Here’s Everything You Need to Know.

You may have heard that IPAF has recently launched 3 new Harness courses, replacing their traditional half-day IPAF Safety Harness training course. There are now three new categories of Harness training – Harness Awareness (HA), Harness User (HU) and Harness Inspection (HI). These new courses have been designed to give delegates more freedom to choose the correct course(s) that meet their individual requirements.

We have written this article to help you to understand what these changes mean and answer any questions you may have.


Why has IPAF changed their Harness course?

Previously, the original IPAF Harness course was a ‘one size fits all’ approach, as delegates had to learn harness awareness, correct use of harness and also how to carry out inspections. This posed an issue for over 95% of the delegates attending this course as it wasn’t necessary for them to learn how to conduct statutory harness inspections as part of their jobs.

With the launch of these new courses, you now have the option to train yourself to the correct category required for your job.


Which IPAF Harness course should I book?

The training category that you choose to book will now depend on the level of knowledge required for your job. We have outlined what each of the new courses covers below to help you choose the correct course.

  1. The Harness Awareness or the abbreviated HA training course is essential for anyone undertaking any level of harness training and this will act as the theory section of a Harness course. This must be passed first if you intend to take the Harness User and Harness Inspection courses. This level of training will be sufficient for people who will not personally use a harness but will manage, plan or supervise the use of a harness in a MEWP.

The Harness User or HU course is aimed at anyone who will personally use a harness in a MEWP. This course is to be taken after completion of the HA training and acts as the practical assessment. This level of training is sufficient for people who will use a harness but will not conduct statutory inspections on behalf of an organisation.

 Harness Inspector or HI course is required for anyone who personally has to conduct periodic statutory harness inspections as part of their role. Both the HA and HU courses need to have been completed prior to taking this course.


 How long is each of the new courses?

  • HA (Harness Awareness) – is a half-day theory-only course and can be taken classroom-based or as eLearning.
  • HU (Harness User) – is a short, practical-only course that must be completed in person at either an approved IPAF centre or a client’s premises. This course can also be carried out within an IPAF MEWP Operator training course for either 1b or 3b type machines, however the Harness Awareness (HA) category must have been completed prior to taking this category of training.
  • HI (Harness Inspection) – is a half-day course and must be completed in person, either at an approved IPAF centre or onsite.


Does IPAF Harness Training now take a full day?

In most circumstances, no. The two IPAF Harness categories that the majority of delegates will need to be trained on (Harness Awareness & Harness User) can be completed in half a day at an IPAF-Approved training centre, as long as the Harness Awareness (HA) has been completed via E-Learning prior to attending the training centre as this reduces the amount of instructor time needed.

However, if the statutory inspection of harnesses is part of your role then the Harness Inspection category (HI) will also need to be taken. This will increase the length of the course by 3 hours, making it a 1-day training course either at a centre or onsite (only if the Harness Awareness E-Learning has been completed prior to attending).


Can the IPAF Harness User (HU) course be tied into my MEWP Operator course?

Yes. If you need to also complete the IPAF MEWP Operator course then you can add the HU category of training to the day’s course without increasing the duration.

However, you will need to complete the Harness Awareness HA eLearning prior to attending your MEWP Operator training course. On the day of your MEWP Operator course, the instructor will ask to see the HA pass certificate. You will then be required to carry out a short 15-minute practical, assessing your ability to pre-use check the harness and lanyard, put it on correctly and attach/adjust it correctly in a MEWP.


Will my current IPAF Harness qualification (H) still be valid?

In short yes. However, when your current Harness qualification expires, you will need to take the new harness course(s).

If you have any questions or require more information on the new IPAF Harness courses please get in touch with our expert team, who will be able more than happy to help.