IPAF outlines pathways to becoming a qualified MEWP technician

MEWP boom lift inspection

Two clear routes to becoming a qualified Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) service technician have been developed by the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).

The new Service Engineer Roadmap identifies two routes, one aimed at giving those not from an engineering background the skills, knowledge and assurance to inspect, maintain and repair MEWP equipment, while the other is a formal apprenticeship resulting in IPAF Competent Assessed Persons (CAP) certification, and which could ultimately lead to chartered engineer status.

Both pathways are open to existing powered access employees and industry entrants of any age, and the Trailblazer apprenticeship will also attract Apprenticeship Levy funding over the full 36-month training period.

The new Roadmap forms an integral part of IPAF’s drive to help powered access companies identify, develop and retain staff. It is designed to help employers deliver career progression and upskilling to those seeking to fulfil specialist technician roles.

The pathways are broken down into modules that individually help upskill employees and collectively can lead to becoming a fully qualified engineer with IPAF CAP status, which in turn allow individuals to comply with requirements that “competent persons” plan, manage or carry out thorough inspections of MEWPs.

Initially the modules are open to all UK-based employees, but IPAF intends to roll the pathways out in other territories and will debut some of the training modules in the UAE this year.

Tim Whiteman, CEO & Managing Director of IPAF, comments: “IPAF and our members identified a gap in the market in terms of dedicated pathways to become a certified MEWP technician, and a working group of IPAF’s UK Country Council has been looking into this for some time, so it’s great to be able to now outline the new roadmap in detail.

“We have worked with IPAF Member companies, internal and external training partners to recognise and develop these pathways and the resulting routes into becoming a fully trained MEWP service technician should be of interest to all MEWP rental and training companies. We anticipate all the training modules and the apprenticeship to be in extremely high demand.”  

Richard Whiting, IPAF’s UK General Market Manager, comments: “IPAF has worked assiduously to recognise existing training providers such as Training for Hire and TVH to assist in delivering a clear route to qualify as a MEWP service technician. For instance, those successfully completing all six of TFH’s Service Technician Modules and recommended IPAF Operator and IPAF PDI training can register for a Level 2 Plant Maintenance NVQ.

“And by partnering with other bodies such as the forklift training body F-TEC to develop the trailblazer – and following apprenticeship standard approval from the Institute for Apprenticeships – the first Fork Lift Truck and Powered Access Engineering Technician Apprenticeship will be available early in 2019 and is now open for potential applicants to express their interest.” 

Trainees adhering to pathway A on the IPAF Service Engineer Roadmap, which is aimed at those without an background in engineering, will gather experience and certification at each of three steps along the route, including a level 2 NVQ and IPAF CAP points, and if all three steps are completed the candidate can then be profiled to switch to pathway B, the apprenticeship leading to IPAF CAP certification and ultimately opening the door to chartered engineer status.

Richard Whiting adds: “In setting out this clear ‘roadmap’ IPAF is aiming to satisfy this gap in the market for a training roadmap for service technicians in our industry. At the end of each step candidates will have the basic skills and understanding to carry out set tasks, from simple pre-delivery inspections to thorough examinations of MEWPs.

“The first modules will begin in the next couple of weeks and IPAF members have special access and discounts on the price of training; IPAF companies who host a series of training modules will receive a free place for one of their own employees.

“I urge interested parties to get in touch with me via email to Richard.Whiting@ipaf.org for more information and to register themselves or one of their employees on a training module without delay.”

Other news you might be interested in

  • A new document has been produced by IPAF explaining what a MEWP Safe Use Program is and why users need to have one in place. The document is a guide to the requirement, part of updated ANSI A92 standards that went into effect during 2020.

  • IPAF has seen a surge of new members, taking the total number beyond the 1,500 mark. The increase is partly owing to the powered access industry’s strong recovery after the pandemic and partly the introduction of a new Safety Professional category.