The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is a not-for-profit trade association which aims to ensure the safety of people in the powered access industry and to keep the industry up to date with the latest technical and safety advice in mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs).

The IPAF operator training programme, initiated by members in 1991, has left its mark on the industry. Since then, operator training is provided by more than 680 approved training centres in over 30 countries. This industry-led training programme is offered by leading manufacturers and rental companies, and requires that accredited partner training centres pass initial, annual and unannounced audits as part of the quality management system. Instructors are certified and undertake ongoing professional development which includes free annual updates to the training materials. Trainees undergo a complete programme backed up with quality checks, accredited instructors, supervised written and practical testing, controlled class sizes and course duration, and a central register of valid cards.

IPAF’s mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) operator training programme took a giant leap forward with a new generation of learning tools made available from 1 February 2016 in the UK. After two years of research, testing and significant investment, the new learning materials deliver flexibility and interactivity, with the same emphasis on practical training. For the first time, trainees now have the option of completing the theory part of the course via an interactive, state-of-the-art eLearning module. They can complete the eLearning module online – anytime, anywhere, on any device, at their own pace.

Trainees opting for the instructor-led theory course also benefit from the same state-of-the-art graphics, animations and learning techniques. They continue to interact with an instructor and fellow students in a classroom setting. Whether they complete the theory part via the eLearning module or the instructor-led course, all trainees must still pass a supervised theory test at an audited and approved training centre. Trainees will then proceed to the practical session and must pass a supervised practical test conducted by an IPAF-certified instructor. Successful trainees will receive a Smart PAL Card (Powered Access Licence) as proof of operator training. For more information visit IPAF promotes the safe and effective use of powered access through a growing range of safety campaigns and initiatives. See

One campaign is its safety campaign featuring mascot Andy Access. Simple posters featuring the characters Andy Access and Hugh Hazard form the basis of this campaign. Contractors, end-users and rental companies are all urged to download free poster artwork for use in their daily operations. New posters will be released every few months. Each poster illustrates a specific safety message on how to use MEWPs correctly.

The Andy Access posters have originated as a means of communicating the valuable learning outcomes identified from the IPAF accident reporting project, and as a means of reinforcing the key messages covered in IPAF’s training programmes.

For more information and to download the posters visit


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