A Rope Access technician can complete a four day skills competency course before commencing work. However, in many instances this is not the case and the Rope Access operator is not obliged to provide an up to date certificate of competency. This in itself is inconsistent with the intent of Section 85 of the Qld WHS Regulations 2011.
In many respects in Queensland Rope Access, like other States, is a largely unregulated and unsupervised work activity.
The only relevant Codes of Practice that have any depth, accreditation and independent verification are the Industrial Rope Access Trade Association’s (IRATA) International Code of Practice and the ISO 22846-2 Rope Access Code of Practice.
Facts that bear consideration if the Rope Access industry is to be made a safer and more accountable work activity are:
- The levels of training and certification of Rope Access operators In Queensland are inconsistent and uneven.
- Many Rope Access operators are “qualified” by unaccredited training operators. (In the case of IRATA trained Rope Access operators this is not the case, as the IRATA training company is subject to a regular rigorous external validation and audit.)
- Rope Access operators do not have any obligation to maintain currency of their Certificate of Competency. (There is no current legislation that requires a Rope Access technician to undertake refresher or recertification training unless he is an IRATA technician working for an IRATA certified company.)
- Rope Access is not regarded as a high risk work activity under Queensland Acts or regulations.