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KEYLIFT FORKLIFT TRUCK TRAINING Professional Fork Lift Truck Training

Job specific and familiarisation training

‘Now I need to carry out job specific and familiarisation training, what’s that?’
So you’ve had an instructor come in and carry out basic training on the lift truck. You’ve carried out your responsibility as an employer, right?…. Wrong.  As an employer you now need to provide job specific and familiarisation training.

What is job specific and familiarisation training?

Teaching in Classroom
Teaching in the classroom

As it states in the Health and Safety Executive ACOP L117, lift truck training consists of 3 parts.

1 – Basic Training
2 – Job Specific Training
3 – Familiarisation Training

1- Basic Training

The lift truck instructor carries out this training. As the title suggests the training is basic. So the training in this area should cover the following. Parts of the truck, controls, elementary driving, manoeuvring around a course,  lifting at low, eye, and high level, where to park the truck etc. The forklift course will teach you the above, but now there are other training sessions that should take place.

2- Job Specific Training

So once you’ve provided basic training now’s the time to provide Job Specific Training. Again as the title suggests, this training is very specific to what the operator is going to be doing. 

Every company handles different items and have various procedures in place for manoeuvring goods so now you need to be taught how to deal with all scenarios.
Basic training teaches you to operate safely, moving pallets from A to B. Specific Training teaches the operator the specific job the employee is going to be carrying out. This makes the forklift operator competent in the areas he/she will be working in. For instance

Examples of Specific Job Training.


Any lift truck attachments (boom, clamps, side shift etc.

Site rules

Where the truck should and shouldn’t be operated. One way systems, location of goods etc. This is very important because when basic training is carried out, it is not usually in the busy work area and in a quiet area of the company. This is to minimise disruption to the companies production and day to day tasks.


Often companies have various lift trucks on site and it is impossible for the instructor carrying out basic training to cover all machines. Job Specific Training should cover this.

Handling company goods procedures

Each company handles different goods from sheet metal, wood, carpets, cages, textiles and the list goes on.

When becoming a forklift driver the lessons taught in job specific training can’t be conducted by the instructor because procedures differ in each company.

Anyone who is competent in the companies specific lift truck operating procedures can carry out this training. They need to be qualified to operate the lift truck and preferably have a senior role.

3- Familiarisation Training

Familiarisation training should be carried out on the job when the employee is undertaking day to day duties on the lift truck. It should be supervised and is all about getting the operator  ‘familiar’ with the machine. This training is one of the most important because you need to be sure that the operator is fully competent on the machine. It pieces what the employee has learnt in basic lift truck training and job specific training.
As with Job Specific Training anyone who is qualified to operate the machine, the operator is using, can carry out this training. The person carrying out this training should be competent themselves in the procedures they are monitoring and also be in a senior role.

How long should Job Specific and Familiarisation Training take?

There is no set time scale on how long the training should take. You should be confident as an employer that the operator is competent in all the procedures they will be undertaking on a day to day basis.

REMEMBER – any training carried out in the work place should be documented and kept in the company records. Always make sure regular refreshers are carried out and seat belts on forklifts are enforced.

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