IRATA Training Committee. Training, Assessment and Certification Scheme (TACS) Introduction and Update

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IRATA Training Committee

Training, Assessment and Certification Scheme




TACS was published in 01 August 2014 replacing the General Requirements. This revision resulted from the experience gained in operating the scheme for



Layout of TACS

Guidance has been expanded to tighten controls on what is expected and reduce variation worldwide.

• For each topic an ‘overview’ is provided to give context, followed by notes covering requirements in the following order:

- Notes for candidates; - Notes for trainers; - Notes for assessors.


Terms & Definitions

• Document terminology reviewed to align with standards terminology and layout.

• Definitions can be found in our ICOP.

• Terminology and requirements have been revised to give more flexibility to new systems - e.g. use of adjustable lanyards instead of cow's tails.


Levels of Qualification

Rope Access Technicians are grouped into three technical grades depending on: • Experience and level of assessment.

• TACS provides a flowchart showing the route to qualification.


Guidance for Candidates

• New, revalidating and upgrading candidates require a minimum of four days training.

• Candidates applying to upgrade shall be competent in all practical and theory requirements at their current level prior to attendance of an upgrade course. • Candidates seeking to upgrade must ensure that their current certification is


Revalidation & Refresher Training

• IRATA certification shall be revalidated within three years of the date of assessment (TACS 4.10).

• Rope access technicians should be evaluated for competence prior to the commencement of operational duties, depending on the outcome of the

evaluation refresher training may be required in particular techniques. (TACS 4.11).


Revalidation Failures

• All IRATA training shall be recorded in the technician’s logbook.

• All IRATA assessments shall be recorded in the technician’s logbook.

• The record shall include the date and outcome (pass/fail) and shall be signed by the assessor.


Validity of Certificates

• Certification at all levels is valid for three years;

• After the expiry date on the certificate has passed or a revalidation assessment failed, rope access technicians are no longer certified to carry out rope access operations.


Candidate to Trainer Ratios

Trainer member companies of IRATA International shall take responsibility for any training carried out in its name.

All training shall be delivered by a Level 3 rope access technician, ratios include:

• Level 3 technician (L3) may take sole responsibility for training of up to four candidates at any level; • Level 3 instructors (L3I) may take sole responsibility for training of up to six candidates at any level; • Level 2 technician (L2) may not take sole responsibility for training but may assist L3/L3I in training

up to two Level 1 (L1) candidates;

• A L1 rope access technician may assist the Level 3/L3I however no additional candidates above the maximums specified above are permitted.


Planning and Management Theory Topics

• IRATA International system. • Legal framework.

• Hazard identification and risk assessment. • Selection of access methods.

• Selection of personnel and competence. • Safety method statement.

• Exclusion zones, permits to work etc. • Planning for emergencies.

• First aid and suspension intolerance.


Expanded/Changed Topics

• Deviations - guidance expanded for rigging, manoeuvres and rescue to include two types - single-anchor and double-anchor. (L2 single, L3 double).

Reason: Deviations often used to protect against hazards. In a rig-to-rescue environment double-anchor deviations allow radical repositioning of ropes whilst allowing remote rescue.

• Hauling moved to rig for rescue section.

• Awareness and operation of lowering system required at all levels. • Intention with L3’s to give more opportunity to rig-for-rescue.


Expanded/Changed Topics Cont’d

Climbing with fall arrest equipment expanded (L1/ all) to include a climb using a pre-installed fall arrest system, e.g.

• latchway system;

• ASAP + rope on a ladder

Reason: Simple exercise which builds understanding of access methods safer option than lanyards.

• Level 2’s and Level 3’s to rescue from a pre-rigged Fall Arrest system (and from Fall Arrest lanyards).

Reason: Must be able to rescue from all scenarios. Simple to teach, very similar to rescue from aid.


General Minor Changes

Overhand knot no longer required.

Reason: Not everyone uses this knot, not required if not used.


Minor Changes at Level 1

Descent rescue on same ropes no longer required - separate ropes only.

Reason: It sets dangerous precedent.

May impair back-up performance.

Awareness of basic haul and lower now increased to include operating lowering systems and awareness of hauling systems.

Reason: Allows L1 to operate rig-for-rescue system.


Minor Changes at Level 2

Rope to rope rescue clarified to mean only perform transfer with casualty, not rescue from mid-transfer.

Large and small re-anchors defined; Small < 1.5 m offset

Large > 1.5 m offset.


Minor Changes at Level 3

Removed break into tight line rescue.

Reason: - Method that should not be chosen;

- Given such a scenario other methods should be chosen; - Only extra equipment required is a rope;

- Time can be better spent on rig-to-rescue exercises.

NB. Short link rescue is still in. Technicians can and do get into this situation.

Mid-transfer rescue. Combines similar awkward situations such as loop or mid rope-to-rope. L3 'loop' rescue expanded to include mid-transfer scenario.


Instructor Scheme

• Current T simply a badge of experience (50 candidates, 5 assessors), no expiry. • New system intends to ensure trainers have extended knowledge (submit

workbook) and a more detailed log of experience. • Instructors must maintain status.


Requirements and Guidance for IRATA International Assessors

(TACS 9)


• The primary role of the assessor; • Assessment area;

• Assessment criteria and marking system.


Supporting forms for the TACS document have changed, please ensure you have the most up to date version available from .




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