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Clarification Regarding Temporary IRATA Certification

On 14th March 2023 IRATA issued the following information to Trainer Member Companies regarding the (non) use of the 'yellow assessment form' as an interim certificate. Please read and understand the following message, as inline with the guidance there will be a lag between passing the IRATA assessment and gaining IRATA certification. For IRATA re-validations it is recommended to book in for rope access training at least 60 days before ticket expiry to avoid certification expiry during the processing period.

"We have received queries regarding the use of the ‘IRATA Rope Access Technician Assessment Form’ (FM-025 Candidates Copy) as a temporary proof of certification, and we wish to clarify this point.

In short, IRATA certification can only be issued by IRATA Head Office. IRATA is compliant with the requirements of BS EN ISO/IEC 17024, of which clause 4.2 states:

“The certification body shall be responsible for, shall retain authority for, and shall not delegate, its decisions relating to the certification, including granting, maintaining, recertifying, expanding and reducing the scope of certification, and suspending and withdrawing certification.”

The BS EN ISO/IEC 17024 standard also requires that the issuing certification body (IRATA) verifies that all assessment syllabus items have been met, and records that the technician has met all the prerequisites stipulated in the IRATA TACS (e.g. over 18, logged hours and timeframes etc). Only once this has been completed can IRATA issue certification or otherwise.

The IRATA TACS clause 7.9.4 states:

“The Technician Assessment Form [FM-025] is valid for a period of 60 days. Subject to verification the IRATA Head Office will formally register the outcome of the assessment and provide a certificate for the candidate. During this 60-day period, the completed assessment form may be used as evidence of the assessment outcome.”

Please note that the ‘assessment outcome’ is not the same as certification; it is a record of the practical assessment elements. It is not an interim IRATA certificate, nor does it guarantee certification. Once candidate verification is completed at IRATA head office, this is updated on the IRATA Online System (IOS) and can be verified using the IRATA technician verification tool on the IRATA website here. Successful candidates will be issued with an IRATA certificate, ID card and (where relevant) an IRATA logbook shortly thereafter.

We are aware that version 008 of the ‘IRATA Rope Access Technician Assessment Form’ [FM-025] stated that it could be used as temporary certification; however, this was withdrawn in version 009 (16.09.2019). Whilst this change has been in place since 2019, it has become apparent that there has been some misunderstanding that the Candidate Copy could still be used as temporary certification, however, this is not the case. In order for IRATA member companies to comply with the current requirement, IRATA will provide a grace period until the 31st May 2023.

We are currently investing in several digital projects that will enable this process to run more efficiently and greatly reduce the time between assessment and certification. Trainer Member Companies should ensure that they submit all the required documentation promptly following assessment to enable IRATA head office to complete the verification process in a timely manner.

We urge all of our members and technicians to ensure that certification is revalidated in a suitable timeframe so that it does not lapse between assessments."

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