The New Counterbalance & Reach Truck Test


In January we were notified by our accrediting body, ITSSAR, that the The Accrediting Bodies Association for Workplace Transport (ABA) had revised the testing standards for counterbalance and reach trucks and it would be live from 30th January 2017.

Testing a candidates competency will remain the same and each candidate will still have to pass three elements of training – pre-operational check of the truck, theory test and practical test.

The ABA have amended certain criteria on the practical test so that safety criteria will be penalised with higher penalty points than before. An example of this would be:

Fails to check all around: (old test)    3 points          (new test)     5 points

They have also added that where a candidate has more than 3 occurrences of any one 5 point penalty, an example being as above, then the candidate is mandatorily disqualified.

The changes to the pre-operational check is that there are now mandatory components. At Phoenix Training we have been doing this and covering the mandatory components for several years so there will be no obvious change.

The theory test now has 5 mandatory questions. If any of the mandatory questions are answered incorrectly the result will be a referral (regardless of the overall score).

It was not mandatory for accredited training organisations to use the new testing standards until 1st September but from this date all accredited training organisations who deliver training to ITSSAR, RTITB, AITT and NPORS standards will be expected to do this.


At Phoenix Training we made the transition to the new system in March and it is working well. Some of our training material has been amended to take into account the changes.

The development of the new testing regime is to ensure national and uniform standards across all members of the ABA. This is the first time the test has been updated since 2000.

For more information on the new testing standards for counterbalance and reach trucks please do get in touch on 01933 677708 or email us

Until next month…………….

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