Pacific Ropes Blog

Understanding the IRATA L1 Syllabus: Basic Anchor System

A basic anchor system includes two sets of ropes (your working and safety line) and their two separate anchors. If it’s possible, it’s recommended that you attach both lines to both anchors, to protect against the possibility of equipment failure and the impact load that would result -- even if it’s unlikely, this sort of pre-planning and risk avoidance is part of your job as a rope tech. Especially if you’re a L2 or L3 tech, but L1 techs should still be able to understand a site’s risk assessment and voice their concerns if these sorts of precautions aren’t taken.

When we talk about rigging, we’re talking about the method through which the ropes in your system are connected to their anchors. There are several different methods for doing this, but they all require the same consideration for anchor placement, rope positioning, rescue methods, avoidance of hazards, and angle loading.

During your IRATA Assessment, all levels will be asked to demonstrate competence rigging a basic anchor system, with awareness for the above considerations.

L2 and L3 certifying techs, will be asked to demonstrate competence rigging a basic anchor system while at height (i.e. while in suspension).

Your IRATA assessor will be watching to make sure that you:

· Rig each rope to its own independent anchor.

· Dress and set each of the necessary knots correctly.

· Understand the different types of slings and rigging equipment, and how/when to use them (ex. with certain structures, the ropes can be rigged by using two similar anchor slings or strops placed next to each other).

If you’re a L1 certifying tech, your assessor will be watching from the ground. If you’re a L2 or L3 certifying tech, they may be standing on one of our elevated platforms so they can really watch what you’re doing.

We’ll cover all of this during your training week.

Additional resources to check out:

TACS 6.4.4 for the source material for this blog.

ICOP Part 2, 2.11.2 for more information on the anchor system (anchors and anchor lines).

ICOP Part 2, 2.11.3 for more information on the use of anchor lines.

ICOP Part 3, Annex F for safety considerations, when installing or placing anchor devices for use in rope access.


This is part of an ongoing series, where we’re breaking down IRATA’s syllabus and clarifying exactly what ‘demonstrating competence’ and ‘demonstrating awareness’ means, and what will be expected of you on assessment day. To learn more about the rest of the IRATA L1 Syllabus, click below:

Succeed your IRATA L1


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