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One of the questions we frequently hear from our forklift students is one of what they need to know to get a forklift certificate. Sometimes the question is directly related to the kind of knowledge necessary to pass a certification exam, but most are really asking what the requirements are to undergo training. We will endeavour to answer that question in this guide.


If you complete this guide and still have questions, we invite you to contact the HGV Training Centre right away. One of our helpful forklift specialists will be happy to provide any additional information you need. Should you finish this guide and determine forklift training is for you, you can also contact us to get more information about signing up for classes. We are ready to help you get your forklift certificate as soon as you are ready to get started.

Legal Requirements for Training

There are very few legal requirements to train for a job as a forklift operator. The requirements that do exist are for your safety and the safety of those you might work with. As explained by the National Career Service, you must be at least 16 years old to begin forklift training as that is the minimum age for operating the equipment. If you plan to work in a port or dock setting, you must be 18.

The law also requires forklift operators to be in reasonably good health. While the measure of good health is not explicitly defined anywhere in the regulations, it is understood that operators cannot suffer from any disease or physical condition that would impair their ability to operate a forklift safely. It is generally the employer’s responsibility to monitor the health of its operators.

As a training provider, we do not require any kind of health exam to begin training for a forklift certificate. Please bear in mind that any future employers may require you to undergo basic health screening before being hired.


Length of Time for Training

The next thing you need to know is how long training takes. The good news is that it doesn’t take long. The HGV Training Centre offers a full, five-day course for new operators with absolutely no experience. This five-day course culminates with a certification exam that, if passed, awards the student with a forklift certificate from the Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register (ITSSAR). We will discuss that in more detail later in this guide.

Perhaps you are an experienced forklift operator who, despite already working, has never received formal training or certification. We offer a more concentrated three-day course perfect for your needs. This course is designed to take advantage of your experience and combine it with the extra knowledge you need to pass the certification exam.

Lastly, we also offer one-day refresher courses to experienced drivers who have already been certified. Why attend a refresher course? Because even the best drivers in the industry could use a little help every now and again brushing up on their skills and general knowledge.

As you can clearly see, you can go from inexperienced operator to a fully trained and certified operator in just five days. Very few industries can get you trained and ready to look for work as quickly as forklift operation.

What Training Entails

The fact that our training is conducted so quickly does not mean we are putting forklift operators into the workforce incapable of doing their jobs safely. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Our fast-paced training approach maximises learning and retention so that the knowledge and skills learned during training can be immediately applied on the job. We know our training approach works because we have seen it in action. Considering that we put hundreds of drivers through our courses every week, we have a proven track record you can trust for high-quality training.

So what will you learn, exactly? We teach everything you need to know to be a successful forklift operator divided into the following three categories:

Our Recognised Accrediting Body

We sometimes have students ask us whether or not training through a company like ours is absolutely necessary. In other words, can they receive in-house training provided by an employer? Legally, in-house training is possible. But practically speaking, employers prefer to hire operators who have already been trained and certified. They want a worker who is ready to get started on day one rather than having to undergo training first.

In order to establish some type of cohesive training within the industry, the government has approved six different accrediting bodies that have since gone on to develop standardised training programmes ensuring every student can demonstrate basic proficiency and competence prior to entering the workforce. The accrediting body we are associated with is the previously mentioned ITSSAR. This organisation is one of the most respected in the UK; we are proud to say our training programmes are accredited by them.

We want to point out that accreditation is voluntary in the UK. What this means in practical terms is that an employer could offer in-house training that is legally compliant but not approved under any set of established standards. Likewise, a training company could offer independent training that is not accredited. But why do so? More to the point, why not create training programmes that meet industry-wide standards in every respect? Such standards virtually guarantee that students who complete accredited training programmes are competent in their chosen field.

The HGV Training Centre does not shy away from the fact that our forklift certificate is awarded by ITSSAR. In fact, we are proud of our affiliation with the organisation. We know that meeting their standards means we are providing the most respected forklift certificate training in the industry.

The Cost of Training

Finally, we understand that you really want to know how much training costs. Because we offer three different courses depending on student need and experience, it is not possible for us to publish prices here. But we can promise you that our training is affordable and competitively priced.

You might also be pleased to know that the HGV Training Centre offers financing on every class we provide. We work with Pay 4 Later to make it possible for you to obtain your training today while deferring payment until you start working. This option makes training affordable for just about any budget.

Obtaining your forklift certificate will give you access to hundreds of jobs all across the UK. You will have opportunities to apply for work at warehouses, freight yards, docks, distribution centres, construction companies, agricultural operations, and more. There are employers waiting to speak with you after you have been trained and certified.

We invite you to contact us today to learn more about obtaining a forklift certificate. In just five days’ time, you could be certified to work as a forklift operator. If you are willing to dedicate yourself to learning and work hard enough to pass your certification exam, there is no reason you cannot start looking for work as a forklift operator very quickly. We are here to help make it happen.

Additional Forklift Certification Information

Please find further articles related to Forklift driving in the list below:


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