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Keen to make your mark in the construction or warehousing industry? To help you achieve your career goals in these sectors, it is often necessary to upskill by obtaining licences.

At SB Skills Solutions, we offer a range of training courses to support individuals looking to enhance their skillset – including an industrial forklift training course.

As a result, we know exactly what it takes.

Below, we answer a range of important questions you might have when it comes to obtaining a forklift licence, from how long the process takes to how much it might cost, along with the basic requirements.

What is a forklift licence?

While a fork truck licence is often used to refer someone’s ability to safely operate a forklift, unlike a driving licence, there is no such thing a physical forklift truck licence.

Instead, a forklift licence usually means that an operator is qualified to use a forklift because they have completed the essential safety and operation training.

While refresher courses are available to support the operator’s knowledge after a substantial period not using a forklift, passing a forklift training course is typically a lifelong qualification.

Therefore, a forklift truck licence is actually a form of certification that an individual has passed basic forklift training.

Occasionally, employers will ask to see a forklift licence from previous jobs to verify whether an individual is qualified to operate a lift truck.

However, most of the time, employers will ensure individuals are trained according to their own specifications and needs.

Who needs to hold a forklift licence?

Quite simply, anyone that drives or operates a forklift as their full-time role, or as part of their job description, should have passed the required basic training.

Even if driving and operating a lift truck is only an occasional task, they should still be certified to use the required machinery.

What does a forklift licence allow the holder to do?

Quite simply, a forklift truck licence (certification provided following basic forklift training) is proof that an individual can operate a lift truck both safely and competently.

From taking deliveries to moving goods from A to B, many businesses simply wouldn’t be able to function smoothly without suitably trained forklift operators.

Do you need a driving licence to obtain a forklift licence?

It is important to note that while you do not need a UK driving licence to complete a forklift training course or to operate a forklift truck, you will need to own a full UK driving licence if you plan on driving the forklift on a public road.

This is because every forklift operator must abide by public road laws. From speed limits to stopping at red traffic lights, all of these laws must be adhered to according to the type of vehicle you’re driving.

Who can apply for a forklift licence?

According L117 ACOP (Approved Code of Practice relating to the main legal requirements of lift trucks), which is to official information published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), anyone that is of minimum school-leaving age (16 except in the areas that the MSLA is 18) and has a good understanding of verbal and written English can take an industrial forklift truck training course.

They should also have a reasonable level of physical fitness.

While many employers won’t hire those below MSLA, taking a forklift training course can still help individuals to secure their first job in the construction industry upon leaving school.

Many apprenticeships, including ones dedicated to forklift operation, can also pave the way for young adults wanting to explore a career in the construction or warehousing industry.

How long does it take to achieve a forklift licence?

The time required to complete forklift truck training is determined by several factors; the type of machinery, the experience of the participant(s), and how many learners there are.

All tuition delivered by SB Skills Solutions uses the maximum ratio of three trainees to one instructor for practical sessions.

Operators with some experience of forklift trucks or relevant experience of similar vehicles may need less extensive training than those with none.

Refresher and conversion courses, for example, typically take one to two days while a full forklift training course for a novice can take between three and five days – depending on the number of learners.

Due to the fact that a forklift licence is not a physical licence, you don’t have to wait around to receive a piece of plastic that acts as proof of your forklift training qualification.

In many cases, you’ll receive a paper certification on the day of completion, allowing you to start looking for relevant positions of employment or applying these skills to your current workplace immediately.

How much does it cost to sit a forklift licence?

Unlike a physical driving licence, you won’t be required to pay for a forklift licence (as there’s no such thing!).

Instead, you’ll only need to pay for a training course that naturally varies in price according to the number of learners, their previous experience, how long it takes, the type of forklift truck being used and also the training provider itself.

At SB Skills Solutions, our in-house accredited five-day course for novices costs £750.

However, shorter refresher training courses start from £180

Of course, you will be required to have completed a novice forklift training course before being eligible for refresher or conversion training.

For an accurate quote, contact us today and talk to a team member about your requirements.

Do forklift licences expire?

Unlike UK driving licences that require renewal every 10 years, forklift licences do not expire and are often viewed as lifelong qualifications.

It’s for this reason that obtaining your forklift licence is often worth it even if operating a forklift is not your main role or desired position, but you still want to find a route into the construction industry.

Do you need to renew a forklift licence?

For those who already have undergone basic forklift truck operator training, conversion and refresher courses exist to build on existing knowledge by either applying learnt skills to the operation of another type of lift truck or exploring recent health and safety changes regarding the operation of a forklift in the workplace.

Refresher courses are aimed at individuals who have completed appropriate basic training and can provide documentary evidence they have done so.

Those individuals are certified to operate forklift machinery, but need support familiarising themselves again with it.

Conversion courses, on the other hand, are targeted at those who have completed training on one type of forklift truck and need to understand how to operate another.

Those participants are not legally required to renew their ‘forklift licence’ because the certificates they obtain after completing training do not expire.

Forklift operators are often sent on refresher or conversion courses by their employers to either brush up their existing skills or adapt them to a different type of lift truck they have little or no previous experience operating.

If as an employer you are unsure, ask us about which type of training is suitable for your workers.

Are there different types of forklift truck licences?

Different types of forklift truck licence do not exist.

However, 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:

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.

We understand that employers need peace of mind that training is relevant and of the highest quality to they can have confident their workers can operate plant machinery in a safe manner.

What is the best way to obtain a forklift licence?

Ultimately, the right type of forklift truck training depends on several factors.

They include the previous experience of the individual(s), the budget for the training and the choice of available training providers.

As mentioned above, our industrial forklift truck training is accredited by leading industry bodies like NPORS.

Our in-house training can be carefully tailored to the demands of your workplace, meeting specific requirements – whether that’s the type of machinery used or to satisfy the specific needs of your employees.

Ask us how that might benefit your business.

Industrial Forklift Truck Course at SB Skills Solutions

Keen to get your forklift licence?

With a helping hand from SB Skills’ comprehensive industrial forklift truck training course, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a qualified forklift operator.

Our high-quality tuition ensures employees and individuals looking to gain new skills can do so in a safe and supportive environment, expertly guided by experienced instructors.

A talented and highly-knowledgeable team of trainers, testers and customer sales assistants, ensure every participant receives professional training that is relevant and meets their requirements.

For additional support selecting the right training course for yourself or your employees, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

To discuss your requirements over the phone, please feel free to give us a call on 01695 558 420.

Alternatively, you can also get in contact by submitting your enquiry via email to