IPAF is an acronym for the International Powered Access Federation, which is the body that holds responsibility for ensuring the safe and effective implementation of powered access across the world. IPAF has been operating as a non-profit organization for over 34 years and it invests in the interests of all involved in powered access throughout the food chain, from distributors to hirers, manufacturers to training providers and end users. Since its inception the IPAF has been instrumental in promoting vast improvements in the design of products as well as the advancement of training programmes and safety protocol that is now taking for granted as standard in the industry. In summary, the IPAF is not a training provider but rather an accreditor of the training programmes. The crux of this is that all courses and training modules provided by the many companies across the world are subject to thorough inspection and regular auditing.
All IPAF training courses, therefore, are the result of fine-tuning after taking on board a wealth of new research by leading industry figures. In addition, being certified by TÜV means that all IPAF training courses are in line with the industry standards relating to MEWP and operator training.
How do IPAF courses help you?
With the many increasing regulations that target working at height and the associated risks, it is imperative that companies employing persons who take those risks are adequately trained, from a legal, moral and reputational perspective. Working at height is still one of the most prevalent causes of injuries in the workplace and IPAF training courses are designed to help reverse this trend. Indeed over the past two decades there has been a sharp decline in working at height accidents largely because of the increased uptake and improvement in IPAF training. Each year over 100,000 people complete IPAF training courses at any one of over 600 specialised training centres. IPAF training not only informs people but also helps them to feel confident and safe in their workplace – there is no substitute for this sort of peace of mind.
The IPAF PAL (Powered Access Licence) card is something that delegates will receive, along with their certificate after completing their IPAF training course. This card, which will feature the photograph of the delegate is incredibly handy to take on site, as it is easily verified by employers and recognized everywhere.
Choice of IPAF training courses
As with all training courses, it is imperative that delegates and companies choose the right course for them – relevant to the particular machinery that is used in their workplace and the type of situations they will be working in.
The following are all courses accredited by IPAF and it is up to the individual / company to choose the right course.
These are the most popular courses for most who will be operating MEWPs in the workplace. It involves instructing operators on how best to prepare and operate various types of MEWPs, minimizing risk and increasing safety awareness. The course can be focussed on any of the following areas depending on relevancy and some are available as standalone courses too:
Scissor Lift Training for users of mobile scissor lift type MEWPs
Mobile Boom training for operators of mobile booms/cherry pickers
Static Boom/Van Mount training for operators of static boom/van mount MEWPs
PAV (Push Around Vertical training).
The PAL+ course is an optional one day course that is offered in addition to the standard course that offers training to operators working in higher risk or more challenging environments.
The purpose of this course is to familiarize operators with their obligations and to demonstrate correct preparatory procedure and safe operating conditions and protocol as well as make them understand the limitations of MEWPs.
The instructor course is designed to help instructors to best deliver the IPAF training programme and assesses their knowledge of equipment as well as their aptitude for getting across information to delegates.
Harness Use and Inspection
A more practical course, the harness course does what it says on the tin, in that it helps users to choose, inspect and use the harness correctly when using it in conjunction with a MEWP when working at height.
Another very practical course, relating directly to the machinery itself, this one instructs operators on how best to load and unload as well as correctly secure machinery before or after transporting it by road.
MEWPs for Managers
The MEWPs for Managers course is the basic overview course for anyone involved in planning, supervising and managing MEWPs in the workplace.
IPAFs pre-delivery inspection course is carried out over a whole day and enables trainees to perform PDIs of MEWPs efficiently and systematically.
This concludes the overview of IPAF courses and hopefully gives you an idea of what you need to do to ensure that you are up-to-date with the relevant training.