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Rope access


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Im looking into courses that do rope access. The only qualifications that I seem to be able to find are from irata. These courses dont seem to relate to our industry very well and if you pass at level 1 you need to be supervised by a level 3 to do any thing they show you anyway. I was wondering if anyone has either done this course and knows if it has any relavance to the entertainment industry mainly for truss climbing fall arrest rescue etc. does anyone know of any other courses that maybe do this kind of thing.
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As you point out, rope access techniques aren't always applicable in entertainment industry. There are several firms offering training for entertainment rigging (Total Fabs Group etc.).


Lyon run rope access courses, but also offer rope rescue and work at height training.

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These courses dont seem to relate to our industry very well and if you pass at level 1 you need to be supervised by a level 3 to do any thing they show you anyway.

Not exactly.

An Irata level 1 course is a week's training that you can be expected to bring some useful skills out of. (Whether that represents good value for money for the individual is another matter.) Part of the Irata way of doing things is that level 1 technicians have to be supervised for sure, but that isn't the same as what you've said there exactly. Where and how you use your skills is up to you.


Try here

With regard to the Plasa NRC - this is all about assessment, not training. Plasa are not currently involving themselves in the training of candidates at all (though I think there may be some element of training at the most basic level when the Level 1 certificate comes on line).

Having said that, from what I've seen of the NRC (I'm one of the candidates in the Level 3 pilot scheme) its going to catch on; I don't see how it can fail to. So anyone thinking of getting inot rigging (or to a lesser extent any WaH) in our industry should definitely bear it in mind when shopping around for formal training. Personally, if I were a newbie thinking of spending several hundred quid on a course, I'd want the trainer to be someone well acquainted with the NRC.


As you point out, rope access techniques aren't always applicable in entertainment industry.

I'll go further than "not always applicable", it is really very unusual to do any roped access work in our industry. Remember 'roped access' means gaining access to a work site by descending or ascending fixed ropes - in the overwhelming majority of cases in our industry we gain access to the work site by other means. Climbing directly on a structure (such as a flown truss) protected by a fall arrest system isn't roped access.


TAG also do specific entertainment courses as well as their IRATA and general working at height stuff.

TAG are an excellent company, their in house training facility is very impressive. They really know their stuff about work at height, roped access and all things to do with communications masts. I'm not so sure they know much about the entertainment industry, though I may be wrong. (Anyone care to jump in on that point?)


Other training companies (ones that I don't hold in the same high regard as TAG) make me very cynical. I've seen some very fishy looking literature and I have to wonder if their 'entertainment industry' package isn't just designed to a)hook in the occasional gullible punter who thinks it'll be a way into the industry or b)impress their clientèle from other fields with the glamour of it all.

(If you think I'm being very unfair with point a just check a few other forums to see how easy it is for newly qualified level 1 IRATA technicians to find work. Then take a look at the adverts in the back of some climbing magazines to see how many training companies imply that your £600 course will pay for itself in no time.)


None of this means that training outside of our industry isn't relevant, it is. WaH is WaH, the same rules and regs apply to us as most other industries and the skills are transferable. A bunch of my friends/colleagues and I clubbed together to organise a rescue course for ourselves (in one of 'our' venues) with Lyon Equipment a few years ago - it was money very well spent.


So, my recommendation:


As far as training for rigging in our industry goes, Chris Higgs is the daddy. He (and the fellow luminaries he occasionally deputises to teach courses for him) has a wealth of experience in our industry and also happens to be an NRC assessor, and so is in an excellent position to help you along to achieving that qualification if its what you want to do. Total Fabs recently put a lot of work into their training facility to bring it up to standard to host one of the NRC assessment centres (the other 2 are currently hosted by Unusual Rigging in Northampton and UKRigging in Bolton) - its a really nice facility.


Another possibility is http://www.safeworking.com. Again, they're experienced riggers who're also involved with the NRC, though I'm not sure how active they are training individuals at the moment.





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I do believe that it is more fall arrest and truss climbing and things like that rather than rope access that I should be looking into then. thank you for all your replies. My next problem will be that once I have done some training I will need some expirience doing this.
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