RTITB is celebrating 20 years of the National Operator Registration Scheme (NORS) database which verifies and records key lift truck operator training details. When it launched, it was the first registration certification scheme of its type from an accrediting body for workplace transport training, and it continues to evolve with over 1.1 million registrations.
First established in 2003, NORS began capturing detailed records of materials handling equipment operators and the RTITB accredited training they had received. NORS continues with the same purpose to this day, and is more important than ever.
In its first year, 1632 operators were added to NORS. Steady year on year growth means that to date, 1,112,543 operators in total have been registered. In 2022 alone, details of 85,587 operators were added to the database.
NORS became mandatory for all RTITB accredited organisations to use in 2006. The same year, RTITB also took operator registrations online for the first time. An extranet system, now known as the MyRTITB Portal, replaced time consuming hard-copy paper registration.
In 2018, RTITB took this a step further with the launch of the MyRTITB TrainingFriend app. This enables users to add operators to NORS with the push of a button.
In 2021, RTITB continued to digitise the process. It became the first accrediting body to issue lift truck operators with electronic ID cards, as opposed to physical NORS photo ID cards.
The electronic eCard shows that the operator has received the required training and obtained the necessary qualification to support safe operating practices. It also helps get qualified operators into the workplace faster, as eCards are dispatched in around 4 hours.
“The eCards and NORS database work together to help employers verify that the operator and the person named on the certificate are the same,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director for RTITB. “This gives employers the proof that they need for compliance. It also helps tackle the issue of counterfeit certificates, helping ensure that incorrectly or untrained lift truck operators cannot put lives at risk.”
With NORS, employers can easily check if an employee has the correct training and is registered with a recognised body before hiring them. Inclusion on the database also independently verifies that an operator’s training meets the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ‘Approved Code of Practice and guidance L117 (Rider-operated lift trucks)’.
“Access to up-to-date operator training details is vital for safety and compliance, and it also helps the industry to keep costs down,” explains Laura. “With NORS, operators can prove adequate prior Basic training, meaning that employers don’t need to invest in unnecessary courses for new recruits.”
The NORS database registers every RTITB trained operator for three years. After this time, refresher training must be completed for the operator to remain on the register. This helps make sure that the operator maintains the relevant skills and knowledge to operate equipment safely.
Following the scheme’s success, the Accrediting Bodies Association for Workplace Transport (ABA) now requires all its members to have their own certification registration system to verify and record accredited training. Due to demand, RTITB has also successfully rolled out versions of the registration scheme for operators in India and Oman.
“Our goal in introducing NORS was to support high safety standards and help change the industry for the better,” says Laura Nelson. “We are delighted that 20 years on it is still helping make operations safer.”
Learn more about RTITB Accreditation: www.rtitb.com .