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Forklift License, Does It Exist?

Forklift license, does it exist?


People misunderstand that you can obtain a license to drive a forklift. In fact, there is no such thing as a license, there are only certifications. 

The difference is that the government does not verify your skills or abilities like when you receive a forklift license. When you receive a certification, it is to show that you have been trained to use it in a safe manner.

Forklift Operator Using A Forklift
Do forklift Licenses exist?

A certification is only good for a specific type of equipment and only in the environment where the certification took place. 

Therefore, even if you have been certified at one company, that does not mean that you can use a forklift at another company. Even if you are using the same style of lift. 

It is the responsibility of the owner of the company to verify that anyone using that forklift has received proper training. 

For anyone looking to become certified, or for a business looking to hire a qualified operator, it’s important to make the distinction between a license and a certification.

First things first, let’s establish something very important: there is no such thing as a forklift license

Although you would think that you would need a license, the truth is you don’t; you certainly need to be ‘qualified’, but this qualification does not come in the form of a license.

Employers are required by Health and Safety legislation to ensure that all employees have the appropriate training on the equipment they may be expected to use during their employment. 

Training must be recorded in writing; what machines the individual has used, the operations they have carried out, and any relevant restrictions on their training. These written records are known as training certificates.

So, the key difference between a license and a certificate is that a license doesn’t exist. When it comes to hiring an operator, it’s crucial that written records of training must be provided – these form the certification. Companies should always ask a new hire that is applying for a forklift position for their training certificate.

While there’s no legal requirement for refresher training, employers should take care to provide refresher training for those that need it, when they need it. Such as near-miss collisions, bad driving habits, or attitude.

There is a common misconception regarding licenses and the corresponding training. Many people presume the process of receiving a license is the same as receiving a driving license, Not True, in order to receive a license to drive a car you would take an exam and then a road test. If you pass both then the government will issue you a driver’s license. 

Getting a license to operate a forklift is the same process, you take an exam followed by a practical evaluation (driving test) and if passed you would receive a certificate. Now this certificate is NOT issued by the government and that is the difference. Only qualified instructors or training companies can issue your certificate.

So there it is, no such thing as a license but instead, it is a certificate, licenses don’t exist. Instead, you will receive a certificate upon completing a training course. 

Each type of machine requires its own training, and each of these courses is offered at different levels. There are 7 classes of machines so training needs to be completed for each classification. You can click this link to see the different classes.

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