Top 10 reasons to join IPAF

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) is a non-profit organization that shares best practices and improves the safety of powered access worldwide.

It’s also a community that serves as the voice of the industry, representing the diverse interests of manufacturers, distributors, users, rental and training companies.

Here are a few of the reasons to get involved with this influential, thought-provoking and, yes, fun association.

1. Networking: IPAF offers incredible networking opportunities in the powered access and mast climbing work platform (MCWP) industries. Some of the industry’s most influential people are members who attend IPAF events and conferences where members share their thoughts in a relaxed environment It's a great venue to discuss ideas and concerns with peers and make new contacts.

“ARA focuses on rental, AEM focuses on manufacturers, but IPAF brings everyone in the industry together,” says Tony Groat, North America manager, IPAF.

2. Training expertise: IPAF is the world leader in aerial operator training, offering  e-Learning web-based training as well as an in-person, instructor-led training program which goes beyond the typical train-the-trainer.

IPAF has trained over one million operators worldwide since 1983 and there are over 650,000 active PAL cards around the globe today. “Our training program is unique,” says Groat. “Our mission is to offer a program based on integrity of compliant training, regardless of where, when or how it’s delivered. Trained operators receive a picture ID PAL Card as recognized evidence of standard compliant training.”

3. Voice of the industry: IPAF serves as the core of the industry. When industry professionals become a member and attend events, they start learning more and have the opportunity to share their own ideas that can help drive the shape of the industry.

IPAF also works directly on developing the standards and the regulations surrounding the safe and effective operation of equipment. Its conferences and networking events bring all the “Who’s Who” together, allowing speakers to share topics on the most pressing industry issues and new ideas. Members can attend events, or speak at a conference, win an award, or even join a regional or international council. IPAF is a community, and members are able to shape the evolution of the industry’s future.

4. Resource for standards change: IPAF pulls together technical experts in the industry to provide benefits and forward movement to all industry stakeholders. This organization is heavily involved in the development and promotion of the new ANSI and CSA standard changes.

“Because the standards are changing, everyone has questions. We are fluent with the standards and are a great resource to help provide some answers about what’s going on,” says Groat. 

5. International and local: IPAF is international in reach, but local in focus. Its international reach brings a broader and more diverse perspective to the North American industry. The Summit and IAPAs conference, for example, is held every year and is attended by people from the global access industry.

In 2018, it will be held in Miami. “These events afford you the opportunity to talk honestly and openly with other companies that are your peers, but not your competitors because they don’t operate in the same country,” says Groat. Perhaps someone from the United Kingdom has a different approach to a problem you or your company has been trying to solve. Or a Dutch manufacturer is trying something new that you haven’t considered. IPAF brings people together from all over the world which will broaden your understanding of the aerial industry. And locally, IPAF offers regional conferences so you can focus on local issues and ideas here at home.

6. North American presence: IPAF was founded in the United Kingdom in 1983, but has been present  in North America since 2003. IPAF’s North American membership is made up of the industry’s diverse stakeholders: top manufacturers, rental companies, dealers, users and trainers. IPAF also offers 38 training centers located throughout the United States, with four of those in Canada.

7. Retention tool: For many reasons, sometimes companies are limited on the upward mobility of their employees. Promotions just don’t come around very often. But the ability to attend IPAF’s events and network with the industry’s VIPs offers a rich opportunity to show that you value your employees and want to invest in their professional growth.

Employees gain a deeper understanding and bring it back home to apply to your company while they make important connections that can benefit your bottom line. “One of our goals for IPAF is to extend beyond the managerial level. We’d love to see some ‘boots on the ground’ employees get involved, as well as members from departments like HR, product management, marketing and engineering. It makes our association that much more diverse and beneficial,” says Teresa Kee, director of Field Safety at United Rentals; and the current IPAF North American Council chair. “Some opportunities don’t even require leaving the office. Your employees can join one of IPAF’s many free webinars on a variety of topics throughout the year.”

8. Excellent opportunities and diversity, especially for women: IPAF offers excellent opportunities for members of the aerial access industry. It just matters what prospective members want to get out of it. It's a great way to grow your career and foster new business simultaneously.

For women, IPAF is a fantastic organization. Women make up a small percentage of the aerial industry, and with an association where members are exposed to so many influencers, women are more likely to be remembered. “IPAF presented me with the opportunity to be on an influential industry council and have speaking opportunities,” says Kee. “It can be hard as a woman to build industry relationships sometimes. But if you attend the events on a regular basis, you can establish yourself as someone who puts forth a real effort toward the betterment of this industry. That means something to those you see on a regular basis at these events and it strengthens those relationships.”

9. Affordable annual fee: IPAF’s annual membership fee won’t break the budget. The $825 annual fee gives members access to experts and information on topics important to the aerial industry, and discounts on networking events and conferences. IPAF can provide a great ROI with expertise focused on a core business segment – powered access equipment.

10. Fun! IPAF is a social experience. Its networking events often have a theme, and partnering with KHL for conferences and awards ceremony will bring you evenings of entertainment. “IPAF goes beyond the show atmosphere because it brings everyone together for a time where we can focus as a group on the industry, and build relationships with each other. It all comes down to people, and the access industry has some of the best,” says Groat.

To become a member of IPAF, contact or call Stacey at 630-942-6583.

The international Summit conference and IAPA awards will be held March 7th – 9th in Miami, Florida.  Opportunities include a networking event, the conference, the awards banquet and a site visit. Don’t miss it! Space is limited so reserve your spot today.