Working at Heights and Choosing the Right Rope Access Technician
Applied Technical Services offers a pathway for candidates to achieve SPRAT certification by providing comprehensive rope access training and qualification courses. Work-at-heights serves a variety of purposes, ranging from painting projects for large structures to façade inspections for skyscrapers to aerial photoshoots for various media. Rope access emerged as a preferred method of working at heights in the 80s and 90s and, by all accounts, seems here to stay.
Technicians perform rope access, a collection of techniques that allows specialists to safely gain access to and from an elevated work area, by securing themselves to a line of rope using specialized equipment. Their ability to move vertically, laterally, diagonally, or even between lines of rope affords companies a highly efficient method of working at heights. Not only does working with a rope access provider eliminate the need for a company to rent specialized equipment such as aerial work platforms or erect expensive scaffolding systems — this access method comes with a better safety record than other means of working at heights as well.
Getting the most out of a rope access project depends on the skill and experience of the technician. By working with only certified rope access technicians, companies can ensure the work will be performed in a safe and efficient manner because they satisfy and maintain qualifications acknowledged by an important regulatory body.
The Significance of Having a SPRAT Certification
The Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) is one such body through which the North American rope access industry regulates itself. Its member companies hold assemblies, where they use their cumulative expertise to set industry-wide standards and help inform government regulators on rope access best practices and procedures. This organization carries prestige in the world of rope access and gaining their approval through certification legitimizes any technician as a professional. To earn this certification, candidates must complete a training course compliant with SPRAT standards and pass an examination administered by one of their approved evaluators. ATS’ SPRAT-compliant rope access training and certification programs can help a novice to begin their career, a veteran to recertify their expertise, or a rising technician to advance to the next level.
ATS' Rope Access Training Courses
We structure our rope access certification training as five-session courses. On the first four days, candidates will undergo instruction — receiving both classroom lecture and hands-on lessons in our custom facility. Our instructor spends this time imparting the knowledge students need going forward, such as important safety procedures, best practices for using and maintaining equipment, regulations pertaining to their field, and how to perform the techniques they will use on the job. Verbal, written, and practical examinations comprise the fifth session. These tests are administered by a SPRAT-approved evaluator, who assesses candidates’ proficiency in applying the skills and information appropriate to the level of certification they are pursuing. If determined to meet requirements, students will pass the course and receive their SPRAT certification, recognition from the organization affirming their qualification to perform rope access work.
SPRAT recognizes three tiers of rope access technicians, each of which bears a different set of experience requirements and jobsite responsibilities. ATS hosts training courses that qualify candidates to perform work at each of the levels outlined below.
Technicians must recertify every three years to prevent their credentials from expiring and, as such, experienced personnel take the same classes as candidates seeking initial entry into a given level. ATS’ rope access training instructor, Bill Putnam, maintains certification as a Level III technician through SPRAT and its sister organization, IRATA. His years of experience training up the next class of rope access technicians means that he is fully equipped to provide instruction both friendly enough for newcomers and rigorous enough for industry veterans.
Founded in 1967, Applied Technical Services offers training, inspection, consulting engineering, and testing capabilities of the highest quality. In the 50+ intervening years, our company has grown significantly; far from the three engineers performing odd jobs for local businesses out of the founder’s basement, ATS is now a multidisciplinary firm employing hundreds of inspectors, technicians, chemists, scientists, investigators, Professional Engineers, and test and measuring equipment calibrators to serve clients located in countries across the world. Technicians certified through our rope access training courses can expect to find work in a wide range of industries including, but not limited to, the following:
If you need a comprehensive rope access training course, contact ATS today to find the class dates and certification level to fit you. We take a closer look!