There seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding the training durations for forklift truck operators. The position is that the HASAW Act states that the training must be "adequate" and all reasonable and practicable means must be used to ensure that correct training is carried out in accordance with the Approved Code of Practice. There is also a false impression that there is such as thing as a forklift licence. There isn't! It's a certificate of training.
In reality, factory inspectors cannot be expected to be experts on every single little detail of every industrial process and so they reply on accrediting bodies to recommend training durations which are listed below. It is always possible to find a training provider who will do the work in a shorter time but it's worth remembering that "there was never anything that could not be done worse for less money" (John Ruskin miss-quote)
Even some of the course durations listed here may not be long enough and employers should ask themselves the following questions before putting forward anyone for training on a fork lift:
Do they have a positive attitude towards training or will they see it as simply a "few days off"?
Do they have any previous experience bearing in mind that they are required to manoeuvre trucks in very confined spaces in order to pass the JCITB test.
Do they drive a car or have they driven other vehicles such as tractors and the like?
Are they medically fit?
Are they old enough?, (age 18 is generally regarded as the minimum and stated in the ACoP)
For novice operators the following are minimum course durations:
As a rough guide, training people who are experienced on lift trucks but have never been formally trained before will take approximately half of the above durations. Please note that the RTITB and others actually specify the minimum time in hours.
For persons undertaking a re-test who can provide proof of previous training the course duration is 1 day with a maximum of three persons attending. My own view, having conducted many of these courses, is that it's better to have only 2 attendees so that a little corrective tuition can be given prior to undertaking the test.