Introducing PASMA and IPAF

Introducing PASMA and IPAF

In any industry, it's easy to get into the habit of using acronyms for organisations and then simply assuming that everyone knows what they stand for. In fact, if you asked many people in the street who IPAF and PASMA were, they'd probably be as likely to suggest 'mascots for the football World Cup' as anything else! 

Therefore we thought we'd spend time in this blog introducing each of these. It's important to do so, because here at Rapid Platforms, we offer valuable training courses covering the use of cherry pickers, electric hoists, and access platforms which lead to qualifications from these vital organisations. Of course, we also provide such equipment for sale and hire.


For more than 40 years, the Prefabricated Access Suppliers' and Manufacturers' Association (no wonder we just call them PASMA) has been responsible for the governance of the industry standard training scheme. This covers both proficiency and competence required by the Work at Height regulations. Anyone working mobile access towers should certainly hold a PASMA certificate and ID card. The organisation also sponsors research into best practice and helps set those vital industry standards. It acts as a key information source, and also works closely with the Health & Safety Executive, the Access & Scaffold Industry Association and other key players in the UK and beyond.

About IPAF

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has spent more than 30 years promoting the effective and safe use of powered access equipment right across the globe. As a not-for-profit organisation, it represents the interests of key players in this field, including manufacturers, distributors, end users, as well as equipment rental and training companies. Those who successfully complete IPAF training are then awarded their PAL (Powered Access Licence) card. This photo and signature card is the recognised form of proof for operating such platforms. It is valid for 5 years and shows the machine categories in which that person has been trained. Throughout the world, more than 100,000 operators are IPAF trained in a single year.

PASMA, IPAF and Rapid Platforms

Now you know a bit about both organisations, you'll probably want to know where we fit in. We are proud to be a fully accredited centre for both IPAF and PASMA training. This means that we can deliver programmes covering MEWP (Mobile Elevating Work Platforms), and for cherry pickers, which covers Operator, Demonstrator and Instructor levels. Our PASMA training covers the use of mobile aluminium scaffold tower equipment, and we offer courses at both User and Manager levels.

Rapid Platform has been an access company for almost 35 years, and in fact we're the oldest such privately owned and family run company anywhere in the UK. Our wealth and depth of knowledge has been carefully built over this time, and through deep relationships with so many long-term customers.

If you'd like to find out more, or ask any key questions about the wide range of vital training courses we can offer, then the simplest course of action is to give us an obligation-free call at our base near Stansted Airport on 01279 501501.