Nationwide Platforms, the UK’s leading provider of powered access for working at height, has now opened applications for the third cohort of its industry leading IPAF trainee programme.

Designed to address the trainer skills gap, the programme has seen a 100% pass rate so far. Applicants are provided with a supportive environment where they can achieve the fully rounded learning they need to excel.

There are four spots available for this year's cohort, which will be chosen from the successful applicants who attend an assessment day in June where their knowledge and skills will be put to the test.

Previously, prospective trainers had been required to have a minimum of three years of operator experience before advancing to training others. However, this often resulted in trainers retiring with no-one to replace them and a subsequent skills gap. 

To offset this, the IPAF trainee programme accelerates the education of applicants who lack on the job experience by providing an intensive 10-15 week course which covers all aspects of operation, including an expected minimum of 150 operating hours on a variety of MEWPs, as well as administration and trainer management. The course takes trainees from all backgrounds and gives them the tools they need to become fully qualified IPAF instructors. 

The course is primarily focused on face-to-face on the job training but is also complemented by e-learning to complete modules. At the end of the course there is an intensive two-week assessment period that vigorously tests applicants’ knowledge and practical skills.  

Applicants are taught to critically assess those they train. The course aims to equip those new to the job with the current and correct practices and teaches them to recognise and rectify bad habits. Developing this critical eye is a crucial part of the trainee programme that ensures everyone is working to high safety standards. 

Wayne Tatum from the first cohort said, “I couldn’t recommend this programme enough. It was a privilege to be amongst the first to have this training and I would encourage anyone else looking to have the best training in the industry to apply.”

Paulina Stempnakowska from the second cohort said, “This programme enabled me to gain the knowledge I needed to progress my career and ensure everyone is following the correct procedures in the workplace. It’s given me the drive to want to keep learning and developing and I think anyone looking for a fantastic opportunity should take this up and fully embrace the challenge.”

Brian Sneddon said, “This course is a fantastic way to build your skillset in a safe and supportive environment. We are excited to keep the momentum going and encourage anyone who feels called to be a trainer to apply. 
“We are so grateful to Neil Laws who has taken this course from strength to strength. This programme will be the standard for training going forward and I can’t wait to see others take up the opportunity to become IPAF certified instructors.”

Applications for the next intake are currently open to internal and external applicants. The deadline for applications is the 31st May 2024.

The programme was designed and created by Operational Training Manager, Brian Sneddon and Senior IPAF Instructor, Neil Laws in partnership with the International Powered Access Federation, IPAF. This collaborative effort sees Nationwide Platforms leading the industry in investing in the safety and future of its employees.

For more information on Nationwide Platforms and the IPAF trainee programme, including how to apply, visit or email

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