The PAL Card and Smart PAL Card

What is the PAL Card

The PAL Card (Powered Access Licence) is recognised worldwide across industries as proof of platform operator training to the highest standard.

It is issued by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) to platform operators who successfully complete a training course at an IPAF-approved training centre.

The IPAF training programme was developed by leading industry professionals and is certified by TÜV as conforming to the international standard ISO 18878 Mobile elevating work platforms – Operator (driver) training.

More than 100,000 PAL Cards are issued each year through over 600 IPAF-approved training centres around the world.

Who needs a PAL Card

If you need to work at height and use access equipment:

  • IPAF believes that you should receive basic training.
  • In addition to your main job, e.g. electrician, painter, decorator, cleaner, you will acquire a new skill.
  • Platforms are designed to be easy to use and offer a safe way to work at height, but with basic training you will use the equipment more effectively and safely.

If you are an employer:

  • You can be sure that legal requirements have been fulfilled if your platform operators have the PAL Card.
  • Most legislation, covering health and safety obligations, accident prevention and work at height regulations, require you to provide employees with proper and adequate training in the use of work equipment.
  • IPAF training to the highest standards means that your platform operators will also work more efficiently and productively.


The PAL Card is valid for five years. It shows the date on which the holder was assessed and the expiry date by which re-training would be needed.

It shows the types of equipment that the holder has been trained to operate.

It shows the level to which the holder has been trained, e.g. operator, demonstrator and instructor.

It has security features including a holographic logo and the holder’s photograph and signature to prevent mis-use.

Smart PAL Card

The Smart PAL Card has the potential to make the industry safer by enabling the control of access to machines on site.

For more information on the Smart PAL Card, please click here.

How to verify

Site and safety managers can use the PAL Card online verification tool to check if a card is genuine. If in doubt, call the IPAF hotline: +44 (0)15395 66700 or contact your nearest country office.

Why ask for the PAL Card

Growing international acceptance

The PAL Card is accepted and recognised as proof of platform operator training in many countries. Some examples are:

If someone flashes the PAL Card, you can be sure that he or she has been trained to work with platforms correctly and safely.

How to get a PAL Card

Training is provided by IPAF-approved training centres that are regularly audited by IPAF. Find your nearest training centre on this website or contact IPAF.

Lost PAL Cards

If you need a replacement for a lost PAL Card, contact the IPAF training centre where you were trained. They will be able to replace your licence for a small fee.


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PAL Cards Worldwide