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 enquiries about this.


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. 

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


With lockdown restrictions easing in some parts of the world many 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:

Training Validity Extension

Due to lockdown restrictions that prevented training activities, IPAF asked the industry to support an extension to the validity of the PAL Card for 90 days beyond its expiry date. Where lockdowns are now easing, and training is resuming IPAF will now bring an end to this grace period.

Therefore, in areas where training has resumed, anyone who wants to continue operating powered access equipment must have successfully completed their training by 30 September 2020 when the extension ends. Anyone with an out of date PAL Card after this date will not be qualified to operate a MEWP, MCWP or Construction hoist.

PLEASE NOTE: Regional variations may apply where areas are still experiencing local or national lockdowns. Local governmental legislation regarding training validity extension takes precedence over the above measures. IPAF will continue to review this guidance and will adjust to local conditions. If at all in doubt please contact your local IPAF office:

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

  • The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is proud to announce the release of its highly anticipated Global Safety Report 2024. This year marks a significant milestone as the report transitions to a digital-only format, aligning with IPAF’s three-year strategic plan focused on digitisation and sustainability.

  • The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is delighted to announce that Rahul Seth, Managing Director of Sudhir Group of Companies, has been seconded to the IPAF board following the board meeting on June 27th. His secondment was agreed upon by the IPAF board members and will be put to vote by the members at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in March 2025.

  • The first round of speakers have been announced for the inaugural Working at Height Conference & Awards, set for Nov. 19-20 in Nashville. Jointly organised by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Access, Lift & Handlers (ALH) magazine, the event will focus on the use of aerial work platforms to increase productivity and safety on jobsites.