In Australia you need a high-risk work licence (HRWL) to operate a forklift. The course to get the licence is 2.5 days and is much more intense than New Zealand courses, covering a broader range of topics and much more driving experience. In New Zealand you need an F endorsement and/or an operator’s certificate, which are not compatible. For this reason, a New Zealand forklift licence is not valid in Australia.
Recognition of prior learning
You may be able to seek recognition of prior learning, or RPL. This means that you might be able to acquire an Australian forklift licence with a shorter, cheaper assessment. When we say cheaper, it’s still going to cost you perhaps AU$300-400 including the RPL application with a registered training organisation (RTO).
To do this you’ll need to provide enough proof of your forklift operator experience – your current licence (expired ones aren’t helpful as if your Australian one expires you have to take the whole course again), records of where you worked, additional training certificates, authorisations to operate and any other examples that prove you have experience on forklift (e.g. photos, testimonials, job references, etc).
- Process of getting an Australian forklift licence
- The minimum age is 18 and you must demonstrate that you have reasonable understanding of written and verbal English. The process varies from state to state, but the basic process is:
- Decide which forklift licence you need – LF or LO
- Find an RTO with an available course – there will be classroom training and driving practice
- Tell the RTO that you want recognition of prior learning
- Complete the training then provide the documentation to the relevant authority to have the HRWL issued. You must do this within 60 days of the training.