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IRATA Rope Access Training FAQs

Do you have questions about an upcoming rope access course or IRATA qualifications? View our frequently asked questions below and if you're still looking for an answer, our helpful rope access specialists will be happy to help! You can contact the Applus+ Training Centre today on:


1.       What is Rope Access?

Rope access is a technique adapted from the climbing and caving world for the industrial sector. It utilises ropes and special equipment to allow workers access to difficult locations with a minimal footprint. Rope access technicians climb (ascend), abseil (descend) and traverse ropes for access and work whilst suspended by their equipment.


2.       Who are IRATA?

IRATA is an acronym for the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association that was formed in the UK in the late 1980’s, to solve maintenance challenges in the offshore oil and gas industry. Its formation was the result of an initiative of a number of leading companies, who had begun to use industrial rope access techniques, to provide a safe working environment for the industry.


3.    What is the minimum age for a rope access career?

The minimum age for undergoing rope access training is 18 years old.


4.    How long is my qualification valid for?

The IRATA certification is valid for 3 years from the date of successful assessment. You must carry out some form of rope access work within a 6 month period from your last time on the ropes for the certification to remain valid during this time.


5.       What if I don’t work for 6 months?

You must carry out a refresher/training day at a recognised training centre as specified in TACS (Training, Assessment, and Certification Scheme). Training provided by an IRATA L3 supervisor.


6.       Where is my IRATA qualification valid?

Rope Access is carried out in many countries around the world in some form. IRATA is the most recognised, professional authority in industrial rope access across the globe. The IRATA certification is highly regarded and recognised Across Oceania, the Americas, Europe and Asia.


7.       I am revalidating my certification, do I need the full course?

Yes! Regardless of qualification level and experience you are required to attend a full course with a minimum of 30 hours typically over 4 days, this can be longer and is based on your individual needs.


8.       I already have a rope access qualification but it’s not IRATA, does this count towards upgrading or prior learning?

Where you have prior verifiable experience you can apply for direct entry at a given level, (please contact the TMC ‘Training Member Company’ for further information as conditions apply).


9.       I don’t work for an IRATA member company, can I record and log hours for upgrading and work experience?

Once you have already attained your IRATA qualification, all hours gained using a twin rope system can be accrued towards upgrade and recordable hours in your log book. These hours must be verifiable and signed by a level 3 or senior person in the company.


10.   Do I need a trade qualification before I apply for a rope access course?

Although a trade qualification is a benefit, it’s not a pre requisite to complete the course! There are various works that do not require a trade qualification but can be done on ropes such as window cleaning, surveys and trade assistance; each of which are in demand.


11.   Which trade qualifications are most beneficial to complement my rope access ticket?

-          Electrician with hazardous licence.

-          Rigging

-          Roof plumber (sheet metal worker)

-          Blaster painter

-          NDT (non-destructive testing)

-          Mechanical trades

-          Pipe fitter

Rope Access is beneficial for any job that would typically require scaffolding.

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