Rope Access Logbook: Questions and Answers
Information on rope access logbooks aren't always black and white. So, here is a collection of questions you may have:
1) Where do I get an IRATA or SPRAT logbook?
- Your IRATA and/or SPRAT logbook gets issued to you once you've successfully completed your L1 with IRATA or SPRAT. Your assessment or evaluation results are sent to the IRATA/SPRAT head offices where they will then print out an official logbook for you, along with your ID card and certification. With IRATA, they will mail us your documents, which we then will mail out to you. SPRAT will mail your documents directly to you.
2) Are all rope access logbooks the same?
- No, logbooks are not the same. Your logbook is specific to you. It'll have your photo on the front page, which you need to sign once you receive your logbook, along with your IRATA or SPRAT number, and a unique logbook serial number. No one can steal or reproduce your logbook as their own.
3) What is recorded in a logbook?
- The main purpose of the logbook is to record the rope access Technician’s experience and training undertaken, including the total hours engaged in rope access, the type and variety of work undertaken,
and when the work took place. How to fill in your hours properly is illustrated more here!
- Your future assessments will also be recorded in your logbook with the pass/fail, date, and Assessor's signature.
4) What type of hours are "counted" towards the overall number?
- Type of hours include all your rope access maneuvers, any rigging, de-rigging, equipment inspections (rope access related), and safety talks (rope access related). Basically, anything that you learned in training that you do out on the field can be recorded and counted towards your upgrade hours. Things that don't count are meal breaks, non-rope access work such as fall arrest, downtime, etc. If you work an 8-hour shift, don't put down that you have 8 hours because we would be suspicious that you were actually engaged in rope access work that whole time.
5) Do training hours count?
- You should record your rope access training hours but these hours do not count towards your total when you need to upgrade.
6) Can a Level 3 sign their own logbook?
- At this point, as a L3 technician, your logbook should be perfect! Again, here is an example of what a perfect log book entry would look like. Please don't sign your own logbook. You should ask your employer to countersign them or have a fellow L3 working with you sign your book.
- When signing the logbooks of other rope access Technicians under your supervision, please make sure the entries are completed correctly and logged hours are accurate. You are vouching for them to IRATA or SPRAT. An Assessor or Evaluator one day might call you to verify and if things look suspicious, that's on you too!
7) What happens if there is no Level 3 to sign my hours?
- If there is no L3 on site to sign your hours (IRATA or SPRAT), you can get your company Managing Director, Owner, or Project Manager to vouch for your hours. They must verify for you that the hours are
accurate and have been completed on a double rope system. The person approving the hours logged should print their name, position and leave a contact telephone number and email for us to contact.
- If you have the same non-L3 person verifying your hours, they can also write an official letter from an employing company verifying multiple entries.
- If you are in the situation where you have a lot of non-L3 signed hours, your hours may be more scrutinized than others. Assessors/Evaluators and your Instructor will call your references, who verified your hours, to double check. Also, in these situations, in order to better evaluate your rope access experience, Assessors/Evaluators may ask more questions in regards to your previous workplace knowledge. If you are a Level 3 in this situation, make sure you are quite versed in the IRATA ICOP, and TACS too as Assessors/Evaluators will expect you to be well versed in these systems.
8) Can I use a pencil to record hours in my logbook?
- It is preferred that you use blue or black ink to record your hours. Pencil can be erased or altered.
9) What happens if I lose my logbook?
- Hopefully, you have back up photos of your logbook! If not, not all is lost, it'll just be a giant headache to get everything back! There is a procedure for getting a new logbook from IRATA or SPRAT. Please click here to read the full procedure.
10) What happens if I don't bring my logbook when I upgrade?
- Technicians wishing to upgrade to Level 2 or Level 3 cannot be considered for assessment without a correctly maintained and up to date logbook. This is no joke everyone! We've had so many people show up for training/assessment without their logbooks. IRATA and SPRAT take hours and experience seriously. If you can't prove that you have these hours, you won't be qualified for an assessment.
11) Do fall arrest hours count?
- You should record your fall arrest activities or other harness based activities (for work, not recreational), but the hours logged for these activities do not count towards the upgrading requirements.
12) Do training instructor hours count?
- If you do any assistant training or lead training, they are considered working hours and will count towards your overall hours when upgrading. We also recommend recording these hours separately in an Assistant Instructor's logbook (for IRATA only), if you plan on getting your "i" status for IRATA instructors.
13) What happens if I fudge hours a little?
- You shouldn't be asking this but I know this little temptation does make an appearance every so often in your conscious mind. I know it's tempting to fudge, especially when you're so close to getting all your hours for an upgrade and there is an opportunity to make a higher wage at your next job. However, it's not worth it. As a training company, it is so easy to spot fraudulent hours. And with an industry this small in North America, you don't want to be known as the guy/gal who made up their hours. People won't trust you. And, proven fraudulent misuse or alteration of an official logbook will result in the suspension or withdrawal of your certification.
And let's remember the bigger picture here. Why have a logbook? Why bother with experience? Because, we're working in an environment where staying safe is the difference between life or death. We need technicians to move up the system in this way by time and experience because it gives you time to hone your craft, gain knowledge, develop wisdom, and showcase that rope access is one of the safest ways to work at height. The more the world trusts using rope access, the more rope access will be used, and the more work there is for everyone!
Contact us if you have more questions!