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ROPE ACCESS CHAMBER

Rope Access Chamber

The Rope Access Chamber of the IWH Professional Body represents the practitioners involved in working at height by using ropes and associated equipment as the primary means of positioning and fall protection. It could also be described as “industrial abseiling”.

With the correct training, rigging of ropes and supervision, a Rope Access employees can perform vertical, horizontal, diagonal and more complex manoeuvres in three dimensional space, that allows them to scale tall structures and move around obstacles to get into an appropriate position where a required work task may then be performed. Rope access relies on a double rope system for safety, into which the technician is connected with a harness. The first rope is mainly used for positioning, and the second rope for fall protection, in the sense that it arrests a fall if any unforeseen compromising event occurs on the positioning ropes, causing the technician to fall. This fall arrest component of the rope access method is related to fall arrest requirements described in the construction regulations, specifically Construction regulations 8 that deal with legal requirements for fall protection planning.

The IWH Professional Body recognises the following high-risk skills programmes within the ROPE ACCESS industry, and are therefore designate the competent and experienced persons accordingly:

1. Rope Access Technician (Level 1)

A registered Rope Access Technician is a professional that operates under direct supervision, in an array of work scenarios, where work locations at height need to be accessed in such a way that requires complete suspension from ropes or associated equipment. The rope access technician is the most basic rope access designation and requires continuous direct supervision by advanced rope access designated persons, particularly the rope access supervisor.

Academic Component

Must have completed the following NQF registered unit standards:

  • Unit Standard 229998: Explain and perform fall arrest techniques when working at height (Lev 1; 2 cred)
  • Unit Standard 230000: Perform a limited range of rope access tasks and rescues (lev 2; 6 cred))

(If the person has not completed this Unit Standard but have proof of experience, the person can also complete the IWH PB’s RPL assessment, and if found competent, the person will be licensed accordingly).

(Training and assessment must be conducted by a SETA ETQA/QCTO accredited and IWH Professional Body recognised training provider)

Other criteria

  • Must be in possession of a current, valid medical certificate.
  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Must renew his/her license every three years to proof that he/she is still able to perform the work competently and safely

Criteria for re-licensing

  • Must still be medically fit for the work to be done safely
  • Proof of practical workplace experience
  • Attendance of CPD workshop
  • Re-assessment

2. Rope Access Practitioner (Level 2)

A registered Rope Access Practitioner is a professional in a junior-supervisory capacity and who can be placed in a position of limited control or supervision of a small team, typically consisting of one to four Rope access technicians. A rope access practitioner has limited abilities relating to the management of responsibility for the safety of the team in terms of job planning, risk assessment, rope rigging, and rescue procedures.

CRITERIA FOR OBTAINING THE RECOGNITION

For the Professional Designation of Rope Access Practitioner to be awarded, professionals must comply with the following minimum requirements:

Academic Component

Must have completed the following NQF registered unit standards:

  • Unit Standard 229998: Explain and perform fall arrest techniques when working at height (Lev 1; 2 cred)
  • Unit Standard 230000: Perform a limited range of rope access tasks and rescues (lev 2; 6 cred)
  • Unit Standard 229996: Rig working ropes, undertake rescues and perform a range of rope access tasks (Lev 3; 6 cred)

(If the person has not completed these Unit Standards but have proof of experience, the person can also complete the IWH PB’s RPL assessment, and if found competent, the person will be licensed accordingly).

(Training and assessment must be conducted by a SETA ETQA/QCTO accredited and IWH Professional Body recognised training provider)

Other criteria

  • The rope access practitioner designation can only be achieved by persons who have previously achieved a Rope Access Technician designation, and who has the required experience in place.
  • Must be in possession of a current, valid medical certificate.
  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Must renew his/her license every three years to proof that he/she is still able to perform the work competently and safely

Criteria for re-licensing

  • Must still be medically fit for the work to be done safely
  • Proof of practical workplace experience
  • Attendance of CPD workshop
  • Re-assessment

3. Rope Access Supervisor (Level 3)

A registered Rope Access Supervisor is a professional of a supervisory nature, who is in control of a team or multiple teams of rope access personnel, typically consisting of Rope access technicians and Rope access practitioners. A Rope Access Supervisor has overall responsibility towards the safety of his/her teams, in terms of work planning, risk assessment, rope rigging, and advanced techniques in rescue procedures

CRITERIA FOR OBTAINING THE RECOGNITION

For the Professional Designation of Rope Access Supervisor to be awarded, professionals must comply with the following minimum requirements:

Academic Component

Must have completed the following NQF registered unit standards:

  • Unit Standard 229998: Explain and perform fall arrest techniques when working at height (Lev 1; 2 cred)
  • Unit Standard 230000: Perform a limited range of rope access tasks and rescues (lev 2; 6 cred)
  • Unit Standard 229996: Rig working ropes, undertake rescues and perform a range of rope access tasks (Lev 3; 6 cred)
  • Unit Standard 230001: Supervise rope access teams and perform advanced manoeuvres and rescues (Lev 4; 6 cred)
  • Unit Standard 229997: Select equipment and rig ropes for rope access projects (lev 4; 6 cred)

(If the person has not completed these Unit Standards but have proof of experience, the person can also complete the IWH PB’s RPL assessment, and if found competent, the person will be licensed accordingly).

(Training and assessment must be conducted by a SETA ETQA/QCTO accredited and IWH Professional Body recognised training provider)

Other criteria

  • The Rope Access Supervisor designation can only be achieved by persons who have previously achieved a Rope Access Practitioner designation, and who has the required experience in place.
  • Must be in possession of a current, valid medical certificate.
  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Must renew his/her license every three years to proof that he/she is still able to perform the work competently and safely

Criteria for re-licensing

  • Must still be medically fit for the work to be done safely
  • Proof of practical workplace experience
  • Attendance of CPD workshop
  • Re-assessment