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IPAF Training FAQs: 5 Questions You Always Wanted to Ask

IPAF Training Course Horizon Platforms

Here at Horizon Platforms, IPAF courses are delivered at our approved centres with training available for operators, demonstrators, instructors and managers. Each of these programmes has been designed by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), to provide MEWP training in accordance with the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR). As a result, these courses are internationally recognised and considered the gold standard of powered access vehicle training.

Whether you are a contractor interested in booking an IPAF course or an employer looking for accredited access platform training for your staff, you may have questions about IPAF training. From the structure of courses to MEWP controls, here are five frequently asked questions to assist you.

How Long Does it Take to Complete an IPAF Course?

The duration of IPAF training varies depending on the course. For example, an IPAF Operator Course such as the 3A Self Propelled Vertical module, the IPAF Demonstrator Course and MEWPS for Managers each take one full day to complete. While the IPAF Instructor Training Course is a five day programme with additional entry requirements including six months experience as an IPAF operator, three months as an IPAF demonstrator, plus 36 months working with access platforms.

Are Controls Standardised Across Powered Access Equipment?

MEWP controls vary across brands and models, making user familiarisation with platform controls essential for safe operation. However, IPAF is committed to the standardisation of controls on a global scale with the organisation carrying out ongoing research. This began in 2009, when IPAF members launched a project to find out which major controls could be standardised. This process took to the road in 2017, with a test rig used to gather control data from workers across Europe, all with the aim of enhancing MEWP safety.

Why are Only Some MEWPs Fitted with an Anemometer?

An instrument for measuring wind speed, anemometers can be costly and must be adjusted at regular intervals, and as such, manufacturers rarely install them on access platforms. However, the stability of MEWPs can be severely impacted by wind speed and every machine has a maximum for safe operation – BS EN280 states that 28mph is the maximum wind speed at which access equipment can be used. This means it is imperative that users and operators consider wind speed at regular intervals, as weather changes can lead to platform instability. 

Are Theory and Practical Tests Taken Together? 

The course content of our IPAF training modules has been designed to equip individuals with best practices for working at height. Our accredited programmes include theory and practical components, ensuring all individuals who successfully complete an IPAF course leave our training centres understanding how to comply with relevant legislation and fully competent in the operation of access equipment. In circumstances where you are unable to complete the course in one day, theory tests remain valid for four weeks. As such, the practical element can be taken separately at our West Yorkshire facility.

How is a PAL Card Renewed?

After passing an accredited course, individuals receive a PAL card (also referred to as an IPAF card or licence), reflecting their competency and ability to work with access equipment. This is valid for five years and must be renewed before the expiry date. This can be done through an approved IPAF training provider, with a one-day renewal course that includes theoretical and practical elements. In order to qualify for a renewal test, operators and demonstrators must have completed their log books correctly, with a minimum of 60 entries during the five years, at least 10 of which must be from the final 12 months. Without this, both operators and demonstrators will be required to retake the full course(s).

Do you have any further questions about training? As an IPAF Rental + accredited company, we can answer all of your questions. Find more information on our training page or get in touch with our team of experts. 

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