AITT urges companies to prioritise novice training

28th May 2021

Accrediting body AITT has advised businesses to plan ahead and prioritise training for novice operators, amid an exceptionally busy period for training providers.

AITT encourage booking further in advance, due to unprecedented demand caused, in part, by businesses starting to return to normal service.

The pandemic also left many previous courses needing to be rearranged, while social distancing means that all courses must continue to run with fewer delegates until it is deemed safe to increase the numbers. These factors have all contributed to a backlog of training, which providers, including Mentor, are now working hard to accommodate.

Adam Smith Managing Director of AITT explained: “The wait times for training courses are in some cases longer than normal, as many instructors are busy catching up.

“Our advice to businesses is to prioritise training for novices, to ensure that they have the skills and competence to operate work equipment safely. You should never allow untrained operators to use equipment, so it is important to focus on arranging training for new starters.

“We also suggest that businesses review their refresher training policy by conducting a risk assessment, and consider delaying refresher training by 3 to 6 months.”

Book early for accredited training

AITT advises those who want quality-assured, accredited training to book early, “If possible do not leave booking training courses until the last minute, as you may find that the accredited training provider you want is not available,” said Adam. “Even though it may be tempting to choose an unaccredited training provider in the meantime, you should not compromise on the quality of training you receive.

“Accredited training comes with peace of mind that the training provider is following the highest standards in line with the latest industry guidance, and there are checks and balances in place to ensure that training is documented properly. With unaccredited training providers, there is a risk the training could be inconsistent or not in-depth enough.”

Steve Simmons-Jacobs, Principal Specialist Inspector for the HSE said: “I support the guidance that AITT has shared regarding novice training during this busy period.” Steve also added that in his opinion: “Using Covid-19 as an excuse for not providing proper training to forklift operators will not be considered an acceptable justification”, so forward planning will be vital in the coming weeks.

If you would like to speak to an advisor about your training plans and current availability for accredited courses, you can request a call back here.

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