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What are the Different Levels of Rope Access Technicians?


Rope access is used to help specialist workers reach areas which are normally inaccessible. The technique significantly decreases the chance of fatality or injury from falling. The technique is used all over the world in a number of different applications from inside an atrium to offshore oil rig platforms. Each individual project requires a specific set of skills, experience and equipment.

How Do You Become a Qualified Rope Access Technician?

Training courses are available to help workers achieve the required qualifications to become rope access technicians. The Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA), was formed in the UK in the late 1980s as a way to solve maintenance problems in the offshore oil and gas industry.

IRATA offer training courses to help workers interested in rope access work gain the appropriate knowledge to use operational and rescue equipment as well as how to effectively scale buildings and structures and the associated safety measures.

What are the Different IRATA Levels?

IRATA currently have three stages of progression:

Level 1: Trainee

During this course rope access specialists learn:

  • General safety
  • An introduction to personal suspension equipment
  • Uses and limitations of equipment
  • An introduction to rope access ropes, their storage and care.
  • Awareness of site environment
  • Work site organisation
  • Tool handling
  • Basic ascending and descending
  • Awareness of Top Lift System for rescue hoisting


Level 2: General Operator

During this course rope access specialists learn:

  • All skills from level 1
  • Ascending and descending
  • Rigging of suspension sand safety ropes including Knots
  • How to check equipment prior to use.
  • Work site organisation.
  • Rope manoeuvres.
  • Descent rescue of colleague
  • Advanced tool handling
  • Lowering systems used for equipment
  • Awareness of lowering personnel using Top Lift System
  • Personnel rescue hoist
  • Risk assessment


Level 3: Supervisor

During this course rope access specialists learn:

  • All skills from level 1 and 2
  • Advanced rope techniques
  • Using Top Life System to hoist and lower rescues
  • How to inspection equipment
  • About statutes, regulations and standards
  • Full risk assessment and methods of work
  • Management of anchorage areas for multi-person use

Level 3 rope access technicians can oversee Levels 1s and are qualified to deliver in-house elements of training.

Inspection & Rope Access Specialists

At Inspection and Rope Access Specialists we have an experienced team of Level 3 qualified technicians who are competent and practiced in all areas of rope access. For more information about our services or to speak with someone about your requirements please contact us today.