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New testing standards for fork truck operators explained

The Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA), which is formed by the four accrediting bodies; AITT, RTITB, ITSSAR and NPORS, have created a new testing standard, which must be fully implemented by 1st September 2017. Any tests held on or after this date that do not use the new format will be invalid.

The ABA have worked with a range of stakeholders, including training organisations, trade associations, insurers, unions, lift truck manufacturers and employers, to produce a test which more closely reflects the modern working environment and the needs of employers and the industry at large. The ABA Focus Group decided that candidates showing habitual safety related behaviour should be penalised; if they repeatedly committed the SAME safety related fault then they should not pass the practical test element and further training should be provided. This is the first time the test has been updated since 2000.

Key changes

Pre-Use Inspection: 13 of the 22 elements described in the pre-use inspection test have been deemed safety critical. The test candidate must carry out a full and correct check of these items, failure to do so will result in an automatic referral in this element of the test.

Theory Test: In the bank of multiple choice questions there are five mandatory questions. These must appear in every question paper. If a candidate gets any of the mandatory questions incorrect then the overall result of the association knowledge examination will be a referral (regardless of the overall score).

Practical Skills Test: Candidates will be disqualified from the practical skills test if they incur more than three 5-point penalties in any one penalty criteria.

Fault NumberFault DescriptionPenalty Award
2Limbs/body outside confines of truck5
3Fails to check all round5
4Fails to look in the direction of travel5
5Fails to use appropriate safety device5
6Unintentionally travels in wrong direction5
 10Operates hydraulic controls when moving5
 14Fails to hold steering wheel when moving5
 15Forks/load too high when travelling5
16Forks/load too low when travelling5
 22Fails to apply parking brake/engage neutral5
25Fork arms not fully inserted5
31Fails to apply park brake/engage neutral5
36Lowers load onto reach legs5
37Travels with reach extended5

14 out of the 37 criteria now carry a 5-point penalty in the practical skills (listed above). This means the number of 5-point penalties has risen from the original 10 criteria to 14.

Referrals (Practical & Theory Tests): A referral does not mean that a delegate has failed either the theory or practical elements of the course but means they will have to re-take that element of the course and may be given one additional attempt on the day of testing (time permitting), prior to re-training.

                                                                                 Reproduced by kind permission of Mentor FLT Training

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