What licence do I need to operate an EWP?

When it comes to licencing for EWP’s, there are two common licences

We receive a lot of questions about these two licences including what machines they cover, if there are any height restrictions and whether you need one or both.

In this post, we are going to answer the most common questions we get and hopefully provide a bit of clarity for you.


A Yellow Card can cover 1-5 of the following machines:

  • SL – Scissor Lift
  • VL – Vertical Lift
  • BL – Boom Lift (under 11m)
  • TM – Truck Mount (under 11m)
  • TL – Trailer Lift (under 11m)

As you can see in the list above, there are NO height restrictions on the scissor lift or vertical lift.

The Yellow Card is an industry licence that is issued through the EWPA (Elevating Work Platform Association of Australia). It is recognised nationally and is a highly known and respected licence in the industry.

Although it is not a legal requirement to have a Yellow Card licence to operate the above machines, it is a legal requirement to have proof of your training, such as a licence, statement of attainment or other training certificate.

We always recommend getting your Yellow Card licence as it is the most commonly requested form of training for operators on their job sites. We also award you a statement of Attainment in RIIHAN301D – operate elevating work platforms when you complete a yellow card with us.



It is a legal requirement to hold a high risk work WP licence when operating a Boom type EWP with a boom reach of 11m and above. Boom type EWP’s are also commonly known as cherry pickers and knuckle booms.

This licence does NOT allow you to operate a scissor lift. The only machine you are allowed to operate with a High Risk Work WP licence is a Boom type EWP.

A High Risk Work WP licence is nationally recognised and is issued through each individual state or territories WHS regulator. These regulators are commonly known as WorkCover however this is a former name. In NSW the WHS regulator is SafeWork NSW. You can find out your state or territory regulator at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au