Validity of Training Certification During COVID-19 (update 11/06/20)

Implications for candidates wishing to undertake revalidation training because their current certificate is due to expire

For any of our courses that are not regulated by national or international trade bodies we will be extending the validity of existing certificates by 90 days. This means that when training commences again we will accept candidates on revalidation courses for certificates that expired up to and including the 30th June. The situation will be reviewed on 1 July 2020.

This extension is in accord with similar action taken by the Global Wind Organisation (GWO), the International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) and the Masts and Towers Safety Group (MATS). Links to statements from these organisations are given on our website – each organisation has its own requirements.

Employers please note: we understand that an individual’s competence does not immediately end according to a date on a certificate. However, by extending validity we are not implying any judgement about the competence of certificate holders, this is a matter for employers.

Competence is defined as a mixture of knowledge, training and relevant experience. In this intervening period dutyholders may wish to implement additional means to avoid skill fade such as in-house exercises, rescue drills or theory tests.

heightec, April 1st 2020


For the latest guidance on IRATA Rope Access, Mast & Tower Safety Group (MATS) and Global Wind Organisation (GWO) certification, please refer direct to the accediting body, see links below:

IRATA – Extract below from Jonathan Capper, Chairman of IRATA. Please refer to IRATA directly for clarification if needed:

We are mindful of the fact that some technicians’ certification will expire through no fault of their own and, due to the situation with COVID-19, it may be impossible for them to undertake such training until self-isolation and other government imposed restrictions/recommendations are lifted. It is also understood that some of our member companies and technicians will be providing services that are deemed ‘essential’ by governments.

In this regard, whilst we implement supporting measures, our Byelaws will continue to apply in all respects to members, and members will continue to be solely responsible for their own technicians and their activities.

Despite the above, given the unprecedented current circumstances and until we put appropriate measures in place, we will not seek to suspend or terminate the membership of any member who breaches its obligations in clause 6.1 (l) and the second limb of clause 6.1(m) (namely “and that all rope access personnel shall hold current IRATA qualifications”) of the Byelaws regarding the certification of its technicians which arises as a direct result of matters relating to COVID-19.

For the avoidance of doubt, the first part of clause 6.1(m) (namely “ensure that all rope access operations are directly supervised by IRATA Level 3 rope access technician(s)”) shall continue to apply to all members.

Neither IRATA nor any of its officers or employees shall have any liability to technicians, members or any third party in respect of any loss, liability, cost or expense arising out of or in connection with:

  1. technicians (or their employing companies) holding themselves out as being IRATA certified or qualified even though their certification has expired; and/or
  2. the temporary waiver of IRATA’s rights to suspend or terminate members’ membership because of a breach of clause 6.1 (l) and/or the second limb of clause 6.1 (m) of the Byelaws due to the COVID-19 containment actions.

As a compliant IRATA member company, we trust that you will exhaust every effort to ensure the safety of technicians undertaking rope activities on behalf of your company and comply with local legislation at all times.

We are currently preparing an electronic process for our technicians to apply for an extended period of certification. As soon as this becomes available, we will notify you and place a notice on the IRATA website, with instructions for technicians to follow. This will be a temporary solution and shall only be in place whilst the COVID-19 containment actions prevent assessors and training member companies from operating on a normal basis.

We will notify members as soon as it is determined that adequate access to IRATA training providers has resumed in specific jurisdictions.

We are aware that some technicians planning to upgrade to a higher level of IRATA certification may also have expired through no fault of their own and we are putting measures in place to assist technicians who find themselves in this position.

Thank you for your co-operation and we will keep you updated with all significant developments.

Yours sincerely,

Jonathan Capper
IRATA Chairman
For and on behalf of the Executive Committee”

For more information, please contact IRATA.

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