About us

A Brief History

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.

Empire State Building construction, 1930. Photo provided by the New York Public Library (Public Domain)

Empire State Building construction, 1930
Photo provided by the New York Public Library (Public Domain)

The rope access technique developed by IRATA is used in a wide range of repair, maintenance, inspection and access work. Rope access methodology boasts an unrivalled safety record, short set-up and dismantling time, positive environmental benefits and removes the need for invasive access equipment or disruption to a worksite. We are extremely proud that the IRATA system of rope access continues to enjoy increasing popularity throughout the world.

IRATA is now recognised as the world’s leading authority on industrial rope access. It has over 700 member companies around the world and has trained in excess of 130,000 rope access Technicians worldwide. IRATA directs and regulates, through its members, the training of all workers seeking its qualifications. These member companies provide training, operational services, or both.

Photo courtesy of Megarme LLC

Photo courtesy of Megarme LLC

Aims & Objectives

  • To continue in the responsible position as the leading worldwide organisation for rope access.
  • To promote and maintain high standards, safety, work quality and working practices for the industrial rope access industry.
  • Dedication to improving best practice of individuals working in rope access.
  • To promote continual improvement in the education and training aspects of rope access.
  • To increase awareness of the advantages of rope access over alternative access methods.

IRATA main activities

  • Support members with their enquiries.
  • Organise annual events for the rope access community.
  • Regulation of the IRATA system, as used by our members though, independent audit and assessment.
  • Continually review and update policies and procedures related to standards, audit and assessment, to ensure they remain relevant and fit for purpose.
  • Promote and maintain a high standard of industrial rope access activities in terms of safety and work quality.
  • Provide guidance on training and certification of personnel involved in Industrial Rope Access.
  • Produce publications and guidance on safety, good working practice, training and other related topics.
  • Prepare submissions and provide informed opinion and advice to global government departments and others organisations on matters concerning work-at-height, health, safety and training.
  • Assist working parties charged with commenting on and discussing existing and draft legislation and directives.
  • Ensure safe rope access training and work procedures are where these methods are introduced and developed.
  • Provide a forum for the free and informal exchange of experience and opinion.