18 May, 2024

BFPA minimum educational recommendations

14 December, 2021

Developed with the expertise and resources of the BFPA Education and Training Committee, the Association offers three minimum education recommendation guides covering hydraulics, pneumatics and electrical/electronics. The guides, which took two years to compile, represent the consolidated view of leading representatives and experts within the fluid power industry.

The guides are the product of a dedicated initiative managed by a specially convened BFPA E&T Taskforce. The BFPA and members of the taskforce wish to acknowledge the valuable contributions made by other industry stakeholders including academia, representatives from other BFPA member organisations, OEMs and the wider UK engineering industry.

Intended audience

The recommendations in the three guides are primarily intended for those personnel involved in the maintenance and management of fluid power and related electrical/electronic systems – in short – anyone who is expected to operate and maintain fluid power components and systems at a practical level. However, many other related engineering professions would benefit across a range of levels from advanced apprentices to service engineers, technical representatives and project engineers. Appropriately applied, these recommendations establish a foundation upon which any individual may develop their engineering career and become more involved in broader integrated systems engineering.

Practical recommendations

To support the implementation and effectiveness of these recommendations, candidates must be given the opportunity to install and commission small working systems, whilst reading and interpreting circuit diagrams, following safe working practices and setting up procedures.


The BFPA has always taken the lead within the UK as regards the provision of educational recommendations for those involved in the maintenance and management of fluid power systems and their associated control. Thus, these recommendations should be regarded as an industry standard, forming the minimum levels of knowledge and understanding necessary for practical operatives, whilst ensuring that safe working practices are followed at all times.

It should be stressed that the three minimum educational recommendation guides have been formulated as a series of outcome-related statements. They are not intended to be a training course, however from these recommendations, approved education and training establishments will be able to formulate effective training programmes and modules to meet these minimum levels of understanding. Therefore, the recommendations can be used as a steppingstone to higher-level qualifications such as CETOP Level 1 CETOP* courses are internationally recognised competence-based qualifications designed around hydraulics, pneumatics and associated controls and the BFPA is the UK appointed administrative body. Wherever possible, the learning process should be supported by the development of key practical skills thus hands-on training in a practical context is at the heart of the CETOP qualifications and over time students can progress from Level 1 to Level 3.

Online questionnaire

To further enhance the efficacy of these minimum education recommendations, the BFPA has devised an online questionnaire, which is accessible on the Association’s website. People can now go online and test their level of knowledge to determine whether they are advised to undertake the minimum education recommendation training. The questionnaire comprises 60 questions and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. You will then be informed of your score. If you achieve a score of 90% or over, you already hold a sufficient standard. If you achieve a score lower than 90% you will be advised to study the minimum education recommendation guides. Currently, the online questionnaire serves hydraulics. The pneumatics questionnaire is due to follow shortly, and the electronics questionnaire is scheduled to be introduced during the early part of 2022.

Approved MER trainers Visit the BFPA website to find a list of trainers offering hydraulics and pneumatics training courses approved to meet or exceed the BFPA Minimum Educational Recommendations: www.bfpa.co.uk/training *The European Committee for the Fluid Power Industry.




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