IPAF Adds Facial Recognition to Online Operator Training

IPAF E-Learning

The International Powered Access Federation has modified its eLearning operator theory module to include facial recognition technology as a security measure. It has already used the same technology on its MEWPs for Managers eLearning course.

Using the camera on the candidate’s device or computer, the technology ensures that only the trainee under assessment is able to undergo the eLearning.

That extra security gives IPAF-approved training centers the additional flexibility and confidence to offer distance learning as an alternative to classroom sessions, where maintaining distance between trainees and the instructor might be more difficult.

IPAF-approved training centers are being given the option of moving the theory element of their MEWP operator courses to online-only eLearning. The move would increase the number of practical assessments they are able to carry out in a day and reduce the need for candidates to congregate in classrooms – a sensible precaution to reduce the risk from coronavirus.

Candidates can complete their theory training online. That provides an alternative to face-to-face instruction and lets training centers focus more on the practical element and assessment, if they so wish. These can usually be conducted in well-ventilated depots and outdoor compounds that allow physical distancing and help comply with risk management.

IPAF now also allows training centers to conduct 12 practical assessments per day, up from the previous maximum of eight.

Peter Douglas, CEO & MD of IPAF, said: “Many of our members delivering training are eager to return to offering courses on the scale they were doing before the coronavirus pandemic, but equally they are very keen to ensure this is done as safely as possible and in line with the best guidance available to minimize risk of candidates or training center staff coming into contact with or spreading the virus.”

Douglas added, “We think this new flexibility will be of benefit to our training providers as they look to reconfigure the way they work going forwards, and to bolster confidence that their staff and training candidates have the best range of options to allow them to undertake IPAF training with maximum confidence.”

Giles Councell, IPAF’s director of operations, who has led the development of IPAF’s “next generation” eLearning, added: “We have seen how effective the facial recognition technology is, as it has been used in our revamped MEWPs for Managers course since the beginning of 2019. It was a logical step to integrate this additional security measure into the existing IPAF operator theory eLearning module.”

“The changes will allow our test centers to operate more flexibly while getting to grips with new ways of working to manage risks posed by coronavirus,” Councell said. “We hope the changes will help IPAF test centers deal with any training backlog they may have in helping people gain or renew their PAL Card.”

More information about IPAF training is available at www.ipaf.org/training.