IPAF Operator Training (eLearning)

The course enables trainees to become competent to drive MEWPs safely and in the correct manner.

An IPAF PAL card is recognised by the HSE, CITB, HAE, and the Major Contractors Group (MCG). It also satisfies the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the PUWER regulations 1998.

IPAF’s eLearning for MEWP operators is available for all MEWP categories (1a, 1b, 3a, 3b) and takes around three hours to complete, depending on your level of MEWP knowledge. The eLearning module is divided into manageable sections that you can complete at your own pace. You can save and resume your training at any time.

IPAF’s eearning provides a flexible and enhanced online learning experience. It provides the same high-quality theory training as in the classroom and can be completed on a range of devices anytime, anywhere, at your own pace.

Learn online how to prepare and safely use various types of access platforms including scissor lifts and boom lift platforms. Training involves the correct operation of the equipment, and how to carry out pre-inspection and emergency descent operations. Lastly, you will be given an understanding of employers’ and employees’ responsibilities.

Please note:  IPAF PAL Cards will be issued electronically by default and can be accessed using the new IPAF ePal App, available to download from the App Store or Google Play.

Should you wish to receive a plastic PAL card, these are available at an additional £10+VAT.  Please remember to add this option when making your booking.

Covering MEWP categories and detailed descriptions of structural parts, IPAF’s eLearning encompasses regulations, pre-use inspections, and safety protocols. The course includes theoretical assessments and practical online training sessions covering machine familiarisation, pre-use checks, operational procedures, route planning, and safe operational practices. Candidates undergo practical assessments and utilise IPAF logbooks to track progress over time.

MEWP categories

Different types of MEWP and their description and other courses available

Structural parts

Stabilising, levelling, chassis drive options, turntable, boom lifts, scissor lift pack and MEWP selection.


Pre-use inspection/ handovers

Thorough examinations; familiarisation; pre-use inspection; identify safety items & controls; defects & emergency descent.

Safe operating methods and hazards

Travelling to the workplace; positioning/terrain; safe working load (SWL); weather; electrical hazards; harness statement; do’s and don’ts and parking.

Theory test

Each candidate must take a written test. The Instructor provides and explanation of pass requirements including stipulation that should a candidate fail they will be required to re-sit the course on another day. Instructors can choose to use either Operator Theory Test A or B.

Online training

  • Introduction to the machine – walk around and familiarisation with the MEWP
  • Major components – identification of each component and its function
  • Pre-use checks and inspections – carry out all the required checks/inspections on the following items; tyres, main frame, turntable, fluid levels, hoses, electrical cables, booms, cage, brakes, steering, lights, travel, controls, (lower/upper), pins/retaining bolts and decals, and any additional points from the machine operations manual.
  • Starting/stopping the machine – correct starting and shut down procedure
  • Pre-use function checks – conduct a full function check of the machine and carry out full emergency lowering procedure
  • Checks prior to road travel – for example: power take off (PTO) disengaged, booms retracted, stabilisers retracted, machine secure, e. g. no loose objects.
  • Planning the route – gradients, access, overhead obstructions, and ground conditions.
  • Travelling the route and manoeuvring the machine (where applicable) – ensures the route is clear, use of assistant to signal, etc., practice close manoeuvring and observe correct driving practices (tail swing, etc.).
  • Setting the machine for work – practice setting up, barrier off requirements, road requirements, stabiliser set-up and carry out stabiliser deployment checks.
  • Basic operational practice – carry out operational functions at 75% of the operating envelope so far as is reasonably practical, observe all safety practices.
  • Typical work applications – carry out practice applications observing all safety practices
  • Parking the machine – ensure that the machine is correctly parked, engine stopped, brakes applied, keys removed and clearance of all obstacles. Correct refuelling procedures, diesel, LPG. Battery checks, charging and safety precautions.

Practical assessment

Individual verbal questions from the operator verbal question paper and practical test based on the use of the MEWP Operator Practical Test Plan with explanation of pass requirements. Should a candidate fail the practical assessment they will be required to re-sit the course on another day.

Course evaluation

Use of IPAF log books (over five years the log book should have at least 60 entries, with at least 10 in the last year).

Upon successful completion of the IPAF eLearning, learners receive a Powered Access License (PAL) card, endorsed by the HSE and MCG, valid for five years. The course holds recognition from CITB and HAE, ensuring compliance with Work at Height Regulations 2005 and PUWER regulations 1998.

A failure of the theory test means that the applicant will have to re-sit the entire course on another day.

Yes, the operator requires a licence. However, the passenger will only be required to wear the correct PPE.

An IPAF licence is valid for 5 years at which it will then need to be renewed. You will need an up-to-date log book and your old IPAF certification to renew your licence.

There is no specific legal requirement for an employee working at height to have IPAF training certification, however it is recommended. IPAF training provides a user with all the information you need to stay safe while operating a powered access machine.

The IPAF 1b Operator category covers the safe use of Static Booms which generally have outriggers, trailers/push-arounds and vehicle-mounted platforms.

Our IPAF MEWP operator training is available for all categories (1a, 1b, 3a, 3b). IPAF 3a and 3b teaches an operator how to prepare and operate various types of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs). Mobile Vertical (3a, 3a+): Scissor lifts, vertical personnel platforms (mobile). Mobile Boom (3b, 3b+): Self-propelled booms.

Independent Platforms and Aerial Work Platforms (IPAF) training is the instruction and certification process for operating and working safely with aerial lifts and other mobile elevated platforms.

IPAF training is recommended for anyone who works with aerial lifts or other mobile elevated platforms, such as professional contractors, equipment operators, and technicians.



Provide a plastic IPAF PAL card at an additional £10+VAT?
Please Note: You have 90 days in which to complete your practical test upon completion of this eLearning course. To book your practical test, please contact us.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Course Duration: Full Day
Course Type: Classroom/Practical Session
Maximum Class Size: 6 Delegates
Course Registration: 7:45am
Course Start Time: 8:00am
Course Finish Time:§ 4:30pm
† If doing more than 1 category then the maximum class size reduces to 4
‡ Delegates must arrive 15 minutes prior to course start time for registration.
§ Finish time is approximate and may be longer dependent on competency of delegates.


This theory element of IPAF Operator courses can be taken remotely as an e-learning option reducing the time spent at our training centre to around half a day. You will need access to either a computer with a web cam, or a tablet with camera to be able to complete the theory part of the test remotely using the e-learning option. The practical part of the course will still need to be completed at one of our training centres.

Cannock, Thirsk

Delegates should be physically fit and able to bring along safety shoes, hard hat and gloves for the practical part of the training. A full body safety harness with adjustable restraint lanyard and proof of inspection within the last 12 months must be brought with the delegate on the day of training for 1b and 3b categories.

CERTIFICATION – Please note that all IPAF cards are issued via an app and called EPAL, if you require a hard copy then an additional £10 will be charged on day of training.

Tea and coffee will be provided throughout the day on all courses at all of our training centres.  Please note that lunch is not provided.

Courses cancelled less than 7 days prior to the course date but exceeding 48 working hours will incur a 50% charge. Courses cancelled less than 48 working hours before the course date will incur full payment. Premier Platforms, reserves the right to cancel a training course at any time due to unforeseen circumstances. Should a course be cancelled alternative dates will be offered or a full refund given.

Need help?

Need help selecting a course using our online service?
Not sure which course is right for you?

You can contact us direcly using the following:

Premier Platforms
Platform House,
Walsall Road,
Norton Canes Business Centre,
Cannock WS11 9UH

Telephone: 01543 271443 (Option 4)
Email: [email protected]


Our Accreditations

IPAF Approved Training Centre

What Our Customers Say

"One of the best companies we deal with, from the office to the workshop, we feel very well looked after"

"Machine delivered on time as requested, great service, thanks Premier"

"If you need IPAF training, this is the company to do it with, excellent instructors"

"Needed a machine very quickly, Premier Platforms pulled out all the stops and had a machine to us within 2 hours, top company"

“Very easy company to deal with, from order to delivery to collection of machines, keep doing what you’re doing guys, it works!!!”

“Servicing and maintaining our own machine used to be hard work, Premier Platforms took the headache away from us, now they inform us when it needs to be inspected and serviced”

Our Manufacturers