Forklift licence in UKGetting your forklift licence in 2022 to work in the UK is a good way to improve your chances of getting hired. It also ensures that you have completed a forklift training course making you competent to drive forklift safely and efficiently. In this section of the website, we have provided you, licence seekers, helpful information about forklift training and licensing.

When you have a forklift licence ready in your wallet you can easily present that to your potential employer. It is your ticket for a long-term rewarding and fulfilling career. Having a licence makes you more secure in your career.

Employers look for candidates with a readied licence because it lessens cost-cutting measures, they do not have to send their operator to training schools increasing work efficiency, productivity and company profit. Aside from the fact, it reduces the probability of forklift-related accidents.

Getting licenced to drive a forklift does create a big difference!

This video shows how is the forklift training course is being performed:

Before you continue, you might want to read these FAQs:



Getting Your Forklift Licence (Step-by-Step)


1. Identify the skills you have and the forklift you would like to operate

Training course should be specific to your ability and the type of truck you want to drive. Once you’ve specified your requirements, you can use that to make enquiry with a training centre. See below skills.

2.  Contact a Training Centre Where You Want to Enroll

The best place to get training from is in the training centre, they have complete facilities, state of the art equipment and qualified instructor to supply you the much-needed training.

If you're an employer, you can contact a training centre either to enroll your operators to take the course there or hire its trainer to conduct the training onsite. The latter method is the appropriate way.

3. Attend the Classroom Lecture

Once enrolled, you will be attending a classroom discussion. This will take up much of the time. At the end of the lecture, you are to be given a written test to measure how well you performed during the lecture.

4. Complete the Forklift Written and Practical Tests

These tests will determine your future. The instructor will administer a written test and conduct the practical driving test. If you satisfy the trainer and he’s happy with your performance, he will give you a thumb’s up.

5. Receive Your Certificate

At the end of the training course, trainees who have passed the written test and practical training test will receive their certificate. This document is your proof of competency. You can show that to your present or prospective employer.

Here's a Video Explaining How the Practical Training is Being Done:




Forklift Training Accrediting Bodies 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), being the regulatory authority in UK, set forth forklift training standards to follow. The HSE acknowledges only these six (6) accrediting companies, namely:

  1. Association of Industrial Truck Trainers (AITT) -
  2. Independent Training Standards Scheme and Register (ITSSAR) -
  3. Lantra Awards -
  4. National Plant Operators Registration Scheme Ltd -
  5. Road Transport Industry Training Board (RTITB) Ltd -
  6. Construction Industry Training Board, (CITB) –

These accrediting bodies have created their own training standards. They accredit training providers such as companies, schools, individuals who want to become qualified instructors and employer’s training scheme. 

So when enrolling in a course, make sure the training centre must be accredited by one of these bodies.

Identifying the skills you already have will determine the training course you need to get

  • Novice Training – as the name suggests, this course is proposed for an absolute beginner, for those who have no knowledge driving lift truck. It is meant to deliver the basic skills to operate forklifts and capability to perform work with efficiency and safety.

    Because the trainees have no prior knowledge, this course is more thorough and it takes a longer time to finish the course and because it takes longer time, it is more expensive as well compare to other training courses. It takes about three to six days to complete and may cost you around £650 to pay for the course.

  • Semi-Experienced Training/Untested Forklift Operator Training– This course is for those individuals who know how to drive forklifts but have not taken any formal training in the past. It will cost you between £200 - £350 to take up this training and could last up to three days.

  • Conversion Course – wanting to expand your ability driving other kinds of trucks you are not familiar with, then, conversion course is the one you need. The cost to complete this course ranges from £200 and £350. You only need a day to take and finish the whole course.

  • Refresher Course - are for trainees who want to get updated about present HSE regulations and safety best practices. This course is being supplied in certain circumstances as well such as when operators were seen driving the truck in a very unsafe manner that jeopardizes their safety and when they were engaged in an accident. Refreshers are also given once every three years to make the operators’ knowledge current. 

Requirements Operators Must Have in Order to Get a Licence

  • Completion of a training course. This is the foremost requirement an operator must take in order to earn a forklift driving licence in the UK. Please refer to above information for the steps needed to take. The course consists of theory and practical training and at the end is the skills assessment.

  • For those who are new to this, you need to be at least 17 years old to be accepted in the training; This is age is the minimum school leaving age which is allowed to work as a forklift operator in the UK. In a more dangerous workplace such as ports, an operator must be at least 18 years old because of the inherent nature of the work area.

  • Even you have significant experience as a forklift operator, refresher training is needed in order to maintain qualifications and of course to keep licence. Refresher training is taken every three (3) years. But then again, there is no specific time in order to take the refresher training as there are many circumstances that prompt the operator to undergo refreshers such as involvement in a near miss or accident, learning of new skills, development of unsafe work practices, deficiency in operating skills, etc.

  • Due to the nature of the job, operators are expected to be in optimum physical and health conditions. Operating this potentially dangerous piece of equipment for a long period of time every day requires good stamina. Operators may be required by their employer to undergo a medical exam to determine physical ability.

  • Do you need a driving licence? There’s a lot of confusion about this. In reality, a driving licence in not required in order to operate a forklift truck. Not unless the truck will be driven on public roads. If such circumstance arises, then the operator must have a driving licence issued in the UK and should comply with the road traffic rules.



How Much Does the Forklift Licence Cost

The cost of the forklift licence and the length of the training depend on the type of forklift you want to be trained to. It will also depend on your skill level. Novice operators tend to have a longer training course that ranges from 3 to 5 days. If you are an experienced individual it only takes 2 days. For refresher and conversion course, only lasts a day to complete the course.

The cost of obtaining a forklift license in the UK can vary depending on the type of forklift being operated and the training provider. On average, the cost of a forklift license can range from £150 to £500. It is important to note that this is just the cost of the training and license and does not include any additional costs such as medical exams, equipment, or materials. It is advisable to contact forklift training providers in your area to get a more accurate estimate of the total cost of obtaining a forklift license in the UK.

If you are an employer who’s looking for a better option, you can hire a trainer to conduct the training at your site. This is a much better option for you.

Training schools ensure that every individual received much information and skill after the completion of the training. Commonly, the ratio of trainer to the student is 1:3. You are assured to get much education and the quality of the training.

How Long Does It Take to Complete the Training Course

It is difficult to determine how long will it take to finish the course as there are many affecting factors such as the skill of the operator, where the training will be conducted (in-house or in the training centre), who’s going to conduct the course (an in-house trainer or an external consultant), number of trainees in the class and the availability of the equipment the trainees wish to be trained on.

But in order to comply with what has been stated in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 of the L117 ACOP, the typical length of the training course should be between three (3) to five (5) days. With this length of time, it is enough to cover the three most important aspects the course must contain: basic, specific job and familiarization training.

The duration of a forklift training course can be affected by the skill level of the student. If the student has prior experience operating a forklift or has relevant skills, they may be able to complete the training in a shorter period of time. On the other hand, if the student is a novice with no prior experience, they may require more time to complete the training. Additionally, the type of forklift being operated can also impact the duration of the training. Some forklifts may be more complex to operate and may require more time for training. It is advisable to check with the training provider for more information on the specific duration of the training course you are interested in, taking into consideration your skills and experience.

If you’re an employer who is handling a large fleet and managing a significant number of operators, it is ideal to conduct the training on-site – in the actual work environment, to shorten the time needed not only to train operators but also to address workplace-specific issues.



Renewal of the Forklift Licence in the UK

In the UK, forklift operators are required to renew their forklift license every three years. This is to ensure that the operator remains competent and up-to-date with the latest industry standards and safety regulations. The renewal process usually involves a re-assessment of the operator's skills and knowledge, which may include a practical test, a written test, or both.

The cost of renewing a forklift license can vary, but it is generally in the same range as the cost of obtaining a new license. It is advisable to check with the training provider for more information on the specific requirements and cost of renewing a forklift license in the UK.

Renewal can provided by a training provider. 

Job Requirements of Forklift Operator

When you received your forklift licence, and you are off to get a job, it is better to have a clear idea of what would be your requirements in order to prepare for it and get accepted. In order to become a forklift operator, you need to have/be:

  • Physically robust and fit because operating forklifts demands strength and effort
  • An aptitude to follow supervisor’s verbal and written instructions
  • Awareness that safety is the #1 concern. Always bear in mind that your safety and the people around you are in your hands.
  • A mature mind and mentality – driving forklifts is no joke, it should be driven responsibly and work should be finished professionally.
  • Basic math skills to make load calculations and estimate lifting height and cover distances
  • Able to work proficiently during production full swing.

What is Your Future as Forklift Driver in UK

You can see a better future in becoming a forklift driver. There’s much demand for your skill in this country. In the UK, a forklift operator can make an hourly average wage £8.50. An operator's annual salary ranges from£17,500 to £19,000, if you have more experience, the employer can offer as much as £19,000 to £27,500.

You would usually work for 45 hours per week, sometimes during night shifts. When production is in full swing, you can normally expect additional overtime work. The nature of work of a forklift operator is primarily in the warehouse, port, construction sites, or airports.



The HSE and BSC Has Their Own Requirement

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says that “a person who operates a forklift truck on behalf of an employer must have received adequate training in its use”. The HSE also says that an operator must be “ competent”.

The British Safety Council (BSC) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that works to raise standards of health, safety and environmental management. The BSC is accredited by the HSE to provide training and qualifications, including forklift operator training.

The BSC’s website has a searchable database of accredited training providers. The website also has a list of Frequently Asked Questions about forklift operator training, including information about conversion courses for foreign licence holders.

The HSE’s website has a factsheet about operating a forklift safely. The factsheet includes information about the legal requirements for training and competence, as well as practical advice on how to operate a forklift safely.



Are Foreign Forklift Licence Valid in the UK

If you're looking to operate a forklift in this country, you may be wondering if your foreign forklift licence is valid. The answer is simply No. This country has its own requirements and standards when it comes to training forklift drivers.

If you have a Certificate from another country, you may be able to use it in the UK as proof of experience when finding employment. However, you'll need to get a separate training from an accredited training provider on the type of truck you intend to operate to be issued with UK forklift certificate.

Don't Believe These

If one of your buddies told you that you can use your foreign forklift certificate if you intend to move to UK, that might not be true. Don't immediately believe if you hear these from your colleagues:

  • The licence was issued by a recognised and reputable organisation will be valid in new country - (This isn't true).
  • The licence is for the same type of forklift as the one being operated in the UK - (even you intend to operate the same type of forklift, you still need take a separate training).
  • The licence is still valid and has not expired - (even your foreign licence isn't expired, you still have to have a UK forklift certificate. The foreign licence you're holding is a proof of experience operating the truck).
  • The holder of the licence is competent to operate the forklift and has the necessary skills and experience - (Yes, this true, but again to work in the UK as a forklift driver, you need to have certificate issued in this country).

Different countries has their own standards with regards to training forklift drivers. If you intend to move to other country and work there as an operator, the foreign licence you have can be used as evidence of experience when applying for a job.

Overall, getting a forklift licence in the UK is a fairly simple process. You just have to register in a course offered by a training provider, you should be able to operate a forklift without any problems. The course only takes a day or two, depending on the skill level you have.



Some Other Basic Prerequisites

The applicant must be 17 years of age or older (at least 18 to get a job). One must be in good physical and health condition as the nature of the job is physically-demanding. In some cases, in order to get a job, one must have clean record and without derogatory record. A medical certificate will be needed before being accepted for the job.

To obtain a UK forklift licence, you will need to pass a written test and a practical test. The written test covers topics such as health and safety, forklift operation and maintenance. The practical test assesses your ability to operate a forklift safely and efficiently. Once you have passed both tests, you will be issued with a licence which is valid for three years.

The Different Types of Forklifts Available

There are many different types of forklifts available on the market, each with its own unique set of features and benefits. Some of the most popular types of forklifts include:

  • Electric forklifts: Electric forklifts are powered by batteries, making them ideal for indoor use where emissions from internal combustion engines would be a concern. Electric forklifts are also very quiet, which can be a benefit in some work environments.

  • Internal combustion engine forklifts: Internal combustion engine forklifts are powered by gasoline, diesel, or propane, and are typically used for outdoor applications where electric forklifts would not be suitable.

  • Rough terrain forklifts: Rough terrain forklifts are designed for use on rough or uneven surfaces, such as construction sites or gravel lots. These forklifts typically have larger tires and a higher ground clearance than other types of forklifts.

  • Telehandler forklifts: Telehandler forklifts are versatile machines that can be used for a variety of applications, including lifting, moving, and placing materials. Telehandlers typically have a boom that can be raised and lowered, as well as extendable forks that can be used to reach materials that are not directly in front of the machine.

No matter what type of forklift you need, it's important to make sure that you get the proper training and certification before operating one.



The Safety Features of Forklifts

Forklifts are powered industrial trucks that are used to move materials in a variety of settings, including warehouses, factories, and construction sites. While forklifts can be very helpful in moving large or heavy objects, they can also be dangerous if not used properly. There are a number of safety features that are required on forklifts in order to help protect operators and other workers in the area.

Some of the most important safety features on a forklift include the following:

  • A seat belt that is worn by the operator at all times
  • A solid, stable base with a low center of gravity
  • A mast that is designed to protect the operator from falling objects
  • A load guard that helps to prevent materials from falling off of the forks
  • A horn that can be used to warn other workers in the area of the forklift’s presence
  • A backup alarm that is sounded when the forklift is backing up
  • A fire extinguisher that is easily accessible in case of a fire



How to Get a Copy of Forklift Licence, If It is Lost

To obtain a copy of your forklift license, you may need to follow these steps:

  • Contact the training provider: If you received your forklift training and license from a training provider, you can reach out to them and request a duplicate copy of your license. They should have a record of your training and certification, and can provide you with a copy of your license.

  • Request a copy from the issuing authority: If you are unable to obtain a copy from the training provider or your records, you can contact the issuing authority, such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK, to request a duplicate copy of your license. You may need to provide some identifying information and pay a fee to obtain a duplicate copy.

It's important to have a copy of your forklift license, as it serves as proof of your competency to operate a forklift and demonstrates compliance with industry standards and regulations. Additionally, having a copy of your license can be useful for job applications and for demonstrating your qualifications to potential employers. If you have lost your license or it has been damaged, obtaining a duplicate copy is a necessary step to ensure you have the proper documentation to continue operating a forklift.




To Verify Your Credential, Visit the RTITB Website

RTITB (Road Transport Industry Training Board) is a UK-based organization that provides training and certification for forklift operators. If you have received RTITB certification, you can check the status of your certificate by following these steps:

  1. Visit the RTITB website: Go to the RTITB website ( and click on the "Check a certificate" link under the "Certification" section.

  2. Enter your details: On the "Check a certificate" page, enter your first name, last name, and certificate number. If you don't have your certificate number, you can also search for your certificate using your date of birth and postcode.

  3. Review your certificate: Once you have entered your information, the RTITB website will display information about your certificate, including the date it was issued, the type of certificate, and its expiration date.

If you are unable to find your certificate using the RTITB website, you can contact RTITB customer service for assistance. They can help you locate your certificate and provide you with the information you need.

It's important to keep your RTITB certificate up-to-date and to renew it if necessary. Having a valid RTITB certificate demonstrates your competence as a forklift operator and can be a valuable asset when applying for jobs or bidding on projects in the road transport industry.


To Make a Conclusion

It is a legal requirement in the United Kingdom that all operators of powered lifting trucks, including forklifts, must be trained and certified to do so. There is no such thing as a ‘foreign’ forklift licence – all licences must be obtained from a recognised provider in the UK.

There are a number of organisations that offer forklift training and certification in the UK, so it should not be difficult to find a course that suits your needs. Once you have completed the training and obtained your certificate, you will be able to operate a forklift in the UK.

However, it is worth bearing in mind that forklift training and certification is only valid for a certain period of time. After this time, you will need to renew your training and certification in order to continue operating a forklift.

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