A Beginners Guide to – Forklift Qualifications.

A Beginners Guide to – Forklift Qualifications

A Beginners Guide to – Forklift Qualifications.

Here we are again, back to our trusty ‘A Beginners Guide to’ series. In this blog, we’ll once again be focusing on forklifts. More specifically, the qualifications needed to operate and drive a forklift in both a safe and secure manner.

In the past, we’ve described forklifts as “not simply golf carts with a serious underbite”, and we stand by this statement. Forklifts can be dangerous when untrained hands and can lead to severe injuries. If you don’t believe us, check out our blog named Forklift Injuries and Dangers to Avoid in 2020. But you won’t need this, will you? Because you’re going to read this blog all about forklift qualifications, get your qualifications, and drive safe, right?


So, let’s get to it. Here’s our beginner’s guide to forklift qualifications:

What Are Forklift Qualifications?

At this point, you might be asking yourself “why aren’t they calling it a forklift licence?” Well, that’s because there is no such thing as a forklift licence – although the term is often used.

Unlike a driving licence, a ‘forklift licence’ is a certificate rather than a card, hence why the official term is a forklift qualification. However, much like a driving licence, a forklift qualification is proof that the owner has been assessed and deemed safe to operate a specific type of FLT. 

Who Needs Forklift Qualifications?

The short answer for this point is this – everybody that operates a forklift in a professional manner. However, if you’re here to learn more about forklift qualifications and the specifics, you’ll want to keep reading.

Whilst it’s no secret that certain individuals will operate a forklift without any qualifications, this is an offence punishable by law. And, for the record, we do not condone the actions of anyone operating a forklift without the appropriate qualifications and training.

They may not seem dangerous on first viewing, forklifts can be the cause of some severe injuries. Some of which are extremely serious and should be avoided at all costs, like concussion and striking workers around you.

Besides the fact that you’re breaking the law by operating a forklift without the appropriate qualifications, there are many benefits to acquiring a forklift qualification. These include learning how to operate a forklift more efficiently, safely, and more.

However, that’s not all. It’s also suggested that anyone who wishes or needs to operate a forklift be physically fit and able. Although it may not seem it, an FLT can be physically demanding to operate. Therefore, to qualify for a forklift qualification, you must also obtain a medical certificate, stating that you’re physically fit enough to operate one.


Does My Forklift Qualification Expire?

There are mixed answers to this online. So, allow us to clarify.

Officially, no, forklift qualifications don’t expire. However, it recommended that you participate in a refresher course every 2-5 years, with most operators narrowing that to 2-3 years. Although this is not something you officially have to do, your employer or contract may require you to do so.

However, the HSE recommends that forklift drivers are provided with regular training and evaluation to continue operating safely. You’ll also want to keep on top of your refresher courses to remain on the National Operator Registration Scheme (NORS), as you’ll only remain on this list for 3 years after your latest certification course. If you’ve been registered with NORS before, you may receive a notification 6 months prior to your expiration, letting you know when it’s time to take a refresher course to stay listed. 


What Types of Training Courses are There?

There are four primary types of forklift training courses:


This is the entry-level course for those who have never operated a forklift before. The longest and most thorough of the courses, this level teaches all of the basic skills needed to safely and effectively operate a forklift. This type of course can take anywhere between 3-6 days to complete and costs around £650.


If you’ve got experience using a forklift but have no official qualifications or training, you’ll want this level of course. This type of training tends to take around 3 days and costs around £300.


A training course designed to expand your knowledge of various forklifts. Focused on types and models of forklifts you’ve not used; you’ll learn to safely use and operate a different type of forklift. These courses will only take around a day to finish and will cost around £300.


As we’ve already mentioned, your forklift qualification will never expire. However, it’s recommended that you take a refresher course every 2-5 years. This course is as its name suggests, and acts as a refresher to ensure an operator can continue to operate a forklift safely and securely. Prices and times vary depending on the course needed. To find out more, get in contact.

Where Can I Get a Forklift Qualification?

Forklift qualifications can be obtained from various certified trainers – like us!

Our fully qualified trainers will help to create a custom training plan for you and your employees. From absolute beginners to seasoned operators, we’re able to create and fulfil a training course that’s perfect for you.


There you have it, your beginners guide to forklift qualifications. For more information, including the price and availability of our forklift training courses, get in contact. We’ll be happy to tailor-make a training course for you and your business that suits you. With approved training sites nationwide and suitable equipment, we’re able to provide you with forklift training courses at both a place and time that suits you.

For more forklift-based blogs, click here.


Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you on the next one.