What hours to log as rope access experience?

The types of activities that count as rope access experience and should be written in your logbook seem to always be a matter of contention in our industry so I’m going to outline the correct details below.

Basically, it’s anytime, within reason, that you are actively involved in using ropes and associated equipment as per your training and assessment.

 So that means time spent;

  • Actively suspended on ropes or within an aid climb working,
  • Directly supervising rope access technicians as a Level 3 (not remotely),
  • Rigging and de-rigging of rope access ropes and systems,
  • Inspection of rope access equipment (limited),
  • Training rope access courses,
  • Assessing rope access courses,
  • Being trained in a rope access course (these hours do not count toward upgrades),
  • Toolbox Talks directly prior to being on the ropes,

Things that are not counted as rope access hours include, engraving or marking and logging of equipment, waiting for permits, safety meetings, planning sessions, job walk-downs, lunch/break times, traveling between sites. This list is clearly not exhaustive and if any technician is unsure, they should contact their company's Technical Authority or the IRATA training department directly for clarification.

Working in fall arrest or utilizing a fall prevention system can be logged but these hours will not be viewed as industrial rope access and as such the hours will not count toward an upgrade.

More details can be found in the IRATA Training, Assessment, and Certification Scheme (TACS) document in section 4.13 a copy of which can be downloaded by clicking here.