Training & Certification: What You Need to Operate Heavy Machinery

22 September 2023

Becoming a heavy machinery operator requires obtaining specific skills, qualifications, and credentials to prove you can safely operate the machinery. Since heavy machinery has the power to cause injuries and property damage, you must obtain the required training and certification before you can legally operate any piece of heavy machinery in the United Kingdom.


Below are the top three qualifications you need to operate heavy machinery. 

1) Be at Least 18 Years Old 

Children may dream about operating heavy machinery because it is big and shiny. However, the minimum age requirement to operate heavy machinery is 18 years old. Once you reach that age, you can begin training in heavy machinery operations.


2) Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License

An active commercial driver’s license is needed before operating heavy machinery. That will require you to meet specific health requirements and undergo training as a commercial vehicle operator.

Candidates must prove they have good eyesight and eye coordination and develop technical and manual skills to operate a commercial vehicle or machine.


3) Obtain a Certificate of Qualification 

Commercially licensed operators must obtain a Certificate of Qualification for the specific type of heavy equipment or machinery they wish to operate. Since each piece of heavy machinery has different functions, you need to receive specific training and certification for that machinery alone.

The Construction Industry Training Board offers training courses for people interested in obtaining Certificates of Qualification.


Learn More

Would you like to learn more about the training and certification requirements for heavy machinery operators? Contact Bison Plant Hire at 01285 862222 or email us at for further information.