Whiteman agrees, noting, “One of our basic philosophies has been if you’re going to get a PAL card, at the end it’s got to be the same regardless of how you were trained.”
The card is a unique aspect of IPAF training. Whether trainees are instructed in a classroom or through the eLearning module, they get a PAL card — much like a driver’s license — at the end of the program. “It’s not company specific,” says Whiteman. “It’s generic proof of training.”
Trainees in Genie’s program also receive a non-brand-specific card as proof of completing the program. “Because the training is general in nature, it covers safe operating practices and principles for almost all brands, makes and models of AWPs,” Weido says.
It’s important to note that effective training must be compliant with the standards. “The standards are very specific when they say the operator must be able to perform a pre-start inspection and workplace inspections, and that each trainee shall operate the equipment for a sufficient period of time to demonstrate actual proficiency,” Groat points out. “So what is a sufficient period of time and what is proficiency? Neither one is well defined by OSHA, ANSI or CSA. IPAF follows an international ISO standard that provides some of those guidelines. Many in the industry don’t even know this is a requirement.”