In 1988 the first code of practice covering operator training for rider operated lift trucks was produced. This provides guidance regarding the requirements for the training of lift truck operators. The recognition of accrediting bodies in this guidance was designed to "help employers select training organisations who offer a good standard of training".
In 2010 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) held a conference to address the way forward for Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and the role of the accrediting bodies.
Following a period of consultation, representatives of the four main accrediting bodies, namely AITT, ITSSAR, NPORS and RTITB, have agreed to form the Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA).
Criteria has been formulated in order to qualify as an accrediting body based on the HSE proposal, plus adherence to widely used national and international standards for certification and awarding bodies.
The main areas this agreement covers are the standards to which the training providers will have to adhere, the methods of monitoring to be applied by the relevant bodies, and the future registration of operators by the training providers.
The criteria will be the standards that each of the accrediting bodies will have to attain and adhere to, being regularly audited by an independent external auditing body. Subject to final HSE board approval, the HSE Workplace Transport Team will continue to work with the ABA in an advisory role.
The newly formed association is sure this agreement will bring clarification for future training & testing of all workplace transport and MHE operators.
It will also bring assurance to employers engaging the services of an accredited training provider that the training will be carried out to the standards prescribed in ACOP (L117).