IPAF goes digital with EPAL – here is what it means
IPAF, the powered access industry’s international member organisation, has gone digital.
From June 2021, IPAF is issuing their PAL cards digitally, rather than as a physical card, via a new app called EPAL.
PAL cards display a powered access operator’s IPAF qualifications and are used as evidence that they are accredited to use specific mobile elevating working platforms (MEWPs).
But not for much longer. IPAF intends that IPAF cards will rapidly be phased out as the EPAL app is taken up by the powered access industry.
IPAF says EPAL is more convenient, ensures qualifications are up to date, and is more sustainable, reducing costs and waste.
Here, at JMS Powered Access, we agree.
Justin Lynn, JMS Director, says: “This is an inevitable step, and as a leading IPAF training provider in the UK, one we’re keen to embrace.
“The IPAF EPAL app will make it easier for us to ensure our training delegates get recognition of the IPAF qualifications they hold quickly and smoothy, and that qualifications are renewed more easily.
“Less waste and administrative hassle will also help control costs across the industry which, in turn, will ensure training is as cost-effective as possible.”
EPAL training app – how it works
The EPAL app is free to download on Apple iOS Android devices. It’s a convenient way to keep a record of all IPAF licences and qualifications gained and acts as a digital logbook for operatives to record their time spent operating multiple machines.
When training has been completed, details are processed by the training centre (for example JMS) and IPAF. Then the digital licence is uploaded to the operative’s account via the app.
If a physical PAL card is needed, this can be arranged through the training centre. However, it is envisaged that most employers and operatives will find using the digital app alone will be the best solution.
EPAL training app – the benefits
Employers can rest assured that there has been no change to the IPAF training courses. They are still the same high-quality courses you can rely on.
A valid digital PAL card proves the holder has undertaken the relevant training and has passed a theory and practical test within the last 5 years.
However, if needed, validity can be verified easily online through the IPAF site.
Key benefits of the EPAL system for employers include:
- Less administrative effort and reduced cost
- More timely confirmation of operatives’ qualified status
- Less risk of fraud
- Reduced inconvenience and disruption caused by card loss
- Instant access to safety, regulatory, and operational advice
The EPAL app is an easy to use, practical place to store all licences and qualifications which can be shared as needed with employers.
This can be done instantly by email or any messaging system, for example iMessage or WhatsApp.
Other key benefits for operatives include:
- No need to carry an IPAF card
- No inconvenience caused by losing a card or forgetting to take it to a worksite
- Clear and complete evidence of all IPAF qualifications
- Automatic reminders when qualifications need to be renewed
- Instant access to safety, regulatory operational advice
IPAF training with JMS
JMS Powered Access offers a comprehensive range of training courses to help MEWP operators work safely and productively at height.
The IPAF training courses can take place at one of our IPAF approved training centres or at work sites or customer premises, if appropriate.
JMS’s IPAF powered access courses include:
- Static Vertical (1a) – Vertical personnel platforms (static)
- Static Boom (1b) – Self-propelled booms (outriggers), trailers/push-arounds, vehicle-mounted platforms
- Mobile Vertical (3a) – Scissor lifts, vertical personnel platforms (mobile)
- Mobile Boom (3b) – Self-propelled booms
- Push Around Vertical (PAV) – Push around verticals