We are committed to evaluating the industrial rope access profession and the solutions that the IRATA system offers. This includes continually reviewing and enhancing our policies, assessment syllabus and the support we offer our members and technicians. A course specifically designed to provide technicians and rope access managers with effective rope access specific supervisory and management skills is scheduled to be launched in 2018. Here we provide some insight into our Rope Access Manager/Rope Access Safety Supervisor course (aka RAMRASS).
When work is to be carried out at height, good management and supervision are essential to ensure a safe system of work. Rope access worksites, therefore, should be properly managed and supervised to ensure the safety and health of those involved in the rope access project.
A way of ensuring competence of rope access managers and rope access safety supervisors is by assessment of their managerial or supervisory skills, health and safety knowledge, and knowledge of the IRATA International code of practice for industrial rope access (ICOP); and then by appropriate periodic continuing professional development (CPD) assessments. The scheme, sometimes referred to as the RAMRASS scheme, provides minimum competence requirements and ways to achieve and maintain these. It also provides the opportunity for rope access managers and rope access safety supervisors, and those aspiring to be such, to become IRATA qualified.
RAMRASS applies only to the management and supervision of rope access activities. It is not intended to cover the management and supervision of other worksite activities, for example, structural steel erection; traffic management; confined space work. Nevertheless, those engaged in these and other worksite activities would probably benefit from following the scheme, as many of the same principles apply.
It should be noted that RAMRASS is voluntary, i.e. it is not an IRATA requirement to have these qualifications. It should also be noted that in some cases the qualifications may only be valid when held in conjunction with other valid IRATA qualifications, e.g. Level 3 rope access technician. Tuition for the scheme is not compulsory but is strongly recommended.
There are two categories of candidate:
a) persons wishing to become an IRATA-qualified rope access manager;
b) persons wishing to become an IRATA-qualified rope access safety supervisor.
Candidates are examined on their knowledge of the ICOP, managerial or supervisory skills and appropriate health and safety knowledge. The examinations are based on the learning material made available to candidates. Examinations are undertaken at venues under the control of IRATA-approved assessment providers, which are RAMRASS designated IRATA full trainer or full operator members; and are invigilated by IRATA-approved RAMRASS invigilators.
Candidates are advised of their success or failure at the end of the examinations. Results are automatically sent to IRATA head office, where they are checked together with other previously submitted documentation for correctness and validity. Successful candidates are issued with a certificate showing the qualification achieved, i.e. IRATA-qualified rope access manager or IRATA-qualified rope access safety supervisor, as appropriate.
There are four workbooks, which will be available to enrolled applicants of the scheme, once it commences:
c) Workbook C: Supervisory skills for rope access safety supervisors;
d) Workbook D: Health and safety knowledge for rope access safety supervisors.
For the examination at assessment, questions will be drawn from these Workbooks. Some of the topics to be covered are mandatory.
IRATA QUALIFIED ROPE ACCESS MANAGER - ELIGIBILITY
Application to become an IRATA-qualified rope access manager may be from IRATA rope access technicians who have qualified as an IRATA Level 3 rope access technician.
NOTE The Level 3 rope access technician qualification does not need to be in date at the time of application or thereafter.
After enrolment, applicants are required to have completed successfully, online, the workbooks on managerial skills (Workbook A) and on health and safety knowledge for rope access managers (Workbook B) prior to the second part of their application. In addition, all applicants are required to have a thorough knowledge of the most recent edition of the ICOP.
IRATA QUALIFIED ROPE ACCESS SAFETY SUPERVISOR - ELIGIBILITY
Applications to become an IRATA-qualified rope access safety supervisor may be from:
a) IRATA Level 2 rope access technicians, after completing a verified period of workplace experience as a trainee rope access safety supervisor under this scheme, while working for an IRATA member company or IRATA member companies (full members only);
b) IRATA Level 3 rope access technicians who qualified at this level less than 12 months before the date that this scheme came into effect or after it (referred to as post-scheme IRATA Level 3 rope access technicians) and after completing a verified period of workplace experience (see 5.1.2 and 5.3) as a trainee rope access safety supervisor under this scheme, while working for an IRATA member company or IRATA member companies (full members only);
c) IRATA Level 3 rope access technicians who qualified at this level at least 12 months before this scheme came into effect (referred to as pre-scheme IRATA Level 3 rope access technicians).
NOTE Only an IRATA Level 3 rope access technician can become an IRATA-qualified rope access safety supervisor.
The above is a broad outline of the scheme and full details will be provided to members and technicians once the testing phase is complete.