Thinking of getting a NZ Forklift Licence? Looking for a Job Driving a Forklift? Here's some things to know about getting a Forklift Licence in NZ.
If you’re thinking about finding a job as a Forklift Driver in New Zealand or upskilling to include driving a Forklift in your qualifications then you’ll need a NZ Forklift Operator Licence.
What sort of jobs can Forklift Truck Drivers get in New Zealand?
There are different jobs available to people with forklift driver licences in New Zealand, such as Forklift Driver Jobs (otherwise known as Powered Industrial Lift Trucks), Pallet Truck Jobs, Storemen jobs and more. You could find yourself working in a warehouse or depot, with a building company or even at a port or airport. There are lots of different jobs available if you have a Forklift Licence.
I see that there are different types of Forklift Licences - which one do I need or should I get?
Yes, there are different types of categories of forklift licences in NZ and which type of Forklift Licence you get really depends on where you want to drive a Forklift. If you have a particular job in mind, this may answer the question for you. It will take longer to get an F Endorsement to drive a Forklift but there are more job options.
Here’s some more information about the different types of Forklift Licences.
Forklift Operator’s Certificate
The Forklift Operator’s Certificate was previously called the OSH (Occupational Safety and Health) Certificate. A Forklift Operator’s Certificate allows you to drive a forklift in a closed work yard that does not have any public access (such as a warehouse provided that there is no public access and that proper signage is present) but not on a road.
Getting a Forklift Operator’s Certificate - requirements
In order to get a Forklift Operators Certificate, you will need to:
- Successfully complete practical and theory examination with an approved training provider. See more on where you can complete the practical and theoretical training below.
- Be 16+ years of age.
- If English is a second language, you will need to provide proof of meeting IELTS (or equivalent) Level 5.0
A NZ Driver’s Licence is not a prerequisite to get a Forklift Operator’s Certificate (this certificate does not allow you to drive a forklift in any public space such as on roads) but it is recommended.
The NZ Forklift Operator’s Certificate must be renewed every three (3) years.
Renewing a Forklift Operator’s Certificate - requirements
The Forklift Operator’s Certificate must be renewed every three (3) years.
In order to get your Forklift Operator’s Certificate (or OSH Certificate) renewed, you must:
- Have a current or recently expired (no more than 3 months) Forklift Operator’s Certificate (or OSH Certificate); and
- Resit and successfully pass the practical and theory assessment with an approved training provider.
Forklift Operators Certificate F Endorsement
In order to operate a Forklift on a road (or in an open yard) you will need an F-Endorsement on your driver’s licence. There are two different Class types of F Endorsements for different weights of the vehicle being taken onto the road:
How do I get different Class licences?
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has published useful information on different Class Licences
How do I get an F Endorsement on my licence?
The NZTA has useful information on F Endorsements
How does the NZTA define a road?
If someone is unsure about whether they need an F-Endorsement on their licence because they’re not sure about the exact definition of a road or of being on a road, the NZTA discuss the definition here. In summary:
Getting an F Endorsement - requirements
In order to get a F Endorsement on your licence to be able to operate a Fork Lift on a road, you will need to:
- Successfully complete a Forklift Operator Training Course (which includes practical and theory examination) with an approved training provider.
- Apply for an F Endorsement with the NZTA (you will need proof that you have passed an approved Forklift Training course, to provide identification and to either pass an eyesight examination or show an eyesight certificate and to pay an application fee). You will also need to have a current licence (with appropriate class approval) to be able to apply and be given any F Endorsement.
You can find more information about applying for an F Endorsement on the NZTA website
Ok, I want a Forklift Operator’s Certificate / F Endorsement - where do I go to get the training certificate?
There are many places where you can go to get the right training to earn or renew your NZ Forklift Licence in order to get a job as a Forklift Operator, but make sure you go somewhere that’s endorsed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
How do I find a good Forklift training course?
Anyone who wants to train as a Forklift Operator can get the right – and recognised – training from different providers across New Zealand. If you are looking to get Forklift Training, here’s two fantastic resources to check out:
- NZTA Approved Course Providers List: The NZTA has a handy directory of course providers on their website, enter your location and what type of licence you want (F Endorsement or Class 2) and you’ll get a list of approved course providers.
- Forklift Licence Training Directory: Forklift Training Org have a handy directory of Forklift Training Providers on their website. Make sure that the training provider is approved by the NZTA for any F Endorsement.
It’s important to find a reputable and registered forklift instructor who has teaching experience and who can deliver the course itself and conduct the operator evaluation, including a practical test, afterwards. Checkout the Worksafe website for information about Forklift Training and Approved Code of Practice for Training Operators and Instructors of Powered Industrial Lift Trucks (Forklifts).
How long will Forklift training take?
How Long the training will take depends on whether you have driven a Forklift prior to the training and what type of licence (and class) you are going for.
- One-day basic training: One day practical courses are generally for Forklift Operators who can already drive a Forklift and have experience but who don’t have the Occupational Safety and Health certificate. It’s generally a one-day course because the participants already have the right skills with a particular type of forklift.
- Two-day basic training: Two day practical courses are generally people who have no prior experience and who want a basic certificate. Sometimes the course can be longer, depending on the type of vehicle involved and the size of the class. As with the one-day course, the forklift the driver is licenced to operate will be indicated on the certificate awarded.
- Refresher courses: Refresher courses are for forklift drivers whose certificates or licences are about to expire or have expired recently (within 3 months). A forklift licence lasts for three years after it’s issued so this will be a regular thing for professional drivers.
- F-Endorsement courses: These courses are delivered by a dedicated, specialist instructor. Once the trainee has passed the course, they must take their certificate to their nearest AA or Vehicle Testing New Zealand (VTNZ) office to apply for the F-Endorsement (see the information above about class licences).
- Supplemental training courses: Each training course is specific to the type of forklift the person wants to operate, so once someone has a basic qualification, they can do more training so they can drive other types. These new endorsements are added to the person’s certificate and can help them to get more forklift jobs.
The regulations around forklift training in NZ (Health and Safety at Work Act 2015)
Employers must make sure that workers operating heavy equipment – including Forklift Trucks – must be trained to operate them safely.
One of the responsibilities of an employer is to monitor the performance of Forklift operators to make sure they’re complying with the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
What are the different unit standard assessments
The NZQA has the following standard unit assessments:
10851 – to operate a powered industrial lift truck fitted with forks – Level 3, 7 credits
Trainees and operators who have this unit standard can prove that they can operate a powered industrial lift truck safely, that they can conduct pre-operational checks and inspections on the equipment and that they can start up the truck before actually operating it. Drivers with this unit standard can also perform practical forklift skills, as well as parking the vehicle and shutting it down after operation
10852 – to operate a powered industrial lift truck fitted with attachments – Level 3, 3 credits
Forklift drivers with this certification can demonstrate that they can operate the forklift truck with an attachment, can prepare the truck (with attachment) for operation and can also shut it down after operation
18496 – issued in conjunction with the F-Endorsement
Drivers with this unit standard have the right knowledge and skill to drive a forklift truck on the road. This unit standard is given to operators alongside their F-Endorsement.
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