Are Forklift Operators Required To Be Certified?

If you are looking for the requirements to work in the UK as a forklift operator you will be glad to know we are here to answer all your questions.

The straightest answer is yes, you are required to be certified to be allowed to operate a forklift. There reason why is very simple. Forklifts can be dangerous machines if operated by individuals who haven’t received proper training and aren’t certified. Doing so can be a hazard for the driver but also for other people within the premises. In fact, according to HSE, they are accountable for a quarter of transport accidents in the workplace.

So what exactly does the law require from forklift operators and their employers? Let’s dive in.

Is There An Age Limit To Drive A Forklift?

There isn’t exactly an age limit requirement. However, according to the law, for you to be hired anywhere you need to have reached the official minimum school leaving age (MSLA) which is 16 years old. 

Yellow forklift


Training And Certification Requirements

Health and safety regulations dictate that basic training should be provided on all types of forklift trucks that operators are likely to use. It is established under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 that it is the employer’s duty to ensure that all employees who are required to use work equipment have been given proper training, warned about the risks entailed and the safety measures to prevent them. Otherwise, the law will be broken.

Forklifts being the work equipment, it is essential that training is accredited by one of the 4 official accrediting bodies in the UK (ITSSAR, RTITB, CITB and NPORS). If you are planning on applying to a job in the industry you will most certainly need to have proof of accreditation to be considered. If you are an employer it is your responsibility to ensure all your employees are certified. On the other hand, unless you intend on driving the forklift trucks on a public road you don’t need a full UK driving license.

For further training guidance, you can refer to the Approved Code of Practice (L117). If you are already certified maybe you are wondering if there is a legal period of time after which you need refresher training or retake the assessment for it to remain valid. There isn’t. Yet to employers, we do recommend you consider providing extra training every 3 to 5 years to ensure the highest levels of performance and safety.

Orange Forklift

At Approved Forklift Trucks we are aware of the importance of being fully trained and qualified to ensure safe and compliant use of any kind of forklift. Our team has made sure to gain all the relevant ITSSAR accreditations which is why we are authorised to offer training and issue all types of forklift truck licenses.

Get in touch today to find out more about our training courses on your choice of location.