Coronavirus/COVID-19 update


Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow 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 inquiries about this.

UPDATE: 9 December 2020

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 candidtates have the best opportunity of completing their training in a timely manner.  


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

Impact on IPAF training applications

There are growing concerns surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19) and the potential impact on IPAF’s ability to issue certification and PAL Cards to new applicants or those wishing to renew their qualification prior to expiry.

Currently the best option for both new and renewal applications is to undertake the theory section of the training as eLearning. At this time, eLearning is available for both MEWP Operator Training and MEWPs for Managers. For training courses where eLearning is not available, to contain the spread of the virus, some test centers have started to limit the number of candidates they accept on a course. Other test centers are beginning to offer remote theory training using digital platforms.

These are sensible solutions for theory training, but practical assessment presents greater challenges. IPAF and the wider industry should therefore consider the impact coronavirus may have on the ability to deliver the face-to-face practical training and assessment and the subsequent impact this will have on MEWP operators and the industries in which they work.

What does this mean for IPAF training?

The full impact of COVID-19 on IPAF training availability is changing daily. We should prepare for the possibility that workers may struggle to find available training to qualify them to operate a MEWP or to renew an existing Powered Access Licence (PAL Card).

Those undertaking IPAF operator training for the first time may be unable to take a practical test and cannot be issued a PAL Card unless successfully assessed by an IPAF instructor. The number of expired PAL Cards circulating in the industry might increase as existing card-holders cannot renew their cards without being reassessed, and this could lead to workers being turned away from site as they do not hold a valid PAL Card or their existing PAL Card has expired.

Keeping you informed

IPAF will continue to monitor the situation and where necessary introduce further proactive measures to limit the impact on IPAF applicants 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 inquiries about this.


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 sanitize 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 sanitizer 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 sanitize 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 inquiries about this.

Other news you might be interested in

  • The International Awards for Powered Access 2024 (IAPAs) held on the evening of March 14 at the Scandic Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, showcased excellence, safety, sustainability, and innovation within the powered access sector. Organised jointly by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Access International Magazine, the event gathered over 420 attendees from across the industry to recognise outstanding achievements across various categories.

  • The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) proudly announces the release of its Annual Report for the year 2023, encapsulating a year of remarkable achievements and substantial growth across various sectors of the powered access industry. This comprehensive report provides insights into IPAF's activities, key initiatives, and statistical highlights, showcasing its unwavering commitment to safety, innovation, and industry excellence.

  • The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) announces an update of the ePAL app, bringing the ability to conduct, record and share pre-use checks for mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs). These checks play a crucial role in ensuring the safe operation of powered access equipment.