11 Things You Should Know About Forklift Licences

How do I get a forklift licence?

To get a forklift licence you need to complete training and assessment with a Registered Training Organisation.

How old do you have to be to get your Forklift Licence?

SafeWork Australia and WorkSafe Victoria require you to be 18 years old and have valid photo ID (such as a passport, Australian drivers licence, or keypass card).

How long is a High Risk Work Licence valid for?

All High Risk Work Licences, including forklift, are valid for 5 years (you can pay a renewal fee to keep your licence prior to each expiry period).

Are there any prerequisites to get your Forklift Licence?

In addition to being 18 years old, trainees must also have adequate English language skills to safely complete tasks relating to forklifts. This includes being able to:

  • Read and correctly interpret safe work method statements, forklift specifications and data plates
  • Complete paperwork such as risk assessments and logbook entries
  • Calculate load weights and ensure safe working loads aren’t exceeded
  • Speak English clearly
  • Explain, describe and verify sometimes complex needs and issues

If a trainee is concerned that they may not have the required capabilities to complete our forklift licence course, please contact WAM Training on 1800 143 343 for advice.

Do you need a drivers licence to drive a forklift?

The answer is ‘No’. You do not need a drivers licence to operate a forklift on a worksite in Australia. However, you must still have a Licence to Perform High Risk Work with the LF endorsement to operate a forklift in Australia.

If you intend to drive a forklift on a public road or on a public thoroughfare, the forklift must be registered (I.e. have number plates) and you must hold a current Australian drivers licence.

How long is a forklift licence valid for?

All High Risk Work Licences, including forklift, are valid for 5 years.

Your High Risk Work Licence will have an expiry date. You need to ensure that you apply for a renewal of your Forklift High Risk Work Licence prior to expiry. WorkSafe will send you a letter which will be used to renew your forklift licence at an Australian Post outlet.

If you have changed address since your last issue of or renewal of your Forklift High Risk Work Licence and have not advised Worksafe of your address change, you will not receive the letter you need to renew your licence. In this instance you will need to contact WorkSafe directly to arrange renewal or apply online at myworksafe.vic.gov.au.

How do I renew my forklift licence?

There are 2 ways to renew your Worksafe Forklift High Risk Work Licence.

WorkSafe Victoria will post you out a letter advising your Forklift High Risk Work Licence is due for renewal. You need to take this letter to Australia Post to complete the renewal process. The letter will advise of cost and other requirements such as a new passport photo and payment of the licence renewal fee.

High Risk Work Licences in Victoria have recently moved online. You can now apply for, renew and amend a High Risk Work Licence online at myworksafe.vic.gov.au.

What is a forklift licence?

In Australia, to operate a forklift on any worksite you must have a Worksafe High Risk Work Licence with an LF endorsement on it. The LF endorsement stands for ‘Loadshifting Forklift’, which is contrary to the incorrect belief that LF stands for ‘Light Forklift’.

High Risk Work Licences replaced the older OHS Certification Cards, which replaced DLI (Department of Labour and Industry) licences. Previously, the DLI licence for forklift was split into 2 categories – under 10t and over 10t. There is no limit on forklift capacity under our current system.

Is there a size restriction to your Forklift Licence?

No, the Worksafe High Risk Work Licence for forklifts allows you to drive any size forklift.

However – If you were trained and assessed on a particular type of forklift and your employer now wants you to operate a different or larger capacity forklift, the employer must ensure you are provided with adequate instruction and supervision.

Forklift licence definition?

A forklift truck is a powered industrial truck equipped with a mast and an elevating load carriage to which is attached a pair of fork arms or other loadholding attachment, but does not include the following —

  1. a pedestrian-operated industrial truck;
  2. a pallet truck that is unable, by design, to raise its fork arms 900 mm or more above the ground;
  3. an order-picking forklift truck;
  4. a tractor fitted with a pair of fork arms or other loadholding attachment;

This definition comes from the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (Vic.).

What is involved in forklift training?

Legislation requires you to complete both training and assessment components with a Registered Training Organisation.

The nationally accredited Unit of Competency you must complete to get a forklift licence in Australia is TLILIC0003 Licence to operate a forklift truck.

Before a forklift trainee can be formally assessed by an RTO, the trainee must first successfully complete all training and informal assessment components (I.e. the trainee must prove they have the theoretical and practical skills that warrant them sitting a formal Forklift Licence assessment).

Trainees will then be formally assessed in three stages:

  1. Theory Assessment (61 short-answer questions)
  2. Maths Assessment (9 maths questions involving calculating load weights and comparing to a forklift data plate
  3. Practical Assessment (Hazard identification, safety checks and operating a forklift to shift loads

The formal assessments for the Forklift Licence Course are closed-book and no notes are permitted to be used.

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