SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Select equipment and rig ropes for rope access projects 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
229997  Select equipment and rig ropes for rope access projects 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Hiring Services 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 11 - Services Cleaning, Domestic, Hiring, Property and Rescue Services 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 4  NQF Level 04 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
Learners working towards competence in this unit standard will be a person using rope access techniques to access work to be performed, where rope access skills are required.

Qualifying learners will be capable of:
  • Selecting equipment for a rope access project.
  • Explaining requirements for equipment inspections and storage.
  • Determining safe loads for rope access projects.
  • Placing anchors, rig ropes for work and rescue situations.

    The practice in the industry is that for someone to operate at this level he/she should:
  • Have spent a total of 3 years and 2000 logged hours in the industry with a minimum of 1 year with 1000 logged hours as level 2 technician performing a wide variety of rope access work under supervision, as per international standards.
  • Be medically fit and in possession of a medical certificate. The certificate should conform to the content of SABS 0333:2 Annex A. The learner should be free from conditions that may prevent him/her from working safely as specified in the range statement.
  • Be physically fit to be able to perform all the tasks required in this standard.
  • Have team communication skills to ensure fast and effective communication during rescue and site work.
  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Be in position of current competence in First Aid and in performing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Learners accessing this unit standard will have demonstrated competence in:
  • Communication at NQF Level 3 or equivalent.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3 or equivalent.
  • A second language to assist with communication during rescue.
  • The Unit standard - Rig working ropes, undertake take rescues and perform rope access tasks. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
  • This unit standard is for any person who rigs access ropes and uses access ropes to perform industrial tasks where access to the task is gained by means of ropes anchored to the structure being accessed. It excludes access techniques used by emergency services for rescue work and ropes used for recreational purposes. It can be used in a range of contexts such as cleaning, construction, telecommunications, and vessel inspection.
  • In the context of this unit standard, structures being accessed can include buildings, onshore or offshore structures or geological features such as cliff faces. Ropes are used as primary means of support, primary protection and positioning and a means for personnel to ascend or descend.

    Range statements that refer to assessment criteria:
  • Level 1 rope access refers to a "technician" who is able to perform a limited range of rope access work, under close supervision of a level 3 supervisor NQF level 1.
  • Level 2 rope access refers to a "lead technician" who is capable of rigging working ropes, undertaking rescues and performing rope access tasks under supervision of a level 3 supervisor NQF level 2.
  • Level 3 rope access refers to a "supervisor" who is capable of complete responsibility for work projects, able to demonstrate skills and knowledge of both levels 1 and 2, is conversant with relevant work techniques and legislation and has comprehensive knowledge of advanced rescue techniques NQF level 4.
  • Assessment criteria marked with * are assessed according to worksite procedures.
  • Anchors/Bolts.
  • Advanced knowledge and skills of knots includes tying all knots specified for level 1 and 2 rope access work, correct application and use of knots, knowledge of unsuitable knots or disadvantages of knots like tape knots, and precautions to take with certain knots. These include variations of the figure of eight, figure of nine, alpine butterfly, double fisherman's knot, tape knots, bowline.
  • Advanced knowledge and skills of rope access manoeuvres includes all the rope access manoeuvres specified for level 1 and 2 rope access work performed with advanced skill It includes all of the following: descending and ascending ropes; passing knots, deviations and rebelays (intermediate anchors) and obstructions; performing rope transfers and changeovers; aid climbing, belaying and traversing a loop; performing horizontal (traverse), vertical and lead climbing.
  • Detailed knowledge of simple rescue techniques includes skill and knowledge of all rescue techniques specified for level 1 and 2 rope access work. This includes snatch rescues, rescues using hauling/ lowering systems and cable ways.
  • Checks on team members before starting access work need to include all of the following [the use of two completely independent ropes, two ropes anchored on two separate anchors, ropes correctly rigged to prevent shock loads, a suitable (figure 8) knot is tied at the end of the working rope to prevent descent off the end of the rope, wearing appropriate PPE.
  • PPE includes helmets, goggles, gloves, work boots, life jackets or other equipment as required for a task.
  • Knots include but are not limited to double knots, anchors knots, midrope knots, tape slings, intermediate knots and all knots required for a level 1 technician.
  • Operation plan/ procedure refers to a description of how to perform the task and includes rope access equipment, equipment needed for the task, the number and level of technicians, safety factors, risk assessment, medical information ie closest hospital, rescue plans from any situation in the rope access system.
  • Risk assessment at the work site includes but is not limited to anchor points, hazards above and below the work level, length of drops or traverses, equipment requirements, rescue scenarios.
  • Exclusion zone includes warning signs, barriers, posting of a guard/sentry, alarms, locking of doors or access ways leading to the exclusion zone.
  • Factors that can affect safety during rope access work include but are not limited to any one of the following: weather conditions, activities of other contractors, integrity/ safety of rigging, how tired team members might be.
  • Rigging can include the use of tape slings, deviations, intermediate anchors, belays, rebelays, midrope knots, double protection system for safety purposes.
  • Rest periods may be determined by climatic conditions, exposed work sites tiredness of the team, wind chill, high levels of sun, heat exposure, wind speed, height, degree of protection.
  • Slings include tape slings, wire slings and rope slings.
  • Supervision includes personally checking that team members equipment are correctly assembled, the that there is a knot at the end of a rope when appropriate, check that that team members use a double rope, that the team members are always attached at two points, monitoring conditions that can affect safe working conditions or fatigue in team members, overseeing rescues.
  • Substandard ropes include ropes that have been exposed to heat, chemical, mechanical damage or shock loads or damaged due to other causes.
  • To be considered medically fit learners should be free form any disability that may prevent them from working safely. The learner should be free from the following conditions: Heart disease, high blood pressure, epilepsy, fits and blackouts, fear of heights, giddiness or difficulty with balance, impaired limb function, alcohol or drug dependence, psychiatric illness, diabetes. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Select equipment for a rope access project. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The rope access equipment for a project is selected ensuring compatibility of components and the choice is explained with examples. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Operational specifications connectors, ropes, harnesses, webbing, hardware.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The use of dynamic equipment and fall arrest equipment is explained with examples of circumstances when each will be used. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The use of sit harnesses and full body harnesses are explained with examples of circumstances when each will be used. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The requirements for connectors are described using reference to safe equipment standards. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Explain requirements for equipment inspections and storage. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The inspection criteria for ropes, harnesses, webbing and hardware are explained based on industry and safety requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The frequency of equipment inspections are described focusing on usage, site, and legal requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The information required on equipment inspection forms are described with an example of completing an inspection forms for equipment being inspected. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The procedure for dealing with substandard ropes and equipment is described according to worksite procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The requirement for safe storage of equipment is described according to worksite and equipment storage standards. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Determine safe loads for rope access projects. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The difference between safe working loads, minimum breaking load and safety ratio is explained with examples of how they apply to personnel and equipment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The safety ratio for lifting gear is described by means of an example. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The safety ratio for ropes is described by means of an example. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Place anchors, rig ropes for work and rescue situations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Adequate safety margins are maintained during rigging by calculating safety factors as governed by lifting equipment regulations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The principles of angles of force in rigging are described, using 5 common angles and their effects on the forces at anchor points. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The minimum allowable strength of anchor attachments is explained to ensure safe loading. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The correct bolts are selected and placed considering the type and application of bolts, the surface, chemical bonding, and distances from edges in accordance with manufacturers instructions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    A safe worksite is rigged applying knowledge of safe working loads, advanced knots, pendulum effects and angles and angle loads. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The ways to protect ropes and action to take when sharp edges cannot be avoided are explained with four examples. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Any institution or provider offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard must be accredited by the relevant ETQA.
  • To assess competency, an assessor must be registered by the relevant ETQA as an assessor.
  • Internal and external Moderation of the assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines outlined in the relevant qualification and agreed ETQA procedures.
  • Assessors will need to be assessed as competent against the unit standard ID 229996 Rig working ropes, undertake rescues and perform a range of rope access tasks. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Embedded knowledge is reflected within the assessment criteria of each specific outcome.
  • Detailed knowledge of the relevant part of the Occupational Health and safety act (Act 85 of 1993).
  • Advanced rescues from rope systems.
  • Risk assessments for rope access work sites.
  • Angles and forces of loads used during rope access.
  • Equipment specifications. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems in which response displays that responsible decisions, using critical and creative thinking, have been made. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively by using mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentation. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Contribute to the full personal development of each learner and the social and economic development of the society at large by participating as a responsible citizen in the life of local, national and global communities. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Supplementary information - Terms and definitions used in this unit standard:
  • Ascender refers to a hand-held device, also called a jumar, which grips a rope when loaded in one direction but moves freely along the rope when loaded in the opposite direction.
  • Anchor point refers to a structure or point to which access ropes or slings are attached.
  • Back-up device refers to a rope adjustment device for a safety line which accompanies the user during changes of position or allows adjustment of the length of the safety line, and which locks automatically to the rope or only allows gradual movement along it, when a sudden load occurs.
  • Belay refers to a device or method used to fix a running rope round an intermediate anchor point, in order to secure the rope or to control its pay-out rate.
  • Chest ascender refers to an item similar to an ascender but without a handle it is usually attached by a rope access technician to his/her harness and used in conjunction with an ascender to ascend a fixed rope.
  • Cow's tail refers to pieces of dynamic rope generally 1m long that attach a rope access technician to a variety of different items of equipment or anchors. They are semi permanently fixed to the harness. There are usually 3 cow's tails in number.
  • Footloop refers to a sling with a loop at the end. The sling end is attached to a hand-held ascender and the loop end is used as a step-up device while ascending a fixed rope.
  • Descender refers to a device that utilises friction between itself and a rope to slow down the descent of a body or load down that rope, incorporating a "hands-free" self-locking device or stop.
  • Double protection refers to a protection system whereby the access technician attaches her/himself by two individual ropes or slings, to two individual and suitable suspension points.
  • Fall factor refers to the ratio of a potential fall distance divided by the length of the technician's restraining line. It is used as an indication of the relative impact forces which could be generated in a fall situation.
  • Gear loop refers to an attachment point on a harness, sole for the purpose of attaching equipment weighing less than 8 kg.
  • Harness refers to a webbing garment worn by rope access technicians that serves as an attachment point for items including but not limited to equipment, ropes, back-up slings. A sit harness and a chest harness are usually used in conjunction with one another.
  • Karabiner refers to a type of metal shackle or clip formed by a complete loop with a spring loaded entry gate which is safeguarded in the closed position by a screw-closed sleeve (a screw-gate karabiner).
  • Maillon refers to a type of metal shackle or clip in the form of a complete loop and closed by an internally threaded sleeve. Maillons are typically triangular or D-shaped.
  • Multiplier effect: as angles between slings increase, the forces at the anchor increases. The increase in force is minimal at lower angles but dramatic at higher angles.
  • PPE or (Personal protective equipment) refer to any device or appliance designed to be worn or held by an individual for protection against potential hazard.
  • Rope access; The use of rope techniques developed by mountaineering enthusiasts and adapted for industrial purposes for reasons of efficiency and cost. It is used to access and work in areas previously only accessed by conventional means.
  • Rigging refers to the organising and anchoring of the access and back-up ropes.
  • Sling refers to a piece of rope, tape or wire tied in a loop and used for a variety of purposes but normally to attach one load bearing article to another.
  • Static rope refers to a kern mantel rope which has a low stretch coefficient. It is not intended to absorb shock loads. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Elective  49081   National Certificate: Construction: Advanced Plant Operations  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Reregistered  2023-06-30  CETA 
    Elective  48889   Further Education and Training Certificate: Hiring Operations  Level 4  NQF Level 04  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SERVICES 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.