Friday 28th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Licensing scheme to eliminate cowboys

The RTITB has introduced a new system of licensing for forklift truck operators and other mechanical handling equipment drivers. Called the National Operator Registration Scheme (NORS), the new scheme is designed to cover a multitude of areas including:

Eradicating counterfeit Operator certificates.

Providing central data and certification records in a standardised format.

Reinforcing adherence to training standards.

Raising operator, employer and employment agency confidence operator competence.

According to the training body, professional, accredited trainers are fed up with being ‘undercut’ by un-ethical trainers that falsely claim to be accredited or approved by RTITB. Almost every business in the logistics, storage, transport, and retail distribution supply chain has to recruit new lift truck drivers, or occasionally bring in agency supply drivers.

In practically every instance where this happens, employers rely on the driver holding a ‘certificate of basic training’ prior to the authorisation process. The problem has traditionally been that the certificate cannot be verified easily. The new RTITB certificate and photo ID card means companies can be confident in the validity in the certificate which clearly states the holder has been trained to use. If there are any doubts, the validity can be checked in seconds by the RTITB central validation services, saving employers and employment agencies valuable time.

The RTITB NORS registration is the closest thing to a licence that it can provide in the current legislative framework. It is therefore in the interest of employers and agencies to insist on NORS certificate. The reasons are straightforward; before the certificate and security protected ID card are issued and the holder registered with RTITB, the trainer must have followed the RTITB specified training and testing programme.

Certification is available through any one of the 500 training and the operators training details are retained centrally with RTITB. Employers, trainers and employment agencies can therefore be confident that the operator has met the training specification laid down by RTITB and recognised by regulatory bodies.

Each operator registration costs £21.50 plus VAT which includes the ID card, basic operator training certificate, safety guide and registration valid for up to five years.