The ePAL mobile app for operators of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and mast-climbing work platforms (MCWPs) from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has now surpassed a quarter of a million first-time downloads.
IPAF’s ePAL app was launched in June 2021, with the global roll-out completed earlier this year. The app allows digital certification of training, including IPAF’s Powered Access Licence (PAL) Card. It is free to use and is available in seven languages.
The app allows IPAF to communicate safety messages to operators around the globe. It also offers benefits to users in terms of storing and sharing training certification and logging machine time, and reporting incidents or near-misses to IPAF’s portal. The app is available in all territories where IPAF certifies training, and to date has active users in more than 160 countries worldwide.
Peter Douglas, IPAF’s CEO and Managing Director, comments: “We developed ePAL in partnership with our member firm Trackunit in part to offer operators and supervisors a digital tool to share training certification and log equipment time, and also as part of our ongoing digitalisation project. We are streamlining processing of IPAF licences and have significantly reduced the carbon footprint involved in sending hundreds of thousands of plastic PAL Cards and paper certificates all around the globe each year.
“We have been rolling the app out since mid-2021, and while the emphasis was on newly certified training candidates in the first few months, take-up has snowballed and now it is encouraging to see that ePAL is being downloaded by ever increasing numbers of people around the world.
“It’s fantastic that we’ve surpassed 250,000 first-time downloads; this allows IPAF to engage directly with a growing global network of operators and managers. It’s also a significant milestone in our drive towards ensuring that the majority of all valid PAL Cards and training certification is digital.
“Anyone can download the ePAL app free of charge and can store their training certification digitally. It’s a quick and easy way to verify validity, check on expiry dates, and the cost of renewing a PAL Card digitally is cheaper, provided a physical card is not required for any reason.
“It means that users’ training can be updated quickly and easily whenever licences are added or renewed, and it makes it impossible to ever ‘lose’ your PAL Card, meaning you shouldn’t ever have to pay a fee to get it replaced, as used to happen when a physical card was lost.
“IPAF’s global network of approved Training Centres is working together to assist us in driving this digital revolution in certification. There are many benefits to using the app – in addition to storing their digital credentials, operators can log and share machine experience, benefit from safety and technical advice and quickly and easily log accidents and near-misses, anonymously if preferred, directly to the IPAF Portal.
“There are other benefits too – such as being able to show a QR code to share training certification instantly with other users – and there are new developments being worked on behind the scenes that will be added to improve functionality and the overall user experience. Indeed, users of the ePAL app can give their feedback and suggest additions in functionality or improvements to the interface via the app itself, directly to our development team.
“We do hope users of the app continue to interact with and enjoy ePAL, and we invite feedback from all, whether negative or positive. We also urge those who haven’t yet downloaded ePAL to do so without delay, to begin to enjoy the benefits the app brings and to join the growing digital revolution in IPAF training certification and safety.”
● To find out more about the new IPAF ePAL mobile app, see www.ipaf.org/ePAL; the app is available for Apple iOS and Android through Google Play and will be updated with additional features as usage demands and evolving technology allows.