What Certifications Are Required for High Angle Rescue?

If your oil, gas or mining site has activities that involve working at heights, having a high angle rescue team on standby is a sound risk management practice. Whether you’re going to hiring a team yourself, or using an outside vendor, a complete due diligence process should be undertaken to ensure the rescuer has the training and experience to perform their job.

Here are 5 specific certifications you should look for when hiring a high angle rescuer to protect your workers.


The Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) is an organization dedicated to advancing rope access through education, standards development, and administering certifications. To become a SPRAT certified technician, candidates are required to attend a certification sessions, pass a written test, verbal test, and a hands-on physical performance test.

There are three levels to the SPRAT certification. If you’re hiring a technician who will have responsibility for the overall rope access work site and rope access supervisor duties, then look for a Level III Technician. If you’re looking for a technician to assist in conducting rope access operations and/or safety evaluations of rope access operations, then look for a Level II Technician or higher.


Similar to SPRAT, the International Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA) is a professional association dedicated to the development of standards related to rope access training, methodology and safety.

A Level 2 IRATA Technician is certified for rigging and rescue, while a Level 3 Technician will have the experience and knowledge to manage challenging rescues, team leadership, site supervision, and managing job site safety.

3. NFPA 1006

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advocates fire prevention and public safety and publishes a number of widely recognized codes and standards.

The NFPA 1006 standard identifies the minimum job performance requirements for fire service and other emergency response personnel who perform technical rescue operations. In addition to rope rescue, the NFPA 1006 outlines requirements for rescue situations such as confined space rescue, vehicle rescue, mine and tunnel rescue, cave rescue and more.

A high-angle rescue technician who has the NFPA 1006 certification will have a well-rounded background for dealing with different rescue situations.

4. OSSA Fall Protection

The Oil Sands Safety Association (OSSA) is a non-profit organization made up of representatives from Syncrude Canada, Suncor Energy, Shell Albian Sands and Canadian Natural Resources to identify, develop and implement strategies and tools for purpose of creating “an incident free workforce”.

The OSSA Fall Protection safety training standard establishes the minimum acceptable requirements for fall protection programs for workers. A high angle rescuer who meets this standard has a good idea of how workers are trained.

5. First Aid, CPR/AED (Automated External Defibrillator)

In addition to rope, fall and rescue certifications, be sure that the high angle rescue technician has basic first aid, CPR/AED training to deal with general medical emergencies. It’s plausible that when the rescuer reaches the worker, they will need to perform first-aid, CPR or use an AED if the worker has been injured or suffering a medical emergency.

Being trained in first aid means the rescuer can determine the immediate course of treatment required until advanced medical help arrives. Having CPR training will help maintain blood flow and ventilation for a short period of time in a person experiencing cardiac arrest, while having AED training will help get a worker’s heart back to its natural rhythms with an electrical shock during a cardiac arrest.

For more information about selecting the right high angle rescue for your oil, gas or mining project, contact Jesse Hull at jhull@protocolrescue.com.