IPAF Training: An Introduction

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Published: 02nd April 2012
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The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is a non-profit organisation promoting the safe and effective use of Mobile Elevated Working Platforms (MEWPs), such as cherry pickers and scissor lifts. IPAF accredited training courses, which can be completed around the UK, are internationally recognised and cover the safe and effective operation, instruction and management of access platforms.

Why is training important?

Although there are many reasons, including safety and comfort at height, which make training essential, it is also an employer's legal obligation to ensure that the operator of the equipment is trained; this is stated in the following Regulations:

  • HSWA - The Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
  • MHSWR - The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations (1999)
  • LOLER - The Lift Operating & Lifting Equipment Regulations (1998)
  • PUWER - The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (1998)
  • WAHR - The Working at Height Regulations (2005)

What kind of training is on offer?

As is suggested above, there are a number of IPAF training courses on offer throughout the UK, and these include both practical (i.e. physically operating machines) and classroom based (theory) sessions.

IPAF Operator courses are some of the most popular courses. These are organised into classifications which cover training to use particular kinds of powered access platforms, such as vehicle mounted platforms (1b), scissor lifts (3a) and cherry pickers (3b). These courses typically last a full day; with some people opting to take two classifications in one day's training session.

Another popular course is the IPAF MEWPs for Managers. This training provides delegates in managerial or supervisor positions with training to effectively and safely manage MEWPs in working environments, ensuring that machines used are utilised correctly. This is a classroom based course which teaches the theory elements of MEWP use and management.

There are many other courses, including IPAF Demonstrator, IPAF Instructor and IPAF Harness training types which cover specific elements of the use of powered access equipment, teaching things ranging from correct safety equipment to teaching others how to use access platforms.

What will I do in training?

The kinds of things you will complete in your session will depend on the course you are attending. Often courses, such as IPAF Operator courses, will include half a day spent in the classroom looking at the background to using powered access, with the second part of the day spent using the machines and being tested in competently operating them.

On this kind of course, over the course of the day you will gain a much greater awareness of not only using MEWPs, but also understanding why it is important to work safely, and how you can achieve this when you begin to use access platforms in real working situations.

As mentioned above, other courses are based on purely theoretical aspects of managing MEWPs. These courses will be led in a classroom by an instructor who will lead the session according to a set syllabus of requirements.

All IPAF courses are taught by trained and accredited instructors who will have high levels of experience in MEWP training, including knowledge of both practical and theory that they will use when training you to work to the same high standards.

Get IPAF training and learn how to use powered access safely and effectively. We offer IPAF courses across the UK and can offer last minute places in a city near you. We can also offer you PASMA training and other accredited courses nationwide.

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