Select Your Region

North America

Latin America


Middle East



Pacific Rim

Australia and New Zealand

  • Australia and New Zealand
  • English

Access Industry Training Trends 2017

Lindsey Anderson
Access, Lift & Handlers Magazine


Access Industry Training Trends 2017

Expert Q&A - Jan 17

What trends do you see impacting training in the construction industry?

The biggest trend impacting training in our industry is technology. Advances in technology not only allow us to conduct business in faster, more streamlined ways, but they also allow us to work in “smarter” formats.

For example, many companies, whether trainers or OEMs, have embraced forms of online training (for the practical portion – there should always be hands-on familiarization and training involved). Online training allows students to conduct readings, tests and more at their own pace. Instead of sitting in a classroom for a full day, people taking online training have the opportunity to pause, step away and pick back up where they left off when they want to. Online training affords flexibility, and in today’s ever-busy world, flexibility is much appreciated.

Technology in training has also created one of the smartest ways to ensure the person using a piece of equipment is properly trained. IPAF’s Smart PAL (Powered Access License) Card features an embedded chip that ensures only trained operators can start and operate a machine on site.

The IPAF Smart PAL Card is a machine-readable card that stores data on the embedded chip.

This data includes the cardholder (operator) name, photo, unique ID number, whether or not the operator is trained, to what level and in which machine categories. This data can be read by a card reader fitted to the machine. The machine reader can be programmed to accept certain data which in turn allows the machine to be operated.

Site managers can then receive machine-detailed usage reports, which enable them to view live utilization data for the equipment they have on site – total shift time worked, engine runtime and function-enabled time on electric machines. The Smart PAL Card can also prevent fraudulent use of machines.

IPAF Smart PAL Cards are issued to operators who successfully complete IPAF training programs after passing a written and a practical test. They are valid for five years and show the machine categories that operators have been trained in.

To my knowledge, this is the first of its kind on the marketplace. However, as technology continues to advance, I imagine we will only see more developments of this kind, and even “smarter” options in the future.