FAQ

IRATA FAQs

Pre Training Requirements General

Rope Access requires those engaged in the work to have an appropriate attitude and aptitude to safety, in addition to a good level of fitness and physical capability. If unsure, an appraisal session should be arranged with an IRATA International trainer member company.

An aptitude for working at height includes not only having ‘a head for heights’, but also an appropriate level of responsibility and self-reliance. A healthy respect for heights remains an advantage; over-confident or reckless workers may present greater risks than the cautious.

Rope access work locations are often remote. It is therefore important that operatives can be relied upon to behave in a sensible and responsible manner.

The trainer member company has the right to exclude any candidate from training if they have concerns over the candidate’s health, fitness, and/or attitude to safety during training.

Candidates shall be at least 18 years of age at the start of the course. Candidates are required to certify that they do not have any medical disabilities or contraindications that may prevent them from working safely.

Principal contra-indications to working at height include (but are not limited to):

  • Prescribed medication that may impair physical and/or mental function;
  • Alcohol or drug dependence;
  • Diabetes, high or low blood pressure;
  • High or low blood pressure;
  • Epilepsy, fits or periods of unconsciousness, eg. blackouts;
  • Vertigo, giddiness or difficulty with balance;
  • Heart disease or chest pain;
  • Impaired limb function;
  • Musculoskeletal issues, e.g. back pain;
  • Psychiatric illness;
  • Fear of heights;
  • Sensory impairment e.g. blind, deaf.

Pre-training requirements: upgrading to Levels 2 or 3.

Candidates applying to upgrade shall be competent in all practical and theory requirements of their current level prior to attendance of an upgrade course. E.g. an existing Level 1 attending a Level 2 course shall be capable of performing all Level 1 techniques and answering Level 1 theory questions prior to the start of a Level 2 course.

Candidates who are not competent at their existing level may require additional training. As little time is available on upgrade courses for refresher training, pre-course evaluation is recommended to verify the candidates’ current level of competence.

Candidates seeking to upgrade shall ensure that:

  • Their current certification is still valid on the day of assessment;
  • They have the necessary 12 months experience and 1000 working hours recorded and signed in their logbook.

Rope access technicians who are upgrading or revalidating shall provide their logbooks to the IRATA International trainer member company at the start of the training course. Where rope access technicians have lost their logbooks, they shall arrange for a replacement to be issued, completed and verified before assessment.

IRATA International’s Rope Access system is a safe method of working at height where ropes and associated equipment are used to gain access to and from the workplace and be suspended at the worksite for the duration of the work.

The advantage of using Rope Access methods lies in the safety and efficiency with which workers can get to or from difficult locations to carry out their work, often with minimal impact on plant operations. The success of IRATA’s method of rope access is based on thorough training and strict work guidelines that deliver an unrivalled safety record year after year.

The Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA International) includes within its membership, operating companies, training companies and technicians. Technicians are those who have learned their skills from the training companies of the Association. The teaching of the IRATA syllabus enables Rope Access technicians to progress through three levels of proficiency, with certification issued at each level. The IRATA technician carries a card that is recognised globally for its importance and value; over 150,000 IRATA technicians have been registered with over 500 member companies and in every continent. The thorough, IRATA training program delivers a skilled workforce that can reliably deliver work-at-height methodologies.

IRATA Instructors are specialists and experts in their field who have theoretical and practical teaching skills. Their individual abilities and the training facilities where they work are regularly and independently assessed to ensure that training is being delivered to the highest global standards.

IRATA Training Scheme Flowchart

LEVEL 1

Pre-requisites

  • No previous experience required.
  • Aptitude for working at heights.
  • Physically and medically fit.
  • Minimum age of 18 years.

Training Scheme

  • 5-Day training course in rope access.
  • Independent IRATA assessment.

Capabilities

  • Basic Technician.
  • Capable of performing a range of activities under the supervision of a Level 3.
  • Responsible for their own personal rope access equipment.

 

LEVEL 2

Pre-requisites

  • Minimum 12 months and 1000 hours of work experience in a variety of tasks as a level 1 rope access technician.
  • Physically and medically fit.

Training Scheme

  • 5-day training course in rope access, rigging & rescue.
  • Independent IRATA assessment.

Capabilities

  • Rope Access Technician.
  • Capable of rigging ropes and undertaking rescues, including hauling, under supervision of a level 3 rope access technician.

 

LEVEL 3

Pre-requisites

  • Minimum 12 months and 1000 hours of work experience as a level 2 rope access technician.
  • Appropriate first aid certificate.
  • Physically and medically fit.

Training Scheme

  • 5-day training course in advanced rope access techniques, rescue, equipment examination & legislation.
  • Independent IRATA assessment.

Capabilities

  • Rope Access Technician (Supervisor).
  • Capable of site supervision for rope access work projects. Comprehensive knowledge of advanced rescue techniques.
  • Conversant with relevant work techniques & legislation.

IRATA has a requirement for supervision by a Level 3 rope access safety supervisor.

Level 3 Rope Access Technician

This is an experienced rope access technician who can put it all together to plan and manage a rope access worksite. They are:

  • Able to demonstrate the skills and knowledge required of a level 1 and 2.
  • Understand the elements and principles of IRATA's safe system of work.
  • Is familiar with relevant work techniques and legislation.
  • Has extensive knowledge of advanced rope access rigging and rescue techniques.
  • Holds an appropriate and current first-aid certificate.

For further information please refer to IRATA documentation:

  • TACS 3 Level of qualification.
  • ICOP 2.5.2 IRATA International training, assessment, and certification.

The first aid qualification can be done prior to the course or after. It is a requirement to have a current and appropriate first aid qualification to be working as a level 3 in the field.

Rope access courses are intensive and challenging. Prior learning is not necessary however it can help your development if you choose to do so. Please peruse our video library on the website for further information. The ability to tie the 6 required knots in the syllabus would be a great head start!

Rope access is strenuous work. Simply accessing the worksite alone can be challenging enough, and the tasks are often harder to perform when suspended on a rope as opposed to standing on the ground.Technicians need a high level of competency to ensure safety and efficiency when carrying out tasks expected of them. This often requires strength, agility, and coordination, along with the ability to withstand the stresses of working in heat, cold, and other inclement weather.Candidates on the course will be required to ascend and descend the ropes multiple times a day and should have a reasonable level of fitness and be unaffected by any disability or medical condition that may prevent them from working at height safely. Anyone carrying excessive weight or lacking strength relative to their bodyweight may struggle to perform rope access tasks. Males and females of all shapes and sizes have successfully passed the course and are active in the industry, however, it is essential to understand that rope access is physically demanding and is not for everyone.

Depending on the type of work, rope access technicians can find themselves performing tasks 2m - 200m off the ground. Having a healthy respect for heights is a trait to be valued in a rope access technician. People who are responsible, understand the risks and can think clearly at height are more suited to the role than over-confident or reckless workers.

IRATA International has a formal training & certification scheme and grading structure that involves week long training courses as well as supervised and logged operational experience. Rope Access technicians are grouped into three technical grades, depending upon their experience and level of assessment as set out in the IRATA International publication Training, Assessment, and Certification Scheme (TACS).

The Training, Assessment, and Certification Scheme (TACS) document has been developed by IRATA to provide training and assessment criteria for personnel who will be engaged in Rope Access work and methods. It is recognised that the safety, application, and effectiveness of Industrial Rope Access methods depend upon both the capabilities of the personnel who perform them and those responsible for these people. The independent assessments are designed to test the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the operations performed, and to provide the sector with an assured minimum standard of proficiency. Full details of the syllabus for each level are detailed in the Training, Assessment, and Certification Scheme but in summary the following is required:

 

Level 1 Rope Access technician:

A level 1 Rope Access technician shall be capable of performing a limited range of Rope Access tasks required by his or her employers, under the supervision of an IRATA level 3 Rope Access technician. He/she is:

  • responsible for inspections of all his/her own personal Rope Access equipment
  • able to assist in rigging and non-standard operations, under the guidance of a higher grade
  • able to undertake a rescue involving descent by him/herself and have a knowledge of hauling systems
  • NOTE: A level 1 Rope Access technician is not allowed to supervise others.

 

Level 2 Rope Access technician:

A level 2 Rope Access technician shall be capable of rigging working ropes, undertaking rescues and performing Rope Access tasks (under the supervision of an IRATA level 3 Rope Access technician). He/she should have some knowledge of legislation, safety requirements and quality assurance procedures relating to Rope Access.

 

Level 3 Rope Access technician

A level 3 Rope Access technician shall:

  • be capable of site supervision for Rope Access work projects
  • be conversant with relevant work techniques and legislation
  • be able to demonstrate all the skills and knowledge required of levels 1 and 2
  • have a comprehensive knowledge of advanced rescue techniques
  • hold an appropriate current first aid certificate, to show that suitable emergency first aid training has been undertaken
  • have knowledge of the IRATA certification scheme
  • have knowledge of the IRATA Training, Assessment and Certification Scheme
  • be familiar with the contents of the IRATA ICOP

Certification at all levels is valid for three years.

Full IRATA course: 5 days which encompasses 4 days training and a 1 day assessment.

Refresher Training: Takes place over the course of a day and depending on the needs of an individual can range from 4 – 8 hrs.

The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that each candidate demonstrates the required tasks in a safe and competent manner, in accordance with the requirement of the IRATA scheme. Candidates shall be assessed by an IRATA assessor who are independent of the candidate, the candidate’s employer and the organisation providing the training.

To successfully pass the assessment, candidates shall complete all required elements of the syllabus without committing any major discrepancies or three minor discrepancies. If a candidate fails an assessment the assessor may specify that extra training is required. Another assessment involving all the required elements of the syllabus shall also be required on a different day. Re-assessment shall take place within 60 days of the original assessment, after which candidates are required to complete the whole 4 days of training again.

People often fail IRATA assessments and this usually happens because the competence wasn’t at the required level or they simply made an unfortunate mistake on the day because we are human and not perfect. Assessment day is only one day and does not define your ability as a rope access technician. Most candidates who fail an assessment will pass well the second time. Candidates are not restricted to any number of attempts at assessment.

Depending on the availability of assessors you may be assessed on a Friday or Saturday. While Saturday assessments are rare we’ll make sure that you’re notified of this in advance.

Upon successful completion of your assessment you will receive a copy of your assessment form, which acts as your temporary ticket and is valid for 60 days. This means you can work immediately.

Before the 60-day period expires you will be registered by IRATA and receive an ID card and certificate. New IRATA technicians will also receive an IRATA logbook (Previously registered IRATA technicians continue to use the same logbook they were issued).

The purpose of the logbook is to record the rope access technician’s experience and training. This includes the total hours engaged in rope access, the type & variety of work undertaken, and when the work took place. Rope access technicians wishing to upgrade to Level 2 or 3 cannot be considered for assessment without a correctly maintained and up to date logbook.

How to complete the work experience section of a logbook

Under the heading Date: Work shall be recorded in the logbook in time periods of no more than two weeks. Where rope access technicians work on more than one site in a day, the tasks should be entered separately, unless very similar.

Under the heading Employing Company: The name of the employing company shall be recorded.

Under the heading Details of Task Being Undertaken: Both the nature of the work and the access methods employed shall be described, e.g.

  • Window cleaning: descent on ropes; basic rigging
  • Installing fall-arrest nets: aid-climbing; retrievable rigging
  • Inspection of steelwork: ascent and descent on ropes; aid climbing; tensioned lines

Under the heading Location: Rope access technicians shall briefly describe the type of structure worked on e.g.

  • Concrete tower block
  • Steel-framed warehouse
  • Flare stack; oil platform

Under the heading Hours worked: An accurate reflection of the time spent directly engaged in Rope Access activities shall be recorded. In addition to time spent on the main task noted under Details of Task Being Undertaken, this may include time spent rigging and de-rigging ropes, inspecting rope access equipment, and toolbox talks. It shall not include other time spent on site such as meal-breaks, waiting for permits, or down-time due to weather. For this reason, logged hours are typically less than those paid or entered on timesheets.

Under the heading Max Height Worked: An accurate reflection of the maximum height spent working at height while carrying out rope access tasks shall be recorded.

Under the heading Supervisor’s Signature: All logbook entries shall be countersigned by the supervising Level 3 rope access technician, who shall log their name (printed clearly), signature and unique IRATA International number.

NOTE: Rope access technicians wishing to upgrade or revalidate who are unable to provide Level 3 signatures should contact an IRATA training member company prior to booking on a course.

Under the heading Total Hours for This Page: The total hours logged on that page shall be added up and recorded.

Under the heading Running Total of Hours Worked: Hours carried over from the previous page are added to total hours for this page and then recorded.

If any rope access technician loses their logbook, they should replace it immediately and, where possible, obtain references for the hours they have lost. Where lost hours are required to move up a level, e.g. Level 1 to Level 2, the candidate shall obtain credible references to verify the hours they have lost. Maintaining a scanned copy can guard against such problems.

Candidates who have lost their logbook shall not be able to start a training course without one. This concerns any existing IRATA rope access technician who is looking to revalidate their certification or upgrade to a higher level. If a candidate has a course booked and a logbook has been lost, then they should contact Vertech immediately to discuss options and order a replacement logbook with IRATA.

To order a replacement, technicians must contact IRATA direct at:

LogBookRequest@irata.org

Your ticket remains valid until the date of expiry. However, if Rope Access technicians do not use Rope Access methods for a period of more than six months they are required to undergo refresher training prior to commencing Rope Access work. The training should be appropriate for each individual and should be recorded in his or her logbook.

Refresher training:

  • Shall be carried out by an IRATA International Level 3 Rope Access technician
  • Shall not be carried out during operational duties
  • May involve the need to undergo a full training course

Our certified rope access instructors can provide refresher training at our purpose-built training facility. If you have trained with us before, or currently work for Vertech then we may be able to provide this free of charge. Refresher training typically takes a few hours to a whole day depending on competence levels.

For more information please contact us via email: training@vertechgroup.com.au

IRATA International certificates shall be renewed within three years of the date of assessment.

If revalidation training and a successful assessment are completed in the six-month period prior to the expiry of a current certificate, a new certificate shall be issued with an expiry date three years from the date of expiry of the previous certificate.

All revalidating candidates are required to complete a minimum of four days of training prior to assessment.

Refresher training is intended to revise and update knowledge and skills.

Revalidation training is a course delivering the entire syllabus at a given level, leading to assessment and, if successful, renewal of certification.

Rope access is the access system to get to the work and not the work itself. The ability to secure rope access work will very much depend on what you can do once you get there. People with qualified trades and relevant skills will find it easier to gain employment in the industry. Vertech is an operational rope access company that cares for our employees, our clients, and the environment. We have a vacancies page on our website and would love to hear from you.

Rope Access is a growing industry and there are many opportunities out there for qualified rope access techs. Job search websites and dedicated Facebook groups are great places to look for vacancies.

If you’d like to pay via a purchase order please contact us for a quote.

Individual:

  1. Pay in full by credit card using this link https://www.vertechgroup.com.au/irata/training-with-us/
  2. Bank transfer as per registration form. This is available by emailing us at Training@vertechgroup.com.au

Company:

  1. Pay in full by credit card using this link https://www.vertechgroup.com.au/irata/training-with-us/
  2. Via purchase orders, contact Training@vertechgroup.com.au

Yes, but only if you pay by bank transfer and the full amount must be paid prior to the course starting.

This is available by emailing us at Training@vertechgroup.com.au

Start time: 8am

Finish: 4pm

What to Wear: Wear comfortable clothing (shorts, hiking trousers, track pants). Clothing such as jeans can be too restricting and uncomfortable when in a harness). Wear closed-toed shoes, trainers or hiking boots – you don’t need steel cap boots.

Address: 19 Walters Drive, Osborne Park, WA 6017

Yes. There is limited parking on-site that is available on a first come, first serve basis. However, there is also ample on-street parking.

The number of trainees we can have on a course is governed by IRATA and determined by the Trainer-to-Student ratio so unfortunately once we’re at capacity we can’t add another trainee. We can offer you a non-committal place on our standby list and should a candidate withdraw from the course we will contact you.

To be placed on this list please email us direct at Training@vertechgroup.com.au and include the following information:

  • Name
  • Contact phone number
  • Preferred course date
  • Current IRATA level if applicable
  • Details if you are already booked on another one of our courses

We can offer you a non-committal place on our standby list and should a candidate withdraw from the course we will contact you.

To be placed on this list, please email us direct at Training@vertechgroup.com.au and provide the below information:

  • Name
  • Contact phone number
  • Preferred course date
  • Current IRATA level if applicable
  • Details if you are already booked on another one of our courses

We understand that circumstances change and this may mean you can’t attend the training.

Where a candidate has to apply for a date change a credit will be issued which will be valid for a one year period. The credit amount will be determined by the amount of notice given:

  • 5 + Business Days: 100% Credit note.*
  • 2 – 4 Business Days: 50% Credit note. (Where the vacancy can be filled at short notice 100% will be credited)*
  • 1 Business Day notice: forfeit all course fees.

*(Rebooking is subject to availability)

  • Refund of course fees will only be offered under extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of Vertech.
  • The above conditions are valid for one date change. Subsequent date changes will incur an administration fee of $50.
  • Should a participant fail to attend on the day of the course without notice, course fees will be forfeited.
  • No refund will be offered in the event a participant decides she or he no longer wishes to complete full course.
  • The trainer of the course is permitted to withdraw any participant from the course if they have any concerns in regards to health or safety.

We understand that circumstances change and this may mean you can’t attend the training.

Where a candidate has to apply for a date change a credit will be issued which will be valid for a one year period. The credit amount will be determined by the amount of notice given:

  • 5 + Business Days: 100% Credit note.*
  • 2 – 4 Business Days: 50% Credit note. (Where the vacancy can be filled at short notice 100% will be credited)*
  • 1 Business Day notice: forfeit all course fees.

*(Rebooking is subject to availability)

  • Refund of course fees will only be offered under extenuating circumstances and at the discretion of Vertech.
  • The above conditions are valid for one date change. Subsequent date changes will incur an administration fee of $50.

No. All the equipment you require is provided and none is available to hire for external use.

A Working at Height ticket is a separate qualification that provides nationally accredited training and certification.

IRATA provides international certification for rope access which is a method of working at height. You are not required to have a working at height ticket to complete an IRATA training course and work as a rope access technician. Some employers and clients may require the WAH ticket to work onsite in addition to your rope access certification.

We have the answers! Contact us using Training@vertechgroup.com.au and we will do our best to answer.