Do I Need a Licence to Operate a Telehandler?


In Australia the licensing requirements for operating a telehandler differ depending on the attachments for heavy lifting and power of the machine. While a telehandler may seem simple to use, operating this type of machinery can be quite complicated. It is best to check whether a license is required for the type of work you are planning. The machine will either require a high risk work licence, work platform certificate or no license at all.

  • Where the telehandler is fitted with a boom or jib and hook block a high-risk work license is required.
  • Where the telehandler is fitted with a personnel box attached directly to the main boom and the personnel box can be extended 11 metres of more, an elevated work platform certificate is required.
  • If the telehandler is fitted with attachments such as buckets or forks no licence is required.

What is a high-risk work licence?

A high-risk work license is required if you work with certain high-risk equipment or machines such as telehandlers, scissor lifts and crane trucks. The fee for a high-risk work licence vary from state to state:

  • Queensland: $96.80
  • New South Wales: $75
  • Victoria: $66.60
  • Western Australia: $100
  • South Australia: $83.50
  • Northern Territory: $76
  • Tasmania: $71.28
  • Australian Capital Territory: $100

A high-risk work licence is then valid for a period of 5 years. A renewal fee after this period also varies from state to state:

  • Queensland: $87.85
  • New South Wales: $69
  • Victoria: $50.53
  • Western Australia: $53
  • South Australia: $83.50
  • Northern Territory: $63
  • Tasmania: $58.32
  • Australian Capital Territory: $100


What is an elevated platform certificate?

The elevated workplace platform certificate covers training in the skills required for the safe use of various types of elevated work platforms. Including planning and preparing operations, selecting the correct attachments, operating machinery and carrying out post-operational procedures.

A standard course fee for an elevated work platform certificate is generally around $400 - $600 with different accreditors offering specials and combo course deals.

The standard course is normally delivered over a 2-day period with another day for assessment in a classroom based setting. There is also shorter evening training available, taught over a longer time period. Courses have an excellent pass rate, with students supported by accredited trainers and assessors.

Courses such as ‘TLILIC0005 – Licence to Operate a Boom-type Elevated Platform (boom length 11m or more)’ are eligible for funding by the Construction Industry Training Board. There are over 200 short courses to make training more affordable. Course ‘RIIHAN309E – Conduct telescopic materials handler operations’ is a more advanced course required for working in the Resources and Infrastructure industries.

Need to hire a telehandler today? Run a search now for your local telehandler suppliers.

What are general telehandler course requirements?

To register for a high-risk license or elevated platform certificate it is best to visit a government website for a full list of inclusive information. However here is a quick general guideline for either licence or certification.

  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Provide more than two forms of identification
  • Wear safety boots and sun protection during training
  • Be able to read and write basic English
  • Pass a language, literacy and numeracy assessment

What should I look for in a course?

  • Detailed training plan
  • Training in health and safety
  • Live demonstrations
  • Clear instructions
  • Written and practical assessment
  • All training materials and a hi-vis vest provided
  • Statement of attainment
  • A recognised training course with a registered training organisation

Where should I register for a course?

To register for either a high-risk work licence or elevated platform certificate it is best to consult with your state Workplace health and Safety office or visit a government website for information on registered training organisations and pricing for your state.

Looking for telehandler hire?

Decided you'd rather hire a telehandler than operate on yourself? iSeekplant is the largest online  marketplace for construction hire in Australia. For telehandler hire across Australia, including Adelaide, Sydney, or rural Victoria we have a telehandler company with a telehandler and operator ready for you. Have a look through our listings or give us a call on 1300 691 912.


Subscribe to receive news on projects as it happens

Get the latest updates in Major Projects and Industry News straight to your inbox