Which Rope Access Certification is Right for Me

When deciding which certification(s) to choose, and maintain, it’s important to look at both your current needs and future career aspirations. A few key items to consider when deciding between SPRAT and/or IRATA are:

• Where in the world would you like to work?
• What are the certification requirements of the company you are interested in working with and/or subcontracted with?
• What industry are you interested in? Wind? Oil and Gas? Structures? NDT? Etc.

Our general recommendation is to get involved with both SPRAT and IRATA. As the two Rope Access trade associations recognized in North America, being a part of the organizations helps support the development and sustainment of the rope access industry in our region. This also leaves the door open for the most employment opportunities, wherever your career path may lead.

Ropeworks is involved in both SPRAT and IRATA because we are interested in promoting and influencing the convergence of safety standards for rope access worldwide.

What is SPRAT?
The Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) is a member-driven organization with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. SPRAT was established in the mid 90’s to address the needs of a growing number of companies and operators employing rope access techniques in North America. Its mission is to advance the safe use of rope access through education, standards development, and administering certifications.

Since 2001, thousands of rope access technicians representing dozens of companies and government agencies have been certified to SPRAT standards. Currently, SPRAT supports companies and technicians using rope access with regulatory support, networking, and opportunities to participate in developing industry-consensus standards. Membership in the organization is open to any company or individual interested in furthering the interest of rope access. Current members include a broad cross-section of commercial industry, professional services, and government agencies.

What is IRATA?
The Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) was formed in the UK in the late 1980’s, to solve maintenance problems in the offshore oil and gas industry. Its formation was the result of an initiative of a number of leading companies who had begun to use industrial rope access techniques, to provide a safe working environment for the industry. The rope access technique developed by IRATA has now come to be used in a wide range of repair, maintenance, inspection and access work. Since it provides an unrivalled safety record, a quick set-up and dismantling time, positive environmental benefits and no need for invasive access equipment or disruption of the site, the IRATA system of rope access continues to enjoy increasing popularity throughout the world.

IRATA is now recognised as the world’s leading authority on industrial rope access. It has over 400 member companies around the world and has trained in excess of 100,000 rope access technicians worldwide. The Association directs and manages through its members the training of all workers seeking its qualifications. These member companies provide training or operational services, or both.