In today’s fast-paced world, where credentials hold significant value in shaping careers and opportunities, the authenticity of certificates and qualifications is paramount. In this blog, we delve into the importance of checking a certificate’s validity and how the members of the Accrediting Bodies Association for Workplace Transport (ABA) help you do this quickly and easily.

Why Certificate Verification Matters

Certificates serve as tangible evidence of a candidates’ skill, expertise, and accomplishments. So, certificates are important to employers. However, incidents of counterfeit certificates have raised concerns for some.

 Verifying the authenticity of accredited operator training certificates is important for companies for several reasons.

  • Maintaining safety: Validating certificates ensures that operators possess the qualification they claim. It shows they have received correct, robust, and accredited training for the job they are going to do. This is vital for upholding safety in materials handling equipment operations.


  • Ensuring compliance: Verifying certificates is essential for maintaining compliance. Should an incident occur, and certificates are found to be counterfeit during an investigation, a business cannot easily prove that they have done what is required by law around training. Validating that a certificate was issued by an accrediting body, gives the reassurance that you have adhered to what is required for HSE


  • Protecting reputation: For employers, maintaining a reputation for reliability and integrity is crucial for retaining and attracting talented lift truck operators. Verifying certificates helps protect high standards, demonstrating a commitment to quality assurance and helping reinforce trust in your employer brand.


How do Accrediting Bodies (ABA Members) Help with Certificate Verification?

 The accrediting bodies within the ABA play a pivotal role in the certification process verifying testing has been carried out correctly to issuing secure operator certificates.  Member bodies must therefore meet a set of stringent criteria for training provider accreditation, which includes quality assurance standards. The ABA itself is audited externally to ensure we are operating fairly and correctly.

However, when it comes to preventing counterfeit certificates specifically, our ABA members have several measures in place.

External audits: ABA accrediting bodies conduct external audits on their accredited training companies. This means that certification is reviewed, and any incidence of fraudulent certificates would be detected. The exact content of the audits varies between accrediting bodies.

Secure certificates: ABA member accrediting bodies use unique registration numbers to help prevent tampering and counterfeiting of certificates and make verification easier. Some accrediting bodies are also exploring further secure measures, such as encrypted QR codes, but this is not currently a requirement of ABA members.

Verification platforms: The ABA member accrediting bodies offer online verification portals where users can check that operator certificates are genuine. This is done by entering details such as certificate number, candidate’s name, and date of birth. These platforms streamline the verification process and provide instant confirmation of credential validity.

Protect trademarks: Though not a requirement of members, many ABA member accrediting bodies actively protect their own brands and reputation. They investigate if there are incidents of their logos being used by companies that are not authorised to do so. Members will take action as required, which could include legal action. This helps ensure only genuine certificates are in circulation.

Individual and Organisational Responsibilities

 While the ABA member accrediting bodies play a crucial role in certificate verification, individuals and organisations also have a responsibility to ensure the authenticity of credentials.

Here are three steps to take to help prevent certificate fraud.

  1. Verify Certificates: Before accepting a certificate as valid, individuals and organisations should conduct thorough verification checks using the official channels provided by the accrediting body. This should be done every single time, for every single certificate.

Links to our members’ online verification portals are below.


  1. Watch Out for Red Flags: Get to know the things to look for that suggest right away that a certificate might be a scam. It is a red flag if a certificate:
    • References an accrediting body but there is no operator registration number added
    • Has dates, or other content, that are hand-written, not printed
    • Contains logos which are low quality, or misshapen
    • Uses Instructor numbers that are the incorrect length or format for the accrediting body
    • Has a certificate/registration expiry date which is more than 5 years from the date of the test
    • Does not include a name for the company providing the training (whether employer or training provider)
    • References the Health & Safety Commission (HSC) – the old name for what is now the Health & Safety Executive (HSE)


  1. Report Fraudulent Activities: If you encounter counterfeit certificates or suspect fraudulent behaviour, report it to the relevant accrediting body immediately. Taking action quickly can help prevent other false credentials from entering the certification ecosystem.


Let’s maintain credibility together

 The ABA members are keen to safeguard against certificate fraud. However, it is clear that accrediting bodies, employers and individuals must work together to help reduce counterfeit operator certificates.

Learn more about who we are and what we do with our accrediting body members to help raise workplace transport standards.