Why you should plan ahead for your re-certification
It's so easy to forget to renew our driver's licenses, passports, and first aid certificates. And it's also easy to forget to renew your IRATA certification! But without a valid and current IRATA certification, you are not allowed to practice rope access work. It's crucial that you stay on top of keeping your certification up to date, and many certificate holders drop the ball.
When you leave re-certification to the last minute, it can end up being a real hassle. There are several reasons to plan ahead for your re-certification:
1) Date Selection
You might not be able to get into a course before your certificate expires, leaving you in the position of not being able to do your job. If you leave far away from a training center, you'll need to give yourself even more time to plan the travel logistics.
2) Give time to train
It's been 3 years since your last training, and you may be rusty on some of the maneuvers, if they haven't been used regularly. You want to give yourself time for extra training, if it's necessary. Some training centers offer 5 days of training. At Pacific Ropes, we offer everyone 4 days of training. If you feel you need more and can't assess right away, then we re-schedule your assessment and book 1 to 2 extra days of training in another week. Having this option is good in case you need it! So, if you're re-certifying, it's a good idea to do it ahead of time.
3) Re-assessment Possibility
If you leave your re-certification to the last minute, you may not leave a lot of room for error. Of course, the plan is to pass the assessment on the first try. And, with proper preparation, studying, and practice time during the week, most re-certification students have nothing to worry about. However, you never know what will happen. Maybe something comes up last minute and you have to drop out, you get sick, a family member gets sick, and or a pandemic happens; shutting down all training centers. It's always good to give yourself some time in case you don't make it to assessment day or you don't pass.
4) Harder to Upgrade
If you plan to upgrade to a higher level, allowing your certificate to expire may mean that you have to re-do your current level first. This means you will spend twice as much time and money. Depending on which level you are upgrading, whether it's IRATA or SPRAT, or how long you have let your certification expire, you may be required to log more hours before upgrading. Re-certifying a head of time will ensure you don't let your cert expire!
IRATA and SPRAT allow Rope Access Technicians to re-certify up to 6 months before the expiry date on your current certificate. As an extra bonus, the expiry date on your new certificate will be 3 years after the expiry date on your old certificate, rather than 3 years after the date of assessment. This provides added incentive to re-certify early. After all, why not? There's no reason to leave it to the last minute.
For information on the technicalities of IRATA re-certification, expiry and upgrade policies, please visit our following blog posts.