The PAL Card

The IPAF Smart PAL Card on a machine scanner

The PAL Card (Powered Access Licensed-Registration) is recognized 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 center.

The IPAF training program was developed by leading industry professionals and it meets or exceeds OSHA requirements and ANSI/CSA standards. It is certified by TÜV as conforming to the international standard ISO 18878 Mobile elevating work platforms – Operator (driver) training.

More than 150,000 PAL Cards are issued each year through IPAF-approved training centers around the world. To get a PAL Card, find your nearest IPAF-approved training center.

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.

Smart PAL Card

IPAF's award-winning Smart PAL Card (Powered Access Licence) is machine-readable and can be used to ensure that only trained operators can use mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) on site. All PAL Cards issued today are Smart PAL Cards, they look the same as the standard PAL Card – the data stored on the card, such as the operator name, number and categories trained in, is also printed on it. The only difference is that the Smart PAL Card is marked by a wireless icon and has a chip embedded in it.

The data in the chip can be read by a card reader fitted to the machine. The reader can be set up to accept certain data which in turn will allow the machine to be operated. This data includes whether or not the cardholder (operator) is trained, to what level and in which machine categories.

No additional personal contact details are contained within the card. IPAF and its approved training centres keep any personal data secure in line with data protection legislation.

Using a Smart PAL Card along with a reader device can allow control of machine access and thereby improve site safety. Site managers can use the system to ensure that only correctly trained operators can operate MEWPs or MCWPs (mast climbing work platforms). They can also track who has used which machine for how long, and prevent fraudulent use.

  • Winner, LLEAP Award 2014 - Aftermarket Support Products & Services category
  • Winner, Plantworx Innovation Award 2015 - Safety category
  • Highly Commended, Plantworx Innovation Award 2015 - Security category
  • Silver, Plantworx Innovation Award 2015 - Elite category

How to verify a PAL Card

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.

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. Read more.