IPAF Site Assessment Course

Sponge is a long-term digital training partner to the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), globally recognised leaders in training programmes and accreditation in the powered access industry.

IPAF promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information, influencing and interpreting legislation and standards, as well as through safety initiatives and training programmes. IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation with over 1,400 members in over 70 countries.

As the ultimate goal of IPAF is saving lives and preventing injuries, IPAF promotes comprehensive and quality operator training globally, throughout the powered access industry. After the success of IPAF’s Mobile Elevated Working Platform (MEWP) Operator Training Course, the need for a new learning experience was identified. This training need led to the creation of the IPAF Site Assessment (for MEWP Selection) Training Course, available as both an elearning course and a blended option with instructor-led training.

Challenges of developing the IPAF Site Assessment training course

Every year, on average 77 ‘lost time incidents’ are logged through IPAF’s Accident Reporting Portal. This data identifies areas of training to be addressed in order to support safe use of powered access equipment.

From this data IPAF identified the need for a detailed and thorough Site Assessment training course, to provide a solution for this challenge. For example, selecting the wrong MEWP for the job has emerged as the root cause of many ‘lost time incidents’, so a methodology that would engage and challenge decision makers – MEWP selectors – was required.

The target audience of this training course consists of rental company sales staff, already qualified MEWP operators, valid IPAF PAL Card holders, supervisors, health and safety professionals, and managers with a valid MEWPs for Managers qualification. These candidates have a necessity for a tool they can use every time they select a MEWP, and that tool has to incorporate a lot of information in small, memorable chunks.


IPAF required a solution that would:

  • Be aimed at all levels of experience across the target audience
  • Embrace IPAF’s approach to safety training
  • Allow for skill retention and progression as the candidate developed experience across the module content
  • Be designed to make the most of existing assets
  • Be suitable for all devices including mobile
  • Be accessible and updateable
  • Put the individual at the heart of the experience, provoked conversation and defied expectation

Sponge’s solution to IPAF’s Site Assessment training requirement

Sponge has created a fully branded learning experience consisting of 10 modules, with an approximate total training time of 3 hours and 40 minutes, with an assessment and certificate at the end. This type of training uses Facial Recognition, and has support for the learners available throughout the modules. A learner can also download several job aids and supporting documents. There are two versions of the course: one is self-paced, the other instructor led.

The narrative guides the learner through situational questions and scenarios, turning the training into an immersive learning experience. With scenarios, learners are put into a position where they must make decisions and navigate the consequences.

The modules challenge user perceptions, ensuring stronger connections to the learning. There are memorable points in the storyline which both facilitate and call for continuous improvement, according to the principles of learning science. Imagery (2D and 3D graphics and animations) supports the narrative, which is written in simple, everyday language that communicates with a range of people, in line with Sponge’s commitment to human-centred learning design.

Sponge’s solution for IPAF Site Assessment training has been developed in Ignite, our bespoke authoring tool. Ignite supports Sponge’s drive towards innovation, enabling elearning that is accessible across all devices, including mobile.

The learning outcome of this elearning experience is to create a strong foundation from which to build competency and confidence in completing site assessment for MEWP selection. The course can be accessed through Sponge’s Learning Management System, Spark, which collects the granular data about learners’ journey through the course. Its survey functionality enables learners to leave feedback on this learning experience, with a view to constantly improve the Site Assessment training.

Sean Crowley, IPAF instructor, said:
“Although I have years of experience operating and site surveying and I am an IPAF instructor, I still recapped and expanded on existing knowledge, putting a clear pattern to my activities.”

Impact of Site Assessment training course

IPAF Site Assessment (for MEWP Selection) Training Course sets the candidate and their company up for success by:

  • building customer trust through the demonstration of expertise in MEWP selection
  • ensuring repeat business
  • driving down the cost of employee hiring, as operators can be safe in the knowledge that a competent person has selected the right MEWP for the right job
  • providing an audit trail of records

The candidates who have already completed the learning experience have deemed the information it conveys ‘very’ or ‘reasonably clear’ (91%), and 72% have said the activities it contains are ’very’ or ‘extremely efficient’.


Connor Hunt, trainee, said:
“Great course. Easy to follow. It made me think about situations I'd forgotten about.”


Great planning and conducting a thorough site assessment are key elements in bringing the number of ‘lost time incidents’ down. Selecting the right MEWPs based on that assessment can save lives, prevent injuries, and ensure that the company conducting the work has what they need to complete the work safely, to schedule and to budget.

Training Manager, IPAF

Paul Roddis

"Working with Sponge was a real pleasure, and despite completely working remotely on this project, we had high transparency throughout the entire venture."

Let's talk.

Fill out the form below and let us demonstrate how we might be able to support you.