The Importance of SPRAT Certification to Rope Access Workers
Applied Technical Services offers SPRAT certification courses to candidates seeking to begin or continue their career in rope access. Rope access is a specialized work-at-heights skill that allows personnel to maneuver in any direction using a system of ropes. Employers turn to rope access as their method of choice for working at heights because it offers various benefits over other techniques; it is faster, safer, and therefore often cheaper than renting specialized equipment like an aerial work platform or erecting scaffolding. Because of the potential danger of falling from heights, however, rope access is to only be performed by individuals who have proven themselves competent in safely and efficiently performing the techniques and mastering the skillset relevant to each level of achievement.
The Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) is an administrative body through which the North American rope access industry self-regulates. This group, made of both individual technicians and rope access companies, creates a system of standards by voting among themselves on best practices, safety conditions, and operating procedures. SPRAT’s cumulative expertise has created a general trust for their judgment and deference from other industries in matters relating to rope access. Abiding by their industry-consensus standards has essentially become a requisite for performing rope access work in North America; most employers will choose not to hire rope access workers that have not been acknowledged by either this group or its European counterpart, the International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA).
SPRAT also approves candidates for work as rope access technicians, awarding them certification for passing an assessment of their skills and knowledge. By attaining SPRAT certification, candidates gain legitimacy as trained and qualified personnel who are ready to safely and efficiently perform rope access work. ATS provides candidates with SPRAT-compliant training and certification courses to fill this need.
An Overview of Our Rope Access Courses
ATS’ SPRAT training and certification courses prepare candidates for work as a qualified technician. Structured as a five-session program comprised of four days of training and one day of evaluation, we host all rope access certification courses at our Marietta headquarters. This campus features an onsite training area that is ideal for gaining practical experience with the techniques covered in the first stage of instruction.
Over the first four sessions, our rope access training coordinator provides hands-on instruction to ensure trainees understand the material not just in concept, but in practice. During their time in our training, students are exposed to the equipment, vocabulary, techniques, industry standards, safety procedures, and best practices relevant to the level of rope access work they are pursuing.
The certification session takes up the last day of the course. This evaluation consists of written, verbal, and practical sections in which candidates demonstrate their understanding of course material and apply their rope access knowledge. A SPRAT-approved evaluator administers the assessment and determines the success or failure of each trainee. The candidates that fulfill the evaluator’s criteria will be recognized as rope access technicians, afforded all the legitimacy conferred by SPRAT’s approval.
Because industry veterans must pass the same evaluation as do first-timers, most elect to take the entire course as a refresher on aspects of their rope access training that they use less often.
SPRAT recognizes three categories of technicians, each with different responsibilities, training, and levels of experience. ATS offers courses that, upon completion, qualify candidates for SPRAT certification according to the following designations:
Bill Putnam, ATS’ resident rope access training coordinator, teaches all of our SPRAT-compliant courses. He maintains a Level III certification with both SPRAT and IRATA. Furthermore, his body of expertise includes extensive work as a rope access rescue operator, for which he maintains an NFPA 1006 certification in rope rescue and confined space rescue. Mr. Putnam has been training the next generation of rope access technicians for the past eight years.
Drawing on his wealth of experience both utilizing and teaching this skillset, Mr. Putnam is capable of providing advanced instruction beyond the requirements of the course — ensuring even veteran technicians seeking reaccreditation can benefit from learning under him.
ATS: A Trusted Training Partner
Applied Technical Services offers training, inspection, testing, and consulting engineering capabilities of the highest caliber. In the 50+ years since our founding, ATS has grown exponentially — from three consulting engineers aiding local businesses out of our founder’s basement into a multidisciplinary firm serving clients from around the world through the services of the hundreds of technicians, engineers, scientists, and forensic analysts we employ. Students who gain certification through our program are qualified and prepared to seek out work in a variety of industries that rely on rope access services, including the following:
If you are looking to attain SPRAT certification through a trusted training provider, contact ATS today — our courses will prepare you to begin or continue a fulfilling career as a rope access technician.