AITT reveals the key certificate features employers must examine when verifying forklift operator qualifications.
The Association of Industrial Truck Trainers is warning employers about the importance of checking all operator certificates in detail.
With many logistics and materials handling companies seeing high staff turnover, managers are increasingly having to asses many varied qualifications, often leading to confusion and discrepancy.
But every organisation must be confident in the skills and knowledge of its forklift operators. How can employers therefore be sure that each and every operator qualification they review is authentic? For complete piece of mind, AITT has highlighted the key indications of a genuine certificate.
AITT advises that when verifying an operator certificate, the first thing to look for is proof of accreditation from an ABA awarding body: AITT, RTITB, ITSSAR or NPORS.
This will be in the form of a unique reference number issued by the relevant awarding body. It signifies to employers that the training company providing the certificate has been externally audited by the awarding body and has been found to meet the required standards.
The certificate must also be linked to a registration scheme for the awarding body. For example, AITT use ACORNS (AITT Certification of Operator Registration Numbers Scheme). As part of this registration, the qualification undergoes an assessment, whereupon 15 criteria are reviewed. After passing this verification, the awarding body issues a unique certificate or operator number. If the qualification is legitimate, this number should be present for employers to recognise.
“Accepting a certificate that has not gone through the necessary checks leaves employers open to the huge risk that individuals may not have received complete and adequate training,” says Adam Smith, Managing Director of AITT. “This means key safety elements could have been missed from their training and the employer faces a greater chance of accidents in the workplace.”
No matter what level or vehicle type the certificate of training is for, employers should always ensure that operators undergo specific on-site training before giving new starters authorisation to use equipment.
Employers should contact AITT if they are unsure about the legitimacy of a forklift operator’s certificate. To make this process as fast and efficient as possible, AITT will soon be launching an online platform, where members can upload certificates to verify validation. As an AITT member, organisations also gain access to accreditation services, as well as industry advice and guidance to ensure continual operation to the highest standards.
“Taking the appropriate measures to confirm that operators have accredited certificates is in any company’s interest,” says Adam Smith. “It gives employers positive assurance that their employees are meeting the relevant standards set out by the ABA.”