IPAF has successfully trialed a new eLearning module as part of its established AWPT training program for US operators of aerial work platforms. The eLearning module has been developed and tested with IPAF member NES Rentals, which has now trained most of its 1,040 staff to PAL Card level.

“eLearning opens up alternative methods of delivering education and takes the AWPT training program to a new level,” said IPAF President Wayne Lawson. “It provides a new way for training centers to reach greater numbers, but does not replace practical training. It enriches the learning process and allows us to bring the safe and effective use of AWPs to a wider public.”

Trainees who complete the online session must still pass a supervised theory test at an AWPT-approved training center and must successfully complete a half-day of practical training and testing before being issued with a PAL Card (Powered Access Licensed-Registration) as proof of successfully completed AWPT operator training.

“With our new eLearning module, trainees can complete the theory (traditional classroom) part of the AWPT course online at their own pace at any time of the day or night. They use the same material as in a classroom session and learn the same skills,” said Tony Groat, AWPT executive vice-president.

The AWPT operator training program meets or exceeds all ANSI standards and OSHA requirements. It is based on the IPAF training program which is certified by TÜV as conforming to ISO 18878 and requires that training centers are subjected to initial, annual and unannounced audits as part of the quality management system. AWPT instructors are certified and undertake on-going professional development which includes free annual updates to the training materials and use of a central register of trained cardholders.

AWPT-approved training center NES Rentals has now trained all its 1,040 employees via the eLearning module. The majority passed the theory test and more than 1,000 of them have continued with the practical training and testing to receive their PAL Card.

In the final part of the trial, NES Rentals is taking bookings from members of the public for the eLearning module during March, which will be followed by a half-day practical evaluation session available on the afternoon of March 25 and on the morning of March 27 in Miami. This is in the same vicinity where the IPAF Summit and International Awards for Powered Access are being held on March 26. Places are limited and must be booked at www.ipaf.org/eLearning or www.awpt.org/eLearning. Attendance at the IPAF Summit is free and is open to all interested parties. Register in advance at www.iapa-summit.info.