IRATA Netherlands Industrial Rope Access Trade Association

Safe method for work at height

Industrial Rope Access Trade Association

IRATA stands for Industrial Rope Access Trade Association and is an organisation that focuses on the safe execution of rope access.

The organisation was founded in the United Kingdom in the late eighties to solve maintenance problems in the offshore industry. They have done this by using rope techniques to provide a safe working environment for the industry. Rope access is an alternative way of working at height – or at locations that are difficult to reach – where scaffolding and aerial work platforms are not possible or not safe(r). Using rope-, climbing techniques and safety equipment, hundreds of companies perform a variety of work on rope every day.

Now IRATA is recognised as the world’s leading authority on industrial rope access. More than 400 companies have joined IRATA and more than 100,000 rope access technicians have been trained worldwide. It is also a certifying company and can be seen as a hallmark. IRATA provides its members with guidelines and rules that you as a company and technician must comply with in order to guarantee the safety of employees and third parties.

More about rope access

IRATA offshore

IRATA offshore



It is often thought that IRATA and rope access are the same, but that is not true. With rope access we only talk about working with rope techniques. If a company is an IRATA certified member they adhere to the guidelines of IRATA and therefore work with rope access in a safe way. The Working Conditions Act accepts IRATA as a safe way of working with ropes access at height.

We also notice that more and more clients require a company and its technicians to be IRATA certified. When they are certified, they’re sure that every project will be carried out in a safe manner.

Sign up for an IRATA training



An IRATA company certification consists of 2 types: Operator & Trainer, or a combination of these two. An Operator-certified company must meet requirements for carrying out work. You can think of:

  • Working with an in advance drawn up safety plan, RI&E and rescue plan;
  • Method for attaching ropes;
  • Determine what degree of edge protection is required;
  • Working with IRATA certified personnel only;
  • Always work under the supervision of an IRATA certified supervisor;
  • Minimum team size of 2 persons;
  • Depending on the rescue plan and type of work, larger or different teams may be involved (e.g. working above water);
  • Material must be inspected and traceable every 6 months;
  • Always draw up a safety and rescue plan prior to each project;
  • Carry out work in accordance with the principles of the ICOP (International Code of Practice);
  • Always draw up a RI&E prior to each project.

Always work with two different anchor points


There are 3 IRATA training courses to follow:

  • Trainee Technician (level 1)
    This basis training can be achieved by attending an intensive training course for a week, during which you will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge. Experience is not required, but a minimum age of 18 years is required. A trainee technician is always under supervision of an level 3 supervisor.
  • Operative Technician (level 2)
    Requirements to promote to the next level are 1,000 practical hours in logbook and a minimum of 1 year experience. The level 2 certificate is obtained by following an IRATA training and by passing the exam. An operative technician is always under supervision of an level 3 supervisor.
  • Supervisor Technician (level 3)
    The prerequisites for achieving level 3 are 1,000 practical hours and a minimum of 1 year’s experience on level 2. The level 3 certificate can also be obtained by following a week of training and taking an exam.

According to the IRATA guidelines, a team must consist of at least 2 men of which at least one technician is level 3 supervisor.


IRATA training

If you want to participate in one of our training courses, check out our training schedule, select a week and sign up!
Do you want to follow an IRATA training for the first time? Experience is not necessary, but a minimum age of 18 years is required and you have to be medically approved.

IRATA training

IRATA training Bergschenhoek

Working at a height of 200 meters

More about rope access
IRATA rope access