IPAF – Frequently asked questions



Can training be completed at my site, or do I need to come to you?

We can conduct training at your site or our dedicated training facilities – it’s up to you. You will need to have space for the classroom portion of the training, and equipment available for the practical test. If you’re not sure, please get in touch.

How long is the IPAF course?

The IPAF operator training takes a full day. Our course includes lunch and coffee breaks. You start with the theory training, complete the theory test and, as long as you pass, move on to the practical training and test.

Do I have to take the theory and practical tests on the same day/during the same training session?

Most people do this, as it is more efficient, especially when it comes to arranging either coming to us or us coming to you to provide training. However, IPAF allow up to 4 weeks after passing the theory test before you have to complete the practical portion of the training. After this time, you would need to take the renewal theory test (which is shorter than the full theory test) before taking the practical.

What do I need to bring to the training?

When you attend an IPAF training course, either at our premises or on your own, you will need to bring:

  • Safety Boots
  • Safety Helmet
  • High Vis Vest/Jacket
  • Safety Glasses
  • Gloves
  • Safety Harness

You should also ensure you are appropriately dressed for the weather, as the practical part of the test will usually take place outside.

Should I do a safety awareness course before the IPAF training?

This isn’t necessary. Because safety is a significant part of the IPAF training course, everything you need to learn will be covered, so you don’t need an additional course. You may choose to complete such a course, or you may be working on a site that requires additional safety training for their own purposes, but it is not a pre-requisite for IPAF training.

Can I do the training even if I have never worked with a MEWP before?”

Technically yes, IPAF don’t require you to have experience to complete the course. However it might make it more difficult for you.

What happens if I fail?

Based on IPAF’s instructions, you are able to retake the training and the test the following day after you fail. However it might be helpful for you to discuss with your manager and trainers why you failed, in case there is anything you should do to improve your chances the next time. We’re proud of our exceptional instructors and our pass rate, so failing is not a common outcome (though we only pass people who do meet the full criteria).


How long does an IPAF “PAL” card last for?

Cards are certified for 5 years, after which time you will need to undertake a renewal test. You need to do the renewal test before your card expires – if you want until after the expiry, you may need to take the full course again.

Can I use my card in other countries?

While the PAL card is gaining recognition in other countries, you must always follow the laws and regulations of any country you choose to work in. You should discuss this with the work site and management of the job you are considering, to find out if IPAF is recognised or if you need local certifications to work legally.

Do I need to keep my card with me?

IPAF suggest that you should keep the card on your person whenever working with MEWPs, so that you have it to hand in the event that you need it.


What does IPAF stand for?

IPAF stands for International Powered Access Federation – one of the most well known regulatory bodies for powered access equipment.

What does PAL stand for?

Once you pass your training, you receive a PAL card. PAL stands for Powered Access Licence.

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