Coronavirus/COVID-19 update

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

We appreciate your support during this time and ask you to visit regularly for updates from IPAF. Please contact us at or your nearest IPAF office for any enquiries about this.


IPAF are a member of the British Materials Handling Federation (BMHF), please view their Covid-19 Bulletins on their website:

The UK government have released this letter allowing the UK construction industry to remain open. 


IPAF has assured its members and the wider industry that powered access operations remain a vital part of UK construction, facilities, processing and maintenance supply chains, and as such companies should continue to operate during the latest lockdown. 

Read More

CITB has released a free course 'COVID-19: Setting up and operating a safe construction site e-course.' This course will help to prepare you for managing the health, safety and environmental aspects of a construction site during a pandemic.


Impact on IPAF training applications

IPAF continues to monitor the challenges faced by IPAF approved Training Centres and candidates during the ongoing pandemic. In response to this IPAF has reviewed its current rules around the maximum allowed time period between when a candidate completes the theory test and needs to complete their practical test.

What action is IPAF taking?

With immediate effect, IPAF has extended the maximum time period between successful completion of a theory test and completion of the practical test from 45 days to 90 calendar days. This also applies to upgrades and practical re-tests.

What does this mean for IPAF training?

By extending this time period to 90 calendar days IPAF is supporting Training Centres and candidates as they need to respond to local restrictions due to COVID-19.  Thereby ensuring candidates have the best opportunity of completing their training in a timely manner.  

UPDATE: 2 November 2020

IPAF is aware of recent announcements regarding regional and national lockdowns, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. IPAF would like to reassure its members and the wider industry that we are fully open and operational and available to support our members worldwide. Further guidance on safe MEWP work during the pandemic is available on this page below, from our resources page or from one of our offices


Most IPAF training centres are now open for business and offering COVID-secure powered access training. Training centres have followed rigorous safety guidance and procedures to ensure candidates can train in a safe environment.

Subsequently, those operators who are now undertaking training for the first time should be able to find a training centre locally to take their practical test and complete their operator training in order to receive their Powered Access Licence (PAL Card).

Many training centres may now offer innovative training options which address the need for social distancing including eLearning and web-based instructor theory training. All candidates must pass a practical test at an IPAF approved training centre in order to obtain their PAL Card.

To find a training centre in your area please visit IPAF’s directory:

IPAF Guidance for Safe MEWP Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic

All MEWP work requires a safe system of work based on a risk assessment. Where this work is considered essential, your risk assessment must include an additional biohazard in the form of the Coronavirus.

For general advice on control measures to protect workers from this new hazard please refer to the guidance issued by your local health department, or, if not available, by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

As a general guide:

  • Clean and sanitise what you will have to touch e.g. MEWP controls, guardrails, tools and equipment.
  • Clean yourself, wash hands regularly for 20 seconds and use a sanitiser if you’ve got it.
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and lips.
  • Do not put two people in a MEWP platform unless they can always maintain the required safe distances.
  • Wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) as identified by your risk assessment. This may include disposable gloves, coveralls, respiratory protective equipment, face shield or eye protection.
  • Clean and sanitise the MEWP and other work equipment after use.

The guidelines above are general in nature.  These guidelines may vary as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses.  IPAF recommends you follow the local health department guidelines (or the latest WHO COVID19 Recommendations) as they may be more relevant at the time of use of the MEWP. 

IPAF Events

In consideration of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, IPAF is monitoring developments and noting updates and advice given by national governments and the World Health Organisation in regard to our schedule of planned events. We will update this information as developments occur. For details see

We appreciate your support during this time and ask you to visit regularly for updates from IPAF. Please contact us at or your nearest IPAF office for any enquiries about this.

Keeping you informed

IPAF will continue to monitor the situation and where necessary introduce further proactive measures to limit the impact on IPAF candidates and the wider industry.

We appreciate your support during this time and ask you to visit regularly for updates from IPAF. Please contact us at or your nearest IPAF office for any enquiries about this.

Other news you might be interested in

  • Set for November 19-20 in Nashville, USA, the inaugural Working at Height Conference & Awards, jointly organised by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Access, Lift & Handlers (ALH) magazine, will place a spotlight on the utilisation of aerial platforms to enhance site productivity and safety.

  • The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is delighted to announce the resounding success of IPAF ElevAÇÃO 2024, held on May 8th and 9th at the Hotel Terras Altas in Itapecerica, Brazil. With over 320 attendees from across Latin America, this year's event marked a significant milestone for IPAF, solidifying its position as a leading authority in the powered access industry.