, trainees who have passed the written test and practical training test will receive their certificate. This document is your proof of competency. You can show that to your present or prospective employer.
Here's a Video Explaining How the Practical Training is Being Done:
Forklift Training Accrediting Bodies
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), being the regulatory authority in UK, set forth forklift training standards to follow. The HSE acknowledges only these six (6) accrediting companies, namely:
- Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT) - www.aitt.co.uk
- Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register (ITSSAR) - www.itssar.org.uk
- Lantra Awards - www.lantra-awards.co.uk
- National Plant Operators Registration Scheme Ltd - www.npors.com
- Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB) Ltd - www.rtitb.co.uk
- Construction Industry Training Board, (CITB) – www.constructionskills.co.uk.
These accrediting bodies have created their own training standards. They accredit training providers such as companies, schools, individuals who want to become qualified instructors and employer’s training scheme.
So when enrolling in a course, make sure the training centre must be accredited by one of these bodies.
Identifying the skills you already have will determine the training course you need to get
- Novice Training – as the name suggests, this course is proposed for an absolute beginner, for those who have no knowledge driving lift truck. It is meant to deliver the basic skills to operate forklifts and capability to perform work with efficiency and safety.
Because the trainees have no prior knowledge, this course is more thorough and it takes a longer time to finish the course and because it takes longer time, it is more expensive as well compare to other training courses. It takes about three to six days to complete and may cost you around £650 to pay for the course.
- Semi-Experienced Training/Untested Forklift Operator Training– This course is for those individuals who know how to drive forklifts but have not taken any formal training in the past. It will cost you between £200 - £350 to take up this training and could last up to three days.
- Conversion Course – wanting to expand your ability driving other kinds of trucks you are not familiar with, then, conversion course is the one you need. The cost to complete this course ranges from £200 and £350. You only need a day to take and finish the whole course.
- Refresher Course - are for trainees who want to get updated about present HSE regulations and safety best practices. This course is being supplied in certain circumstances as well such as when operators were seen driving the truck in a very unsafe manner that jeopardizes their safety and when they were engaged in an accident. Refreshers are also given once every three years to make the operators’ knowledge current.
Requirements Operators Must Have in Order to Get a Licence
- Completion of a training course. This is the foremost requirement an operator must take in order to earn a forklift driving licence in the UK. Please refer to above information for the steps needed to take. The course consists of theory and practical training and at the end is the skills assessment.
- For those who are new to this, you need to be at least 17 years old to be accepted in the training; This is age is the minimum school leaving age which is allowed to work as a forklift operator in the UK. In a more dangerous workplace such as ports, an operator must be at least 18 years old because of the inherent nature of the work area.
- Even you have significant experience as a forklift operator, refresher training is needed in order to maintain qualifications and of course to keep licence. Refresher training is taken every three (3) years. But then again, there is no specific time in order to take the refresher training as there are many circumstances that prompt the operator to undergo refreshers such as involvement in a near miss or accident, learning of new skills, development of unsafe work practices, deficiency in operating skills, etc.
- Due to the nature of the job, operators are expected to be in optimum physical and health conditions. Operating this potentially dangerous piece of equipment for a long period of time every day requires good stamina. Operators may be required by their employer to undergo a medical exam to determine physical ability.
- Do you need a driving licence? There’s a lot of confusion about this. In reality, a driving licence in not required in order to operate a forklift truck. Not unless the truck will be driven on public roads. If such circumstance arises, then the operator must have a driving licence issued in the UK and should comply with the road traffic rules.
How Much Does the Forklift Licence Cost
The cost of the forklift licence and the length of the training depend on the type of forklift you want to be trained to. It will also depend on your skill level. Novice operators tend to have a longer training course that ranges from 3 to 5 days. If you are an experienced individual it only takes 2 days. For refresher and conversion course, only lasts a day to complete the course.
The training providers can charge for up to £700.00 for novice individuals. While providers have training packages, it is better to avail their package to save a little money. If you are an employer who’s looking for a better option, you can hire a trainer to conduct the training at your site. This is a much better option for you.
Training schools ensure that every individual received much information and skill after the completion of the training. Commonly, the ratio of trainer to the student is 1:3. You are assured to get much education and the quality of the training.
How Long Does It Take to Complete the Training Course
It is difficult to determine how long will it take to finish the course as there are many affecting factors such as the skill of the operator, where the training will be conducted (in-house or in the training centre), who’s going to conduct the course (an in-house trainer or an external consultant), number of trainees in the class and the availability of the equipment the trainees wish to be trained on.
But in order to comply with what has been stated in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 of the L117 ACOP, the typical length of the training course should be between three (3) to five (5) days. With this length of time, it is enough to cover the three most important aspects the course must contain: basic, specific job and familiarization training.
If you’re an employer who is handling a large fleet and managing a significant number of operators, it is ideal to conduct the training on-site – in the actual work environment, to shorten the time needed not only to train operators but also to address workplace-specific issues.
Job Requirements of Forklift Operator
When you received your forklift licence, and you are off to get a job, it is better to have a clear idea of what would be your requirements in order to prepare for it and get accepted. In order to become a forklift operator, you need to have/be:
- Physically robust and fit because operating forklifts demands strength and effort
- An aptitude to follow supervisor’s verbal and written instructions
- Awareness that safety is the #1 concern. Always bear in mind that your safety and the people around you are in your hands.
- A mature mind and mentality – driving forklifts is no joke, it should be driven responsibly and work should be finished professionally.
- Basic math skills to make load calculations and estimate lifting height and cover distances
- Able to work proficiently during production full swing.
What is Your Future as Forklift Driver in UK
You can see a better future in becoming a forklift driver. There’s much demand for your skill in this country. In the UK, a forklift operator can make an hourly average wage £8.50. An operator's annual salary ranges from£17,500 to £19,000, if you have more experience, the employer can offer as much as £19,000 to £27,500.
You would usually work for 45 hours per week, sometimes during night shifts. When production is in full swing, you can normally expect additional overtime work. The nature of work of a forklift operator is primarily in the warehouse, port, construction sites, or airports.