RTITB: Inspiring the Industry, One Step at a Time

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RTITB: Inspiring the Industry, One Step at a Time

November 21
15:36 2011
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In 2008, RTITB launched the first ever Operator of the Year competition. This one of a kind, innovative and widely celebrated competition not only highlighted the great importance of safe, efficient and professional operators in the workplace, but also provided a way in which the industry, their instructors and their employers could congratulate them on their hard work and dedication to operating in the correct way.

Promising a bigger and better competition, the 2011 cycle of the competition went to another level, introducing an online testing stage and 5 National Finals which identified the 10 Grand Finalists. The competition also welcomed platinum sponsorship from Toyota Material Handling UK and TNT Express Services UK & Ireland and took a prime position in the media spotlight, thanks to Warehouse & Logistics News who acted as the competition’s media partner.

The great interest in the 2011 competition from sponsors, competitors, employers and the media only cemented its importance within the industry. Speaking after the Grand Final, Dave Copping, Operations Learning & Development Manager for TNT said: “Any focus on safety and competence can only be a good thing. Its competitions such as this that raise the awareness of the risks involved in operating such equipment and why it’s crucial that the correct operating procedure is followed at all times.”

The success and strong message of the competition has not only helped to reinforce safety throughout the industry, but has also inspired other organisations to hold their own versions of the competition. Richard Kinnell, Engineering Training Manager at British Airways said of mirroring the competition within their organisation: “The most important aspect of the competition that made me want to do something similar within British Airways was how safe working practices were celebrated and promoted, rewarding people for demonstrating their skills and knowledge in what can be a high risk environment. This approach would fully support our existing health and safety programmes through raising and rewarding appropriate behaviours.” Continuing, Kinnell said: “I believe competitions like this can only help in promoting safe working practices in our industry and when combined with high quality, accredited training, can help reduce the number of serious incidents.”

Each stage of the competition welcomed a large number of organisations in attendance, many of whom commented on how the competition will benefit the way in which safety in the workplace is currently followed. Charlotte Russell, General Manager of Gist People Services said: “I knew that this competition would be able to effectively highlight the importance of safety within the industry. However, I believe that the Operator of the Year competition had another important ingredient which set itself apart from other competitions – the tasks were very innovative, practical, and fun, but the key message – safety- was always at the forefront.”

Continuing, Russell said: “Any method of reinforcing and promoting the importance of safety – and recognising the important contribution an individual makes to safety is entirely welcome.  All too often we hear the negative effects of poor safety practices and behaviours, so a competition which is able to recognise and reward the positive results should be encouraged.” TNT’s Copping expressed a similar notion, stating: “I believe the competition to be key within the industry; it allows the operators to test their skills and knowledge in a controlled environment. Safety in the workplace is always at the forefront of all that we do at TNT; however, what the final demonstrated is how this discipline can be demonstrated in a fun way.”

So what does the future hold for the Operator of the Year competition? Not only does the success of 2011 prove that that the competition has the ability to evolve further and continue as a celebration for operators, but it will also remain a clear example of why safety must be of the highest importance – in any industry. If the Operator of the Year has succeeded in changing the way in which just one organisation thinks about safety in their warehouse, then any future cycles of the competition can only increase this further for the benefit of the industry as a whole.

Notes for Editors:

About the Competition

The RTITB Operator of the Year Competition gives lift truck operators, their employers and their trainers the chance to showcase excellent training and operating skills. The event is a nationally recognised lift truck safety competition and prides itself on being safety and standards conscious. The competition sets out to acknowledge the hard work and skill that lift truck operators deliver daily in their job, whilst also raising awareness of the need for accredited training. The 3 stages are: an online theory and hazard perception test; national final testing held throughout the UK and Ireland and finally the Grand Final held at RTITB’s headquarters in Shropshire. All prizes and trophies at the Grand Final will be awarded by Jane Willis Director of HSE’s Cross-cutting Interventions Directorate. The 2nd runner up will receive £1000 of high street vouchers, the 1st runner up will receive a luxury holiday and the champion will receive a brand new car.TNT Express Services UK & Ireland and Toyota Material Handling UK are platinum sponsors of the competition.


The core business of RTITB is the accreditation of materials handling equipment training, an activity carried out under HSE, HSE NI and HSA recognition. We accredit the training provided at over 600 training locations throughout the UK and Ireland and have a register of instructors in excess of 8000, all qualified by examination, along with a register of operators in excess of 250,000. The scope of our accreditation schemes include lift trucks and large goods vehicle as well as bespoke accreditation of equipment used in ports, airports, construction, agriculture, horticulture and by rescue services.

In 2003 RTITB purchased its current headquarters in Telford, Shropshire and established The RTITB Academy which provides Lift Truck and LGV instructor training, in support of its accreditation activity.

RTITB has monitored the development and introduction of the Driver CPC Directive since the late 1990s, resulting in the introduction of the Master Driver Consortium. The consortium already has a 160 strong membership and covers over 200 training locations throughout the UK. The Master Driver Consortium offers a high quality total management solution to the challenges faced by the logistics industry following the introduction of Driver CPC.

RTITB aims to set standards in accreditation and raise the standard of training by modernising training materials and systems. We are Centre for Assessment Ltd registered and operate Quality Management System BS EN 9001:2008 and operate an environmental policy. We will continue to strive for excellence together with the organisations we work with.

Platinum Sponsors

Toyota Material Handling UK

Toyota Material Handling – Partners for life

Toyota Material Handling is the world’s number one supplier of materials handling equipment and has built its success on quality products, customer satisfaction and a strong service network. Home to the world’s best selling Toyota forklifts and BT warehouse trucks; Toyota offers a single point of contact for all your materials handling needs.  From single truck users to large fleet users Toyota have the product and support services to be a strong business partner.

Our mission is to be the first choice partnerfor all customers looking for material handling solutions. With over 60 years experience in the UK materials handling industry Toyota is positioned to deliver market-leading levels of customer service, building on Toyota’s reputation as one of the UK’s most trusted brands.

The Strength of the Toyota Group

Toyota Material Handling is part of Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO), an industry leader and one of the most respected companies in the world.  Toyota was founded in 1926 by Sakichi Toyoda, whose automatic loom revolutionised the Japanese textile industry.

Today Toyota remains committed to the pursuit of product innovation and creativity. World-class technologies like the Toyota System of Active Stability (SAS) and the unique BT tilting cab have enabled us to provide products that contribute to improving safety and productivity for our customers.

Toyota has long been synonymous with safety and our product and service solutions are designed to help our customers improve safety in the workplace.

A Unified National and Local Service

Toyota has a reputation for excellence on a global scale but it is only by acting locally that we have earned the highest levels of customer satisfaction in our industry.

Toyota Material Handling provides the highest level of service support throughout the UK.  With over 400 service technicians who operate locally, our service team guarantee we will respond to your breakdown within 4 hours during normal business hours.

Through a single service agreement, customers are guaranteed the fast nationwide response they need, the close local working partnerships they clearly value, and support with the promise of consistent quality standards.

Toyota customers benefit from global resources, national coverage and local support.

TNT Express Service UK


TNT Express Services UK and Ireland is the country’s leading business-to-business express delivery company with the largest individual share of the national market.

TNT is acknowledged as a good barometer of the state of the country’s economy – when TNT is busy it means UK plc is on the road to recovery!

Established in the UK in 1978, the company employs approximately 10,600 people, operating more than 3,000 vehicles from

more than 70 strategic locations and delivers more than 100 million items per year for tens of thousands of businesses.

TNT has specialist divisions catering for different industries, including Automotive and Industrial, Healthcare, Technology, Media Entertainment & Lifestyle. TNT also has a Special Services Division offering bespoke delivery solutions and a highly successful Business Solutions Division, specialising in providing outsourcing expertise and solutions to both the public and private sector.

With its UK headquarters in Atherstone, Warwickshire, TNT is recognised as one of Britain’s top employers and, in the past 24 years, has collected an unsurpassed 30 Motor Transport Awards.

With a strong focus on corporate responsibility, TNT is committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 45% by 2020 and supports charities such as the Wooden Spoon children’s charity, the United Nations’ World Food Programme, Breast Cancer Campaign and Children In Need.

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