Skip to content Skip to footer

If you want to enter the construction or warehousing industry, then becoming forklift certified is likely to be high on a to-do list.

Providing an individual with the skills required to safely operate a forklift truck, forklift certification is an essential qualification for anyone wanting to land a material handling equipment (MHE) role or forklift operator position.

Below, we set out the various forklift truck qualifications that must be met before an individual can safely operate a forklift.

We also explore what a forklift certification permits the holder to do before taking a look at the various forklift licences and helping you to determine which one is right for you.

What qualifications are required to drive a forklift?

To safely and legally operate a forklift in the UK and become forklift certified, you must complete the relevant training course.

There are three main types of forklift training course; novice, experienced, and refresher.

Novice courses, being designed for individuals with no previous forklift training or experience, are longer and more comprehensive.

Experienced courses, on the other hand, are suitable for those who have already passed basic forklift training, but they require educating perhaps on the operation of a new kind of forklift truck or the operation of forklift trucks according to the latest health and safety regulations.

Refresher courses are often much shorter than the comprehensive beginner courses and, as the name suggests, they focus on simply updating the knowledge of individuals that have already achieved their forklift certification.

The appropriate forklift training course for you will therefore vary depending on your forklift experience and prior training.

However, before you can even apply for a forklift training course, you must meet the requirements set out in the HSE’s L117 ACOP (Approved Code of Practice relating to the main legal requirements of lift trucks).

This official guidance states that only individuals who are of minimum school-leaving age and have the ability to understand verbal and written English are eligible.

It’s also important to bear in mind that while a UK driving licence is not required to complete a forklift training course (or to even operate one in the workplace), it will be required if you plan on driving the forklift on a public road.

A full UK driving licence will therefore be necessary if the operator is required to drive the forklift off private property and to another location via public roads.

From abiding by the speed limit to stopping at red lights, all the relevant public road laws must be adhered to – including owning a valid driving licence – if you want to become forklift certified while on the road.

What does forklift certification permit the holder to do?

Once you’ve obtained the relevant forklift certification,you’ll be able to drive and operate a forklift truck in a safe and competent manner.

You’ll be able to prove competency in this area to potential employers, helping you to obtain various MHE positions and forklift operator roles in the construction and warehousing industries.

Regardless of whether the role requires you to receive and store deliveries or transport goods from one location to another, forklifts and their operators are vital in many industries. They are often found within manufacturing, retail, waste management, supermarket, agriculture, and loading and distribution businesses.

Which forklift licence is best?

As the term ‘forklift licence’ simply refers to successfully passing a forklift training course, there’s no such thing as a physical forklift licence and therefore there are no different forklift licences.

There is a range of courses offered by training providers like SB Skills Solutions that are accredited by different bodies.

For example, most of our industrial forklift truck training is accredited by the National Plant Operators Registration Scheme (NPORS)

We also conduct in-house training that can be tailored to the needs of your organisation – for example, including additional elements of on-site safety tuition that your workers might benefit from.

Because forklifts and other MHE can be dangerous if an individual has not been properly trained, hiring operators with a recognised forklift certification can help businesses to avoid potentially costly damages and injuries.

Become forklift certified with SB Skills Solutions

Keen to achieve your forklift certification?

Here at SB Skills Solutions, we’ve helped countless individuals pass their forklift training, allowing them to successfully start or continue their career in the construction or warehousing industry.

Our comprehensive industrial forklift truck training course is led by qualified and experienced instructors that ensure all participants receive plenty of expert support.

Serving businesses of all shapes and sizes, our professional team of testers and trainers are on hand and eager to find out more about how we can help you.

Regardless of whether you require support selecting the right training course for your employees or would like to find out more about our forklift truck training course, we want to hear from you!

You can either speak directly to a member of our team by calling us at 01695 558 420 or get in touch by emailing us at

Alternatively, you can also get in contact with us by visiting our convenient online contact page. Simply fill in the contact form with the requested basic contact details as well as your enquiry, and we’ll be in touch shortly to provide exceptional customer support.