In order to work with any form of MEWP (Mobile Elevated Work Platform) or MCWP (Mast Climbing Work Platform) you have to possess an official IPAF licence for using that particular machinery. The IPAF licence comes in the form of a PAL (Powered Access Licence) card.
How To Get Your Licence
To get a PAL or Powered Access Licence card, you need to take part in IPAF training at an approved training centre, of which there over 550 in the world. A quick visit to the IPAF website will find you an IPAF training centre in your area.
The training courses usually take between 1 to 2 days to complete. IPAF audits and updates courses and training centres regularly to ensure that they meet changing legislation and regulations. The training itself was and is developed by professionals who work within the industry and is fully certified by TUV so that it conforms to the standard recognised internationally as ISO 18878:2004 Mobile elevating work platforms – Operator/Driver training.
What Does It Mean You Can Do Once You Get Your Licence?
Once you have your Powered Access Licence or PAL card you are able to operate safely the MEWPs or MCWPs your specific IPAF training course involved. The PAL card acts as both identification, proof, and includes:
The date you were assessed and the expiry date when you need to be re-assessed (PAL cards are only valid for 5 years)
The types of equipment for which you received training.
The level of training you received – operator, demonstrator, instructor etc.
Security features that include your signature, photograph and a holographic logo to prove it is a genuine IPAF PAL card.
It’s The Law
As well as showing a prospective employer that you have the appropriate level of training to use specific MEWPs and MCWPs, it is also a legal requirement. Simply put – if you do not have a PAL card legally you cannot work with elevated work platforms and your employer should not allow any employee to work with this type of equipment without one.