Very Narrow Aisle Training Courses

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Very Narrow Aisle Training Courses

The very narrow aisle (operator up) forklift training course contains theory work in a classroom and practical using a very narrow aisle (VNA) truck. The classroom work consists of learning about Health and Safety legislation. Also, the theory of using a VNA truck and the operator’s safety code. The practical work builds so that trainees gain knowledge and experience gradually. Adequate time to practice is important, before moving onto the next stage. This training culminates with 3 stages of testing:

  • A theory test – consisting of 25 questions
  • Pre-use inspection test
  • Practical skills test involving various manoeuvres completed in a safe manner


The Very Narrow Aisle Lift Truck

A very narrow aisle lift truck or forklift truck often shortened to just VNA is a modern take on the traditional forklift truck. These machines excel in narrow aisles, needing only a few centimetres clearance either side of the truck. They are guided in these narrow spaces by either wire or rails and many of them have added extras including warehouse navigation, positioning aids, and cameras. Picking orders can be sent to the machine via radio data. Their rated capacity is around 1 - 1.6 tonnes with some models able to lift in excess of 15 metres high.

Their large batteries enable them to be run for many hours often for a double shift, charging is from a separate charger cabinet.


VNA (Operator Up) Course Specifications

VNA training
Very narrow aisle (operator up) truck

Very Narrow Aisle (Operator Up)


Operator Up

Accrediting Body:
Independent Training Standards Scheme & Register (ITSSAR)

3 : 1 : 1 (3 operators, 1 instructor, 1 machine)

Novice - 1 operator = 3 days, 2 operators = 4 days, 3 operators = 5 days
Experienced - 1 operator = 2 days, 2 operators = 2 days, 3 operators = 3 days
Safety Refresher - 1 operator = 1 day, 2 operators = 1 day, 3 operators = 1 day
Conversion - contact us

Contact us


On-site VNA Courses

All of our VNA forklift courses are carried out on our customer’s premises. This gives our students the advantage of being trained and tested on a machine that is known to them. And, after successful completion of forklift training, operators will know how to use these machines safely and efficiently.

Facilities Required

You will need sufficient space for candidates and an instructor to carry out theory lessons. For practical work you’ll need a very narrow aisle (operator up) forklift truck. Also, you will need ample space to carry out training, assessments and testing.

All operators will need safety shoes/boots plus any other personal protective equipment as per the company’s internal risk assessments.

Forklift Certificates

After successful completion of our VNA training operator's will receive:

  • A4 ITSSAR approved certificate of basic training
  • Plastic photo identification card

An operator will then have their details entered or edited on ITSSAR’s TOPS (Trained Operator Passport Scheme) database.

VNA Course Breakdown

The following list is the elements that make up a novice very narrow aisle (operator up) training course. For experienced operators, safety refresher and conversion courses the list would be shorter.

  • Course induction
  • The need and reasons to training and statutory requirements (HASAWA 1974 etc.)
  • Introduction to equipment/control familiarisation/ principles of operation
  • Identification/use/adjustment of attachments in pre-determined positions including forks
  • Recommended mount and dismount
  • Introduction to motive, steering controls and practice
  • Basic steering exercises – simple courses
  • Advanced steering exercises – figure of 8/chicane/90° approaches
  • Battery charging procedures/maintenance
  • Operator safety code and relevant handout
  • Daily pre-use inspections
  • Engineering principles/rated capacity/stability
  • Simple hydraulics (theory)
  • Introduction to hydraulic controls, handling empty pallets low level
  • Load types/handling and weight assessment
  • Stacking/de-stacking at low; eye and high level on industrial racking*
  • Stacking/destacking at low; eye and high level bulk stacks*
  • Stacking/destacking at low; eye and high level cup post pallets*
  • Manoeuvring with loads/ramps and inclines/handling awkward loads*
  • Relevant safety film
  • Vehicle loading and unloading (theory)*
  • Vehicle loading and unloading (practical)*
  • Multi choice theory test
  • Pre-use inspection test
  • Practical skills test

* To be covered where relevant to operation or facilities permit

Levels of Training

Our instruction and examination comes in 4 basic levels. Getting the correct level isn't an exact science and so we like to discuss the experience of candidates individually to ensure there aren't any surprises.

Novice Course

This forklift course is for operators who have little or no experience. The objective is to equip students with the confidence, knowledge and skills to safely and efficiently operate a very narrow aisle truck in the workplace.

Experienced Course

For operators who are competent and experienced on a very narrow aisle truck. But, either has not received any kind of approved training or doesn't have or able to prove previous VNA truck certification.

Safety Refresher*

This is for drivers who have already undergone and passed a very narrow aisle operators course. And, they can produce an accredited certificate. Appropriate where operators have not used trucks for some time or are occasional users. Also, if they have developed unsafe working practices, had an accident or near miss, or changed their working practices.


For training on a similar forklift truck to one that an operator has already been successfully trained, tested and certified on. Any relevant certificate must from a recognised accrediting body.


* Certification must be provided before commencement of any training


At the end of each course we ask our trainees to complete a short feedback form. Amongst other questions, we ask them "what did you like the most about this training?" Here are a small sample of the replies:

The instructor was very easy to understand.

LT, Fareham, Hampshire

Had a lot more information, learned a lot more than from other instructors.

SJ, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Well put together and easy to learn.

JW, Emsworth, West Sussex

How many forklift categories are there?

There are currently over 50 industrial fork truck groups. To use any of the lift trucks in these groups an operator must be trained, test and authorised (by their employer).