Pacific Ropes Blog

Understanding the IRATA L1 Syllabus: Selection of Personnel and Competence

Who you’re working with matters, and during the selection process for putting together a competent and efficient rope access team, L3 supervising techs take into account a number of important factors. The first of these factors, is the contracted task. The scope of the project will always be the most important consideration, and will inform the decisions made during the rest of the selection process.

Other factors which are then considered include:

  • the number of rope techs needed to complete the contract on schedule.
  • the varying levels of competence these techs require (you may need a team of 10, with at least 6 L1 techs, 3 L2 techs, and 1 additional L3 tech).
  • whether additional skills are necessary (electrician, etc). For some operational tasks, the selected team may need additional training before work begins.
  • a rescue plan. Selected rope access personnel need to have the correct certifications to make the rescues detailed in the site’s risk assessment possible.

In some instances, a work contract may only require two rope techs. In this instance, both techs would have to be L2 or higher OR any level one should be trained beyond their level to ensure that if an emergency occurred they’d both be fully capable of rescuing their colleague from any situation the job may require them to be involved in. (example; pick off of the CROLL)

During your IRATA Assessment, all levels will be asked to demonstrate awareness of the requirements for supervision and rescue provision under the IRATA International system. You should also recognize the limits of your training in these areas, as well as for work practices.

L3 certifying techs will be asked to demonstrate competence choosing a suitable team using all the factors we’ve outlined above. You may be asked to demonstrate your abilities here for a variety of scenarios.

This portion of the assessment may be practical or desk-based. As your TMC (training member company), we’ll make sure that you’re ready for both.

Additional resources to check out:

TACS 6.2.5 for the source material for this blog.

ICOP Part 2, 2.3 for information on the selection process for rope access technicians (specifically looking at experience, attitude, and aptitude).

ICOP Part 2, 2.11.5 for information about the use of knots.

ICOP Part 2, 2.11.11 for information on emergency procedures and the importance creating and updating planned methods for rescue in case of an accident.


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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