It’s been a year of positive change for AITT and its members. Having joined at the start of the year as Managing Director, it’s been the same for me, too.

Marc Paxford of Toyota (left) and Adam Smith of AITT announce the new training arrangement.

While I’m still relatively new in post, over the past year, I’ve looked at addressing those things I’ve seen from my end-user perspective.

As an accredited instructor and having worked in nearly every area of training, I’m aware of the problems across the landscape… and we’re already tackling some of the key ones.

Earlier this year, as one of the four Accrediting Bodies in the Accrediting Bodies Association (ABA), we created a new testing standard for would-be counterbalance and reach operators. Importantly, the new test targets habitual bad practice. Not content to stand still, though, the ABA has further revised its standards – putting greater emphasis on failures that matter most in a typical working environment. These new changes apply to B1, D1 and D2 categories.

These new standards represent real progress, but at AITT we’re aware that training and testing is only as effective as the individual delivering it. As a result, we decided to do something totally unique to raise accredited trainer standards – in the form of an annual audit.

Becoming an accredited trainer demands 12 months’ operator experience and the completion of a challenging 10-day course. That qualification is refreshed every five years.

We are convinced that five years is too long to go without monitoring. To address this, we’ve introduced a voluntary scheme of internal audits which ensure we can measure and maintain performance standards (intervening as appropriate) for everyone’s benefit.

In-house training is more problematic as the quality varies significantly. Some trainers have only attended a five-day course, rather than the recommended and more intensive longer course. This means they are not meeting an agreed and consistent standard that is fundamental to on-site safety. We are, therefore, working with employers to educate and inform them of the importance of them and ensure inhouse instructors are truly competent.

Very recently, AITT was named as the new awarding body for Toyota Material Handling UK training centres and operator training delivered to their customers. As a result, Toyota instructors will receive AITT registration.

According Toyota’s Operator Training Manager Marc Paxford: “AITT comes with an incredibly strong reputation built on many years of industry-specific expertise and we see working with its team as a tangible and highly beneficial way to enhance all our training.

“They have been exceptionally professional and supportive in understanding our needs and maintaining the very highest of standards to which we operate.”

For the world’s largest supplier of forklifts, to partner AITT is yet more evidence of the trust that customers of all sizes are putting in our standards and expertise. To find out how AITT could help you, call me call on 01530 810867 or email me


01530 810867

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