What is IPAF?
‘IPAF’ stands for the International Powered Access Federation. They are the leading authority for the safe use of powered access platforms in the construction sector. Their regulation has ensured that safety precautions for operating powered access platforms such as scissor lifts and booms are regulated across the sector. IPAF Training courses are highly credible and are recognised worldwide.
What is a PAL?
IPAF is the sole issuer of the PAL (Powered Access Licence) license/card. Platform operators are only issued the PAL if they have successfully completed training at an IPAF-Approved Training Centre, such as ITS’s head office at 7 Derryneskan Rd, Portadown, NI. The PAL holders are among the safest and most productive platform operators in the industry as they comply to the strict IPAF training standards. The IPAF’s authority ensures that the PAL is regarded in all industries across the world. It also shows that companies whose staff have obtained the PAL are completely committed to fulfilling their legal obligations in terms of health and safety. Simply put, if you work at a height or with access equipment, you will almost certainly require an IPAF License.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE- IPAF used to provide physical PAL cards that you would receive in the post a few weeks after completing your course, however they have recently changed this process, and they now have converted to virtual cards, which can be accessed upon downloading the IPAF ePAL App. This App also allows you to track your experience and time spent using the MEWPs, which previously would have been done via a physical logbook. This is so that when 5yrs have passed after successfully completing the IPAF course, you can renew your license with evidence that you have the experience. Check out our Linkedin Post on this for more info- https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6805768559927554048
What do I need to do in order to get my PAL?
At ITS we advise that you complete adequate training on both Harness Use and Inspection, and a Working at Height Awareness course prior to completing the IPAF Training Course for Mobile Elevated Platforms (MEWPs). When you have completed the IPAF training course successfully, you will be awarded your PAL which is valid for 5yrs from the first day of your course and a certificate of completion.
What does the IPAF Training (MEWP) Course cover?
The IPAF (MEWP) course covers the health and safety precautions of operating various types of MEWPs. At ITS, we cover IPAF training on MEWPs such as:
- Static Vertical (1a): Any vertical personnel platform that remains motionless.
- Static Boom (1b): Any self-propelled boom, trailers/push around, or vehicle-mounted platforms are considered static booms; outriggers may be connected to these devices.
- Mobile Vertical (3a): Any mobile scissor lifts or vertical mobile personnel platforms.
- Mobile Boom (3b): Any self-propelled booms.
What we offer at ITS:
Here at Industry Training Services, we are an IPAF accredited centre, and we offer this course not only at our centre in Northern Ireland, but we also have the capacity to deliver it across the ROI in Dublin, Cork, and Galway. The IPAF training course we offer provides you with both training and testing predominantly on the 3a mobile scissor, the 3b self-propelled boom MEWPs, and the 1b static boom. This will cover you to operate other MEWPs, with the instruction that you will self-familiarise yourself with alternative machines and refer to the manufacturers manual when required.
The first half of the course is a theory-based session in which you will complete a theory test which you must pass to achieve your PAL. The session is explained in detail and is made easy to understand with the help of an experienced trainer that will assist you through the session. The second half of the course requires you to complete a practical session where you will operate both the 3a scissor lift, 3b mobile boom, and when required the 1b static boom. You will be assessed on this practical session and must be able to operate each machine to pass and achieve the PAL.