Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA), level 1, level 2, level 3

In 1987 the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) was formed as a result of an initiative by a number of leading companies involved in industrial rope access. Safety is paramount in our industry. Since its formation IRATA International, as it is now known, and its member companies, have worked assiduously to improve safety in the industry. The Association's main aim is to promote the development of rope access techniques, and to ensure its members work in a safe and effective manner. 

As part of this development, the system of grading operatives was set up. This requires operatives to undergo independent assessment in order to attain one of three levels of qualification. These qualifications must be renewed every three years, thus ensuring an up to date standard of quality. 

The other major part of IRATA's development was to produce a range of comprehensive documents, the principal ones being: 

IRATA ‘Guidelines’ on the use of rope access methods for industrial purpose. This has now been upgraded to ‘International Code of Practice’ and is recognised as the industry standard reference by the Health and Safety Executive. 

IRATA ‘General requirements’ for certification of personnel engaged in industrial rope access methods. 

The association is now regarded as the leading body for matters relative to industrial rope access both in the UK and worldwide. 

The acceptance of industrial rope access as a safe method of working has been mirrored by The UK Health and Safety Executive production of; 

BS 7985: 2002: Code of Practice for the Use of Rope Access for Industrial Purposes. 

This standard is based upon the original IRATA Guidelines and formed the basis of the IRATA International Code of Practice (ICOP) which came into effect on the 1st January 2010. 

More information can be found at;

IRATA Technician Levels

Within the IRATA system there are 3 working levels; 

Level 1 (trainee) is defined as a technician who is able to perform a limited range of rope access tasks under the supervision of a level 3. 

A level 2 (lead technician) is defined as a technician who is capable of rigging working lines, undertaking rescues & performing other rope access tasks under the supervision of a level 3. 

A level 3 is defined as a technician who is capable of complete responsibility for work projects. They also require a comprehensive knowledge of rescue techniques. 

The requirements to progress up the levels are outlined in the training scheme flowchart.

IRATA Qualification Process diagram