We certify and register all forklift trainers nationally. So talk to us about becoming qualified.

Want to become a forklift trainer?

Competenz certifies and registers all forklift trainers nationally, and maintains a publicly accessible register of all certified forklift trainers within New Zealand — so if you’re interested, speak to us.

We also play a monitoring and support role to all forklift trainers on behalf of the Department of Labour, with the aim to maintain and lift safety standards in industry.

We review all applications for anyone in industry wanting to become a registered Forklift Trainer to train employees within their own workplace, or to act as an independent trainer and train employees within multiple companies.

Step 1

Complete the application form at the end of this section, and supply any documentation that may be required.

Step 2

Post your completed application form and all supporting documents to:
Attention: Registrar of Forklift Trainers, Competenz, PO Box 9005, Newmarket, Auckland 1149.

OR courier to:
Attention: Registrar of Forklift Trainers, Competenz, Level 4, Office Tower, 277 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland.

Step 3

The Registrar will check your application against the criteria given in the Approved Code of Practice for Forklift Trainers and Operators.

View the Code of Practice here.

Step 4

If your application is approved Competenz will forward your full application to a Competenz onsite auditor. The auditor will arrange a mutually agreed time for you both to attend a Forklift Operator Course, where they will assess your practical teaching and assessment capabilities.

Step 5

A Competenz onsite auditor will come to your workplace to:

  • Conduct the audit
  • Provide feedback to you on your practical teaching and assessment skills (shown at the Forklift Operator course)
  • Advise you of the recommendation they’ll make to the National Registrar about your capabilities.

Step 6

The National Registrar will complete a final evaluation of your application, and advise in writing whether or not you’ve been successful.

Step 7

If your application has been successful, the National Registrar will:

  • Advise on the period of your registration (usually a period of between 1–3 years)
  • Register your details on the National Forklift Trainer database
  • Invoice your company for the services provided
  • Send you a certificate endorsing your registration as a Forklift Trainer.

Step 8

If your application has not been successful the National Registrar will advise you why this decision has been reached, along with recommended steps you can take to ensure you’re successful next time you apply.


  • For a single, new trainer registration (from one company)


  • To register multiple trainers from one company, or
  • New trainers intending to use the Competenz-approved training resource package, or
  • For renewel of registration

Charges for the onsite auditor’s travel and accommodation costs apply (POA). A $50+gst booking fee applies to all travel bookings. Any applicable cancellation costs will also be charged.

Competenz has produced resource material packages to support both the training delivery and learning. This saves you the time and expense of creating and maintaining your own quality training resources.

Workbooks also help your trainees toward achievement of four necessary NZQA unit standards required by forklift operators.

The new forklift operator training resources assess trainee operators against:

  • 10851 – Operate a powered industrial lift truck (forklift)

The resources provide an introduction to and also begin the collection of evidence towards assessment of the following unit standards:

  • 10852 – Operate a powered industrial lift truck (forklift) fitted with attachments
  • 18409 – Use a forklift mounted safety platform in the workplace
  • 18496 – Demonstrate knowledge and skills for driving a forklift on a road for endorsement F (forklifts)

Trainer’s Pack - $180+gst

Comes with a professionally printed Trainer’s Guide, Assessment Guide, Workbook, and a CD with additional support materials.

Additional packs are $60.00+gst each.

Candidate’s Pack - $50+gst

Consists of ONLY the Assessment Guide & Workbook for the candidate. (Must be purchased for every candidate).

Order Forklift Resources here

What is the ACOP?

This is the Approved Code of Practice which all Registered Forklift Trainers and Operators must adhere to. You can read the ACOP here.

What are the 'train the trainer' requirements?

Only instructors who have successfully completed a recognised `train the trainer’ course in instructional techniques, will be considered qualified to provide training, assess operators and to issue certificates. 

Suitable courses include the following:

  • A New Zealand/ National Certificate in Adult Education (Level 4 or above) from a recognised training establishment e.g. a polytech, university etc. The certificate should give accreditation for at least NZQA unit standards 7097, 7106, 7108 and/or 7114 plus 4098 and 11552


Do I need to hold a forklift operator certificate to operate a forklift?

Yes. The Health and Safety in Employment Act 2002 Section 20 requires all operators of forklifts to be trained in their safe operation.

How does the new Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 affect training and forklift certification?

Worksafe New Zealand has provided the following detail regarding the legislation changes to the Health and Safety legislation (Health and Safety at Work Act 2015):

  • The current Forklift Code of Practice still applies.
  • The relevant regulations will be incorporated into the new regulations, under the Plant and Structures legislation, as part of ‘Phase 2’ of the changes which is likely to happen over the next year or two.
  • Current regulations and practices remain in place until these have been reviewed.

If you require further details, you can email the Forklift Registrar here.

Can I be trained to operate a forklift if I have had no previous experience?

Yes. Most Forklift trainers provide good practical lessons in their courses.

How can I find a Trainer who offers forklift training?

A list of registered Forklift Trainers is available on the right hand side of this page.

Can I achieve NZQA unit standards by attending a Forklift Operator training course?

You can if the Trainer is registered with an industry training organisation (ITO) to assess unit standards or is an NZQA accredited provider.

How long should a forklift operator course take to complete?

New Operator: This can be up to 2 days Refresher Course: This can be up to 1 day.

Does an F Endorsement on my driver licence qualify me to operate a forklift in a warehouse?

No. The F Endorsement authorises you to drive a forklift on a road.

How often must I renew my Forklift operator’s certificate?

Every three years.

How often must I renew my Forklift Trainers certificate?

Usually every three years.

Do I need a Forklift Operator Certificate to operate a pedestrian operated forklift?

Yes. The ACOP applies to all Powered industrial lift trucks.

Do I have to be registered with Competenz to deliver a Department of Labour approved forklift operator course?

Yes. By engaging with Competenz for the registration process you are ensuring that your course and your own performance has been audited against nationally accepted industry criteria and complies with the ACOP.

If my application for Forklift trainer registration is not approved am I able to seek a review of the decision?

Yes you may apply in writing to the registrar requesting the decision be reviewed. Click here to email registrar.

If I leave my job as a Forklift Trainer and move to another employer can I be employed in the same capacity using my existing Forklift Trainer registration?

No. Your initial registration was awarded on the basis of working for the first employer using course material that was approved for that company. You will need to reapply for registration for the new company and submit course material intended to be used.

Where can I find an example of the syllabus to be taught on a Forklift Operator course?

Appendix D of the Department of Labour Approved Code of Practice for Forklift Trainers and Operators. You can read the ACOP here.

How often must I attend refresher training?

The Approved Code of Practice states: 'Refresher Training must be undertaken every three years.' Please refer to your operator’s certificate for the expiry date.

What is the minimum age for a person to be able gain a Forklift Operators Certificate?

At least 15yrs. The Health and Safety Act 1995 – section 56 states that no employee under the age of 15 can work with any machinery in a place of work.

Is it compulsory to wear a seat belt on a Forklift?

If a seat belt is fitted then yes you need to wear it. A seat belt must be worn if the forklift is driven on the road.

Is a Telehandler classed as a Forklift?

If the Telehandler has forks attached then yes but there are distinct differences, e.g. load capacity charts which should be covered by the trainer. Forklift operator training courses should use a conventional Powered Industrial Lift Truck.

Is an Australian Forklift Operators Certificate valid in New Zealand?

The position of both WorkSafe NZ (formerly Department of Labour) and the Forklift Industry Working Party is that where a Forklift Operator provides a certificate or document that shows that they have received formal training/tuition/instruction/assessment under any of the 7 states and territories of Australia, then NZ employers should recognise this and therefore not preclude the Operator from gaining employment.
At the earliest opportunity, both WorkSafe NZ and the Forklift Industry Working Party agree that “refresher” training would be sufficient to address any of the differences between NZ and Australia.  
Individual employers may require additional training or a New Zealand Forklift Operators certification in accordance with organisation policies and procedures.

What is the maximum size of forklift that can be operated?

There are no guidelines in terms of classification however Industry has adopted the following in terms of sizes a Forklift operator may use.

  • Forklift weighing 18000kg or less (with a load), Class 1 licence and F endorsement.
  • Forklift weighing 18001kg or more (with a load), Class 2 license and F endorsement.

What is the definition of a road?

Definition of a road (Land Transport Act 1998)

Road includes:
a) A street and
b) A motorway and
c) A beach and
d) A place to which the public have access, whether as a right or not and
e) All bridges, culverts, ferries and fords forming part of a road or street or motorway and
f) All sites at which vehicles may be weighed for the purposes of the act or any other enactment.