So, there seems to be some confusion about the way IRATA and SPRAT handle Conversions and Direct Entries into each program. I’d like to try to clarify some things about these processes. Before I go too far, let’s take a look at how SPRAT and IRATA define these two categories of candidates:
As defined in Certification Requirements for Rope Access Work, Direct Entry is a process intended to allow rope access technicians who have obtained rope access skills and experience on an industrial two rope system, outside the SPRAT certification system, to be evaluated for SPRAT certification at a level commensurate with their skill and Experience.
A Conversion applies to rope access technicians who hold an active Level III certification in a recognized rope access association.
IRATA views Candidates with significant rope access experience logged outside the IRATA International system as eligible for direct entry or accelerated entry.
They have also made provisions for SPRAT to IRATA conversions to take place. This procedure allows persons with logged hours, experience and recognized working levels within SPRAT to enter at an appropriate level. It is also available to persons who hold or have held IRATA certification.
So, what’s that mean to the average technician who is certified in one system and wants to enter the other at a similar level? A great deal, really. If you intend to undergo a direct entry or conversion, you have to do your homework! Each of these organizations have an application process which must be completed prior to the certification session. IRATA requires the candidates to have been approved prior to the start of a course at a training member company. We cannot conduct training or certification sessions without documented authorization from SPRAT or IRATA.
You’ll have to submit a few things with your application, the most important being an updated logbook. Your logbook must be completed and all hours listed must be countersigned by a supervisor, client or other person who can verify your hours worked. Folks, I can’t emphasize this enough. Your logbook must be unquestionable. It really is your resume. Make sure it’s spot on. You’ll also need to provide an application and application fee among other specific information. Each organization has its own process, so preparation is key.
We can help guide you through the process. It may take weeks after all of the documentation is submitted before a candidate has been approved for Direct Entry or Conversion. You don’t want to cause further delays by submitting incomplete information. We can provide the applications, coordinate payment and check all of your documentation prior to submission for errors or omissions. Just give us a call, we’re happy to help.