A guide to Forklift Training and License Requirements

Material Handling Training Courses

A guide to Forklift Training and License Requirements

Forklift drivers are an essential part of businesses across the UK, however, they are very heavy pieces of machinery and as a result, forklifts can be very dangerous. If a forklift is involved in an accident, it can cause damage and injuries, it can affect a company’s reputation and cause financial loss.

Why Forklift training and certification is necessary

Forklift trucks are used in many industries and have a significant impact in efficiency in the workplace. Many construction workers or warehouse employees will operate a forklift throughout their career and training ensures that these workers are fit and capable of operating the machinery.

There are many benefits to scheduling forklift training for your operators including:

  • Increase operator efficiency – Confident drivers are more relaxed and are able to work fast and more efficiently which can increase the overall productivity of your workplace.
  • Reduce the risk of accidents and injury – Forklifts are dangerous when operated without proper training so training every employee reduces the risk of injury in the workplace.
  • Increase machine life – When your equipment is properly services and maintained, the machine life will be extended.
  • Reduce inventory loss – Inexperienced forklift operators may damage goods as well as the machine they are using.

Do you need a driving license to drive a forklift truck in the UK?

Fork lifts are heavy duty vehicles for lifting goods and transporting them between locations; they are electrically powered and are used in warehouses, storage depots and on construction sites. To drive a fork lift you must be trained to operate it in a safe manner, to operate it legally, and to use all the safety precautions.

What should Forklift Training include?

The Provision and use of work equipment regulations 1998 (PUWER) state that it is the employers responsibility to ensure that all workers who manage equipment have received the sufficient training to do so. The machinery must be safe to use, maintained and in a safe condition and regularly inspected.

The relevant forklift training would include:

  • The skills to operate the forklift or any other machinery involved
  • Understanding any risks associated with using the equipment
  • Precautions to take where needed

What are the recommendations or requirements for any person looking to receive forklift training?

Although there are very little legal requirements around driving a forklift, there are a few recommendations that can be made:


For the purposes of forklift training, potential drivers should be over school age. Due to Health and Safety regulations, most warehouses across the UK want their drivers to be over 18.


There is no minimum fitness level required by a forklift driver, however the levels of fitness recommended are generally the same as the requirements for a full UK driving license.

  • Your vision should not be impaired
  • A forklift driver must be able to hear instructions and warning signals

PD Training Material Handling Courses

How long is forklift certificate valid for?

We recommend refreshing your forklift training every 3 years, although there may be some circumstances that may need forklift refresher training sooner, for example:

  • Anyone that has displayed dangerous driving and working practices
  • Anyone that has been part of an unsafe or near miss incident
  • Any person that has had an accident using equipment
  • Changes in the operatives physical health that could affect their driving ability
  • New equipment or processes have been introduced
  • Period of absence or a gap in using the skill for any reason

Different types of forklift courses we provide at PD Training

Our professional forklift truck training courses provide the insights and knowledge of moving materials safely, using a range of forklifts, equipment and vehicles.

Our comprehensive forklift training courses are aimed at employers, employees and individuals who work on, or who are in control of worksites. This includes anyone that is responsible for moving heavy loads and different types of materials safely. All of our face to face courses can be conducted from your workplace or from our fully equipped training centre in Windsor, Berkshire. 

A fill list of our material handling training courses can be found on our website.

Our most popular forklift training courses include:

Our Counterbalance training courses are available for any level of experience. We use the latest training techniques combining theory and practical exercises in accordance with health and safety executive guidelines.

By the end of this course operators will be able to operate machinery safely and in relation to the task, demonstrate an understanding of responsibilities under current legislation, demonstrate an understanding of the personal Protective Equipment required for safe use.

An operator training course including theoretical and practical examinations, vehicle loading and offloading, refuelling and recharging procedures including battery handling and load handling skills.

Operators should be trained to an essential level of skill to work with a pivot steer safely and efficiently. This training will include a practical and theoretical examination, so by the end of this course the operator can state the reasons for operator training and pass an operative skills test.

On completion of training, delegates will be able to operate the truck safely and efficiently, be able to attach the truck to a carrying vehicle and detach it safely in accordance to relevant road traffic legislation. The will also be able to clearly understand the causes of truck and load instability and be able to carry out a pre-use inspection of the truck.

A telescopic forklift can lift loads and extend or retract its telescopic arms to adjust maximum reach and lift height. Our tele-handler accredited training ensures the lift truck operator can fully operate and maintain the vehicle, pre-shift checks, defect reporting, engineering principles and weight assessment, manoeuvring skills. load handling skills ad much more. Before completion of the course, there will be a theoretical and practical examination.

Our forklift refresher training is aimed at any operators who are formally trained to use a forklift truck, but require a refresh on training. It includes a practical and theory test to ensure safe operation and driving, load handling skills, code of practice, lifting operations and much more.

We also offer Forklift instructor training which is available at a national instructor or in-house level. This training allows the delegate to teach and certify others and includes:

  • Advanced forklift operation
  • The approved code of practice
  • Instructional methods and techniques
  • Conducting theoretical lessons
  • Conducting practical lessons
  • Basic skills tests
  • Report Writing
  • Training Programme Preparation
  • Company Training Records

We hope you found the above information useful. Should you have any questions, doubts or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Call us on 01344 830015

Contact us on our ‘We are here’ live that

Email us at info@pd-training.co.uk

Fill in an enquiry form on our ‘Contact us page

Message us on one of our social media channels


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