Australian Forklift Training Courses

Australian forklift training courses are very similar to forklift training courses from other countries. However, they differ in the authority that issues the forklift driver’s licence.

In many other countries, it is the training centre or school that issues the licence. In Australia, it is the governing authority that issues the licence. Each Australian state has its own governing authority in terms of licencing regulation.   

Operating a forklift is considered High-Risk Work (HRW) in Australia and so government agencies are strict when issuing a forklift licence.

Before they can be issued one, applicants must complete a forklift training course from a Registered Training Organisation or RTO.  Read on to more about Australian forklift training courses.

operating a forklift is high risk work

Why are Australian forklift training courses important?

Forklift training courses are beneficial to workplaces not only for compliance with the law but for the improvement of the main aspects of a company such as:

1. Health and Safety

Forklift driver training is a vital step to ensure a safe working environment. Proper risk assessment and awareness, the ability to safely operate forklifts in a busy workplace, plus the knowledge of safe driving tips are all part of forklift training courses.

2. Efficiency

A forklift training program can teach forklift operators how to be time and energy efficient when handling the equipment. Properly trained forklift operators are able to use their company’s time more efficiently thus increasing their productivity.

3. Productivity

Well-educated forklift operators are familiar with their equipment’s capabilities and features. They can complete tasks quicker and have higher productivity.

What are the risks involved when untrained or unlicensed individuals operate a forklift? 

Proper forklift driver training is a vital part of workplace health and safety many employees and employers overlook.

Forklifts are a powerful and useful tool in warehouses and other workplaces. However, they are involved in many workplace accidents every year.

fatalities involving forklifts in australia
Image Source: Adaptalift Hyster

Allowing untrained or unlicensed staff to operate a forklift can open up many risks in a workplace including:

  • Injury or death to pedestrians and operators
  • Damage to equipment, facilities, loads, and materials
  • Damage to the reputation of the company
  • Fines and convictions
  • Compensation costs

How to get a forklift licence in Australia?

  1. Determine the type of licence you want to acquire.
  2. Complete a forklift training course from an RTO.
  3. Submit pertinent requirements with your ID.

1. Determine the type of licence you want to acquire

WorkSafe classifies operating a forklift as a high-risk work. And according to Safework NSW, a high-risk work licence is needed before someone can operate a forklift.

A forklift driver’s licence is currently divided into 2 (two) classes.

LO licence for an Order-Picking Machine. With this licence, the operator is only allowed to use a stock-picker/order-picker forklift.

LF licence for any Forklift Truck. This licence permits the operator to use any type of forklift except the order-picker machine.

order picking machine

However, an operator can have both the LO and LF licence as long as they have passed all the training and submitted all the requirements.

2. Complete a forklift training course from an RTO

Completing a training course from an RTO is one of the necessary forklift certification requirements. No one is allowed to apply for a forklift driver’s licence unless he has undergone training from an RTO.
There are around 5,000 RTOs across Australia. In every state, there are many forklift training schools to choose from. It is wise for an applicant to do some research because the cost of forklift training course and the forklift training program vary from state to state.

3. Submit required documents

After completing a forklift training course, you will receive certificates or documents from the forklift training school. The certificates must be submitted to your state’s issuing authority for the processing of your forklift licence.

  1. Statement of Attainment – this is similar to a certificate of completion issued to the trainee by the RTO.
  2. Notice of Assessment – you can use this document as a temporary licence while waiting for the processing of your actual licence.
  3. You must submit the documents in person to an Australia Post location. The participating post will accept the documents on behalf of your state’s licence issuing authority.

Here’s the complete list of forklift certification requirements:

  • AS1 Application form – given by the RTO to the trainee
  • Notice of Assessment
  • Statement of Attainment
  • Passport size photo – a recent photo of the applicant/trainee is required. The applicant himself has to submit his documents so that his photo can be taken at the participating post office.
  • Service Fee (WorkCover/SafeWork/WorkSafe) 
order picking training

How much are Australian forklift training courses?

The cost of forklift training courses in Australia varies from state to state. Below are the costs of forklift training courses for beginners:

New South Wales – AU$400 per person + AU$72.50 SafeWork NSW licence fee

Newcastle & Central Coast – $450 + $67 for the licence application fee paid to the Australia Post

Western Australia – AU$350 per person + WorkSafe Licence Fee – AU$78.50 if the applicant holds a current WA High-Risk licence

South Australia – AU$385 With CITB or Without CITB: AU$415 + SafeWork SA licence processing fee

Queensland – AU$200 to AU$350 per person + AU$70 paid to the Australia Post

Victoria - AU$499 per person + AU$60 licence fee paid to the participating Post Office.

Tasmania – AU$776 per person + AU$69.52 licence fee

Who is able to take forklift training courses? 

You are allowed to take forklift training courses as long as you:

  • are 18 years old at the time of the assessment
  • have ID and/or documents showing your current address
  • are in a good physical condition
  • can obtain 100 points of EOI
  • can understand, read, write, and speak basic English.

FAQs on Australian Forklift Training Courses

1. How long does a forklift training course take?

For beginners, most courses will take 2 or more days. The course will cover everything there is to know about operating a forklift. The topics include general forklift maintenance, workplace safety, practical operational skills, and theory examinations.

A 1-day refresher course is available for experienced drivers who already know basic forklift driving best practices. Refresher courses often cover more on improving workplace safety and adequate knowledge of the current legislation.

 2. How long does a forklift licence last?

A forklift licence lasts for 5 years. Then, the licence has to be renewed.

3. Can you get forklift certified online?

There are many training courses that you can find online. However, the Australian government requires all applicants to complete a forklift training course from an RTO. Also, submission of forklift certification requirements to Australia Post can only be done by the applicants themselves and NOT online.

forklift driving training

Protect your workers and workplace with Verge Safety Barriers

Forklift driver training is only one aspect of workplace safety. Installing safety barriers and other safety equipment makes a much safer working environment.

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