Pacific Ropes Training Blog

meet our training manager Josh!

What’s your name, where you from, how long have you been in Rope Access?

I’m Josh, I’m from Toronto originally and have been in rope access for 10 years.

What did you do before Rope Access?

Before that I was a climbing instructor in Toronto.

What got you into Rope Access?

A buddy of mine started doing his rope access course (IRATA) and introduced me into it and it seemed like a better way to make money.

What is your rope access experience?

I started working on wind turbines about 10 years ago. Then it went to bolt inspections, bridges, and pen stocks, a little bit of building maintenance but not so much.

What part of that got you into teaching?

I always wanted to be a teacher and it started with climbing and it took off from there. I had to get a little bit of experience in the industry first. It’s always been in me to share what I know.

What is your favorite part about instructing?

Seeing people coming back and following their progress. Seeing what they’re doing in the field. When they go from level 1 to a level 2 and just getting a sense of satisfaction seeing people move on and through their careers.

What makes a good instructor?

Patients, Patients, Patients. Something I had to learn, is not to expect excellence the moment [students] walk through the door. Realizing that people are in different places in their careers, different attitudes and different ways of learning. Really managing the psychology of humans through their learning process is definitely interesting to me.

What challenges have you faced instructing Rope Access?

Some of the challenges is everyone learns differently. So different attitude, different learning styles, different backgrounds, different exposure to rope system. IRATA and SPRAT are different compared to climbing and even confined space teachings. So taking students that have some background and getting them out of those industries and then adapting them to rope access specific, is the most interesting and keep you on your toes.

What’s in your future for rope access?

I eventually want to be an assessor/evaluator and I’m sort of in the process of getting on some SPRAT committees and maybe be involved in the administration of the whole system. SPRAT especially has such a small group of members that it’s really possible to make a difference in that system.

What advice would you give to prospective students?

Do your research ahead of time, know what you’re getting in too, and read the ICOP, read the TACS, read the safe work practices. You’ll learn all that stuff throughout your career, but it’s better when you get a handle on it ahead of time, during, and after.

If you had kids, would you let them get into Rope Access?

Yeah I would, I would make sure they know what they’re doing before they go out there.

Rope Access is not for adrenaline junkies?

Absolutely not, in fact stay away. If I went over the Port Mann bridge on my ropes and I know what I’m doing, I trust my ropes, I’m not going to be scared… but if I just went over, and I didn't really know what I was doing, yeah I would be scared! It's about safety!

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