What are the different routes to being a qualified machine operator?

Here we look at the different routes of entry for all levels of operators of plant and industrial equipment. We have been asked many times by clients what the differences are between the various routes of entry for operators entering in to schemes such as RTITB & NPORS, i.e. Novice, Refresher, Conversion, EWT (Experienced Worker Testing)


Though we are surprised by the number of times this question has been asked we are happy to outline the differences in this blog.


Novice Training - Novice training is for those learners who have no or very limited experience in the activity or machine operation. Novice course durations may be reduced due to experience or reduced training objectives.


Refresher Training - Undertaken when a certificate is to be renewed or previous training is to be updated and the employer feels the operator will benefit from remedial tuition. Operators must hold a previous certificate or have had previous training. In either case a copy of the previous certificate or record of training must be provided before the point of training.


Conversion Training Undertaken when an operator is converting from one machine type to another e.g. converting from Industrial Telescopic Handler (J5) to Rough Terrain Telescopic Handler (J3). The Operator must hold a certificate for the original category being converted from.


Experienced Worker Testing (EWT) Undertaken when the operator has demonstrable experience and their employer feels they do not require remedial tuition. However, this is often the case for practical operation but not so for the underpinning knowledge. In reality the theory element will require an element of tuition in most cases so as to afford the candidate every opportunity to succeed. With this in mind we will undertake an update on the theory element to be delivered by the instructor on the day. We will also be producing theory revision paperwork soon for candidates undertaking the EWT route.


COTS can assist your business to ensure compliance to the many rules that affect today’s business, find out how by contacting Jason Mowforth (Director) for a free no obligation discussion on Jason@cotsolutions.co.uk / 01792 587250.

© 2020 Commercial Operator Training Solutions Ltd

Skills House,Tank Farm Road, Llandarcy, SA10 6EN.
Registered in England & Wales, Company No 6864932

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White YouTube Icon