Everything you need to know about IPAF training courses

ipaf training courses
Category: IPAF 0

What is IPAF and what does it mean?

IPAF stands for The International Powered Access Federation.  They are an organisation that promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment or MEWP’s as they are sometimes called, MEWP standing for Mobile Elevating Working Platform.  2 Start Training provide relevant courses that have been accredited by IPAF.  On completion of an IPAF training course, you will become IPAF certified. 

What is the difference between PASMA and IPAF?

Quite simply the equipment is different.  PASMA is the accrediting body for mobile access towers which are more commonly known as mobile scaffold towersIPAF is the accrediting body for powered access equipment such as cherry pickers or scissor lifts.  Both accredit training courses that meet the Working at Height regulations which protect you when working at height.  IPAF accredited training is delivered to conform with ISO 18878, which is the internationally recognised training standard for MEWP’s. Click here if you are interested in PASMA training courses.

What is involved in IPAF Training?

2 Start Training offers IPAF courses that combine a mixture of classroom and practical based learning.  During the course, you will learn about the theory of working at height, such as the Working at Height Regulations.  You will also be given practical training on the safe use of the relevant equipment.  There will be an assessment at the end of the course which you will need to pass to be certified.

Who needs IPAF Training?

IPAF courses are designed for people who want to work at height using powered access equipment, also known as MEWP’s (Mobile Elevated Working Platforms). 

How long is the IPAF training courses?

The IPAF training courses that 2 Start offer last for between ½ day to 1 day.

How much does IPAF Training cost?                                                                                  

IPAF Mobile Vertical 3a (Operator or Demonstrator)

IPAF Mobile Boom 3b (Operator or Demonstrator)

IPAF Combined 3a & 3b (Operator only)

IPAF Harness Inspection & Safety

What are the different IPAF Categories?

The most common types of powered access equipment are Mobile Elevated Working platforms or MEWPS for short.  2 Start Training offers the following categories:


PAV stands for push around vertical and these platforms are pushed into place manually and they can only move up and down similar to a scissor lift.

IPAF Mobile Vertical 3a

This is normal referred to a mobile vertical machine or commonly known as a scissor lift.  Once they are in position the lift can go up or down, and, importantly, the platform can be driven whilst in the elevated position.

IPAF Mobile Boom 3b

A mobile boom or cherry picker as more commonly known as.  They can be operated from the platform and manoeuvred into position.  The platform or basket can be manoeuvred up and down as well as sideways, and can also be moved whilst in its elevated position.

Is IPAF accredited training a legal requirement?

There is no specific legal requirement for an employee working at height to have IPAF training certification.  However, The Work at Height Regulations 2015 state that every employer should ensure that any persons working at height is competent to do so or if being training is supervised by a competent person.  PAL cards can be used to demonstrate employees are competent and have completed sufficient training to be able to safely work at height and is the most recognised form of certification in the industry, worldwide.

What locations can I do my training at?

We offer IPAF training at our Southampton depot and our Worthing depot.  If you are unable to get to this location then we can offer IPAF training at your site provided the equipment and training area is suitable and will need to be checked for hazards by our IPAF accredited trainer.

Find out more about IPAF at our Southampton depot here: IPAF Training Southampton

Find out more about IPAF at our Worthing depot here: IPAF Training Worthing

We are also able to provide training at your locations also, enquire here: Off-site IPAF Training

Who can obtain an IPAF licence?

The minimum age you need to be to hold a licence is 16.  There are no restrictions on the size of the machine you are able to operate providing you hold the licence for that category.  There is also no maximum age for someone to obtain an IPAF PAL Card.

What is a PAL Card?

A PAL card is a Powered Access Licence which is issued by IPAF upon completion of an accredited course.  Employees wishing to work at height will need to prove that they are able to operate mobile elevated working platforms (MEWP) safely.  The PAL card will offer the proof employees have the training required. Trainees who pass the associated examinations will be issued a SMART PAL card; these new SMART PAL cards feature contactless RFID chips, which will allow the operator to use machines which feature devices to prevent use by untrained operators. In the last few years, manufacturers have been increasingly installing devices which will only allow usage by an operator with the appropriate SMART card, instead of just an ignition key.

How long does it last?  

IPAF certificates, also known as PAL cards are certified for 5 years from issue, you will have to take a refresher course before your card expires.  If you wait until after the 5 years you will need to take the full IPAF test again. 

How to renew a licence

You will need to contact an IPAF accredited training centre to ensure you take an accredited course in order to renew your licence.  2 Start Training is an accredited trainer and we are able to provide courses to renew your licence.

Can you fail an IPAF course?

The simple answer to this is Yes!  if your instructor feels that your and others health and safety will be at risk with you operating a MEWP then you will be required to take the training again in order to safely pass your test.

At 2 Start Ltd, we are able to offer IPAF training in Southampton and Worthing. Get in touch with our team of experts on 02392 123555 with all your questions or to book your IPAF training course today.

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