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Understanding accreditation to ensure you’re meeting standards

Understanding accreditation

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Thankfully, due to the size and power of the trucks, most businesses appreciate that forklift training for novice operators is a requirement. However, the standard of training currently received across the UK is a real mixed bag, leaving some operators (and their colleagues and businesses) at risk.

For training to effectively promote safety and ensure compliance, the standards to which it is delivered are critical. Taking on a training provider without an understanding of the standards and service they offer can be a false economy, and may give you inadequate protection in the case of an audit or investigation.

Fortunately, the industry’s accreditation scheme is here to help. We explain its role and terminology to ensure you’re fully informed before entrusting a provider to upskill your new recruits…

What is accredited forklift training?

The Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA) was formed in 2012 to champion uniformity and standardisation within workplace transport training. The member bodies that make up the ABA together provide consistent frameworks for testing standards and categorisation of equipment. Working in consultation with the HSE, those bodies accredit training and regularly audit registered courses to ensure standards continue to be met.

It’s important to remember that not all training is created or delivered equally. 

Receiving training accredited by a member body of the ABA guarantees you are getting standardised operator testing within the workplace transport category you require. You can also be assured that it complies with the requirements of Approved Code of Practice, L117, the HSE’s definitive guide to forklift safety and training.

Accredited training delivered to standards set by the ABA can help to provide employers with the assurance that requirements for safety and compliance will be met, which is added value that you may struggle to find with non-accredited providers.

Understanding the terminology

Due to the nature of the terminology surrounding accredited training within the industry, it is important that you know exactly what to look for, or you may be under the impression that you are receiving a standard of training which you are not.

For the best assurances of quality and standardisation, check that you are receiving accredited training. It’s key to note that subtle differences in language in this area can make all the difference. For instance, understanding that an “accredited provider” may not necessarily offer training accredited to ABA standards is crucial. Also, you may notice that a business utilises “registered instructors”, but again, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to provide you with accredited training.

For training to be accredited to ABA standards, three key measures must all be in place:

  • it must be carried out by instructors registered to an ABA member body
  • testing must be done to ABA standards
  • courses must be registered with an ABA member accrediting body (this can only be done by a registered provider)


If your chosen provider meets the criteria, they can offer training accredited by an ABA member body, of which you can be certain of the quality delivered.

Checking the terminology will ensure you’re as covered as you think you are – look a little deeper and make sure your provider will deliver training that complies with L117.

Added value is found in assurance and quality

Crucially, for businesses in need of forklift training, accreditation provides the assurance that requirements will be met. You will have peace of mind that your operators are receiving consistent, high-quality training, and that the courses provided cover you for any and all legal requirements.

It is important therefore, that you consider this peace of mind when comparing quotes from multiple training providers, and properly assess the options in front of you. Which options give the necessary legal and quality assurances? Though price is obviously important, consider the future and which will be more cost-effective in the long run, should an accident or audit occur.

Essentially, businesses can fall into the trap of viewing forklift training as merely a tick box exercise. In doing so, the desire to source it as cheaply and efficiently as possible can put you at risk of selecting a provider without confirming exactly what you are getting for your money.

Always look for the relevant assurances of standards and service to ensure your operations remain safe, compliant and profitable. A provider whose standards are externally verified will ensure you and your team are in safe hands, leaving you suitably skilled and legally protected.

Mentor deliver accredited training, registered with AITT, a founding member of the ABA, and all testing is conducted to ABA standards. Instructors delivering our training are all registered with AITT and undergo regular audits to ensure training is consistently delivered to their standards, wherever it takes place in the UK. We also hold training records and certificates on our customers’ behalf for a minimum of seven years, should you need them at any stage.

For further guidance on ensuring training meets requirements, or to discuss accredited courses for your business, visit: or call 01246 555222.

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