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Serious Labs Provides VR Course for Globally Accredited PAL+ Cards

Serious Labs, the virtual reality solutions leader for training and operations of bulky equipment, announced a globally accredited course in commercial heavy equipment training that can be conducted through a simulator. Users can now get their PAL+ operator training, a part of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) Powered Access License (PAL) via the firm’s VR Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) simulator.

Jim Colvin, Serious Labs’s CEO, has described it as a significant milestone and said that it is not just from a MEWP industry point of view, but from a digital technology point of view as well. They are the first and only firm in the world to present this kind of accepted and approved training in which a virtual simulation can conveniently replace physical equipment.

Growing Demand

IPAF’S PAL+ operator training was created in response to growing demand from contractors for a recognized qualification showcasing higher operator efficiency as well as demonstrating a specific experience level in handling various kinds of MEWPs in different challenging scenarios and environments.

Controlled trials

For almost a year, IPAF executed several “controlled trials” with its numerous U.S-based and European training members to provide PAL+ training that tested candidates via the company’s virtual reality MEWP simulators instead of actual machines. The U.K-based training centers completed the trials over 18 months. The testing and trials concluded that the training result was the same, whether the operator was tested on an actual MEWP or the virtual reality simulator.

Similar result

Darren Verschuren, Serious Labs’ International Account Director, has said that one can use simulators as an extra portion of the training course, and nobody can physically finish the course on a simulator. But, with the data they have obtained from the IPAF trials, they can prove that one can now achieve a similar result if he/she is using a simulator instead of doing the course in real life.

Serious Labs Provides VR Course for Globally Accredited PAL+ Cards


As per the IPAF website, the PAL+ course will train operators who work in challenging environments like confined overhead spaces, steelwork, or on difficult terrain. PAL+ training is available for operators who possess a valid PAL card qualification in the relevant division.

Earlier, the authorities conducted the PAL+ course at training zones with lots of difficulty because of its complexity. The complications included the weather conditions, the time required to conduct the course, and the size of the needed space.


Verschuren said that it is quite problematic for a training center to provide the PAL+ course. It is time-consuming, expensive, and hard to put together. The virtual world is an excellent place to conduct the course, as one can develop an environment that closely matches reality, that does not need a training center’s physical preparation, and which has zero effect on the operator from a safety point of view.

More competent operator

The virtual training also enables one to stagger training and facilitate control of the environment’s sanitary conditions. It is a must during the present COVID – 19 pandemic. Colvin depicted the simulated training as faster, better, and eventually, it produces a more competent operator.

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