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The Power in Access

The power in access

What's the Difference Between IPAF and PASMA Training


19 April 2024

Whether you’re accessing a mobile access tower or operating mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), safety is paramount and having the right training is of the utmost importance. In either case, you would need to receive International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) or Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manfacturers’ Association (PASMA) training.

Both forms of training offer useful insight and safe working practices. However, for those whose work requires changing heights and location, while manoeuvring around obstacles, then IPAF is the necessary training to safely operate a MEWP such as a cherry picker, boom lift or scissor lift.


What’s the difference?

When deciding between IPAF or PASMA training, it’s essential to know the difference. While safety and working at heights are emphasised in each form of training, the key difference is in the specific type of equipment you will use.


IPAF training courses

IPAF training courses focus on the safe operation of powered access equipment that is manually operated. Trainees will learn how to operate MEWPs safely and efficiently for a wide range of tasks. Whether it’s learning how to drive MEWPs, loading and unloading practices or conducting inspections, we offer a wide range of IPAF training courses to provide you with the necessary skills to safely work at great heights.

Most importantly, you’ll meet the necessary legal and safety standards required to operate several MEWPs. Training courses with a focus on a single category of MEWP usually take a day to complete.


PASMA training courses

The safe assembly and disassembly of mobile access towers is a focal point in a PASMA training course, along with understanding the risks of working at height, risk assessments and inspecting PASMA towers to ensure they are fit to use.

Mobile access towers provide a stable platform for different tasks and are an alternative to scaffolding as they’re designed for quick setup. PASMA training courses provide you with vital skills and specialist knowledge and generally take a full day to complete.

How do you choose the right course?

To determine the most beneficial training, it is important to consider factors such as the environment, equipment and industry you are working in. When deciding between IPAF or PASMA training, you may also want to consider the duration of the projects you will be working on.


1 - What type of MEWP will you need to operate?

It’s important to understand each type of MEWP is designed for different environments. If you need to complete tasks that require navigating around obstacles, then you may benefit from choosing IPAF training. In this course, learning how to safely operate machines such as cherry pickers, scissor lifts and boom lifts to access difficult to reach areas is a major focus. Stationary jobs may benefit from PASMA training, specifically tasks that require vertical reach without the need for mobility.

2 - Do you need to learn remotely?

Certain training requires a practical hands-on approach. However, we do offer an e-learning option for IPAF training to reduce the amount of time you need to be on-site.

3 - How quickly do you need to be trained?

If your job has any upcoming projects that require the operation of a MEWP or the use of a PASMA tower, then you should prioritise training as soon as possible. Give us a call on 01527 876798 to check availability and book an IPAF or PASMA training course.

4 - Which training is best for your industry?

Depending on what industry you’re in, one form of training may be more beneficial to you. IPAF training can be beneficial in some areas of landscaping, especially those that conduct tree surgery, while PASMA training can be useful in maintenance and facilities management where temporary yet stable access is required at a certain height.


GTAccess are the experts in IPAF and PASMA training - speak to our trainers

Industries that rely on aerial work platforms require specialised training and safety. No matter what you decide, GTAccess provides all types of training, along with e-learning options to better suit your schedule.

If you’re having trouble deciding which training is ideal, then we’re happy to discuss it with you. Reach out to us and we can discuss all the available training options that best suit you.