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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Supervise rope access teams and perform advanced manoeuvres and rescues 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
230001  Supervise rope access teams and perform advanced manoeuvres and rescues 
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:
  • Performing advanced rope access manoeuvres.
  • Performing advanced rescues from any position.
  • Organising worksite in accordance with legal and safety requirements.
  • Organising work sites and work projects.
  • Supervising rope access work teams.

    The practice in the industry is that for someone to function as a supervisor in a rope access operation, the learner must:
  • 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 her/him from working safely as specified in the range statement.
  • Be physically fit to be able to perform all the tasks required in this standard.
  • Be at least 21 years old as.
  • Be current competence in first aid and in performing Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
  • 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. 

  • 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 2 or equivalent.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 2 or equivalent.
  • A second language to assist with communication during rescue.
  • Unit standard - Rig working ropes, undertake take rescues and perform rope access tasks. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
  • The scope of this unit standard 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, 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.
  • The level assigned to this unit standard is appropriate because the process is varied in range and is not repetitive. Generation of new ideas is not needed but the learner needs to adapt to new situations. The learner has some responsibility for the learning of others. The person is responsible for supervision, safety and for rescue of others and complete management of work projects.

    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 accesses 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 accesses 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.
  • 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 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 
    Perform advanced rope access manoeuvres. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    A full range of advanced rope access manoeuvres are performed according to industry requirements. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Advanced 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.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Aerial tramways/cable ways/ pulley systems are used according to the suitable situation and safety practices. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The use of direct belay techniques or running ropes is demonstrated following safe practices. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The precautions during lead climbing and traversing are described according to safety practices and requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Monitoring the safety practices of the team under the learner's supervision, is demonstrated descender, connectors, and back-up devices). 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Monitoring of use of the double rope protection system at all times, correct use thereof.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The adaptation of long and short rope transfer techniques and other rope access techniques are explained for a variety of work environments and situations with examples. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Perform advanced rescues from any position. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Simple rescues or lowering techniques are preformed demonstrating safe practices and good casualty management. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Rescues, using lowering and hauling systems, are performed demonstrating safe practices and good casualty management. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Advanced rescues are performed demonstrating safe practices and good casualty management including rescues from a traverse, a loop, a cableway, and during lead climbing. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    A stretcher rescue is performed demonstrating good casualty management. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    A rescue situation is supervised ensuring that safe practices are followed by the team. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The appropriate use of the various types of rescues is explained with examples of each. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Organise worksite in accordance with legal and safety requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Appropriate clothing and Personal Protective Equipment for a specific task are selected according to worksite and job requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Hazards that could affect equipment and a safe work environment are named and four examples are given of how to deal with each hazard. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The external factors that can affect the team's safety are explained with four examples. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The safety precautions taken when working in confined spaces, when transporting loose equipment exceeding the weight limit, and to protect the public are described according to worksite. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The reporting of a safety incident is explained in accordance with Occupational Health and Safety Act. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    All documents that cover legal, safety requirements of rope access work are named and the content described giving an overview of main points. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Organise work sites and work projects. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    A risk assessment and rescue plan for a specific worksite is prepared considering hazards to health and safety and daily reassessment of hazards at the worksite and of a rigged system. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Hazards and conditions for which permits may be required, are given and the reasons for getting permits explained with examples. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The purpose and method for obtaining official clearance for a worksite before access work starts, is explained according to worksite procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    An operations plan/procedure for a specific worksite is developed including all the required information, and is communicated with team members covering all points. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    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.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The purpose and various methods for setting up an exclusion zone are explained with examples applicable to various worksites. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The requirements for organising of a worksite are explained based on the site, the experience of the team and work conditions and presence of the public. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    The documents and records that need to be kept for each work project are explained based on rope access guidelines and legal requirements. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Supervise rope access work teams. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The structure of a rope access work team is motivated and the responsibilities of a supervisor explained according to worksite requirements or operations plan. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The checks to be performed on all team members before access work can start are described ensuring safety of the rope system and the work team. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    A communication system is established and communicated with a work team and the purpose explained with examples of the consequences of poor communication. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The orientation of a work team on a new worksite or task is explained considering the operations plan and risk assessment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The precautions to be taken when newly qualified technicians are on the team, are described according to safe practices and worksite requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    The factors that determine rest periods are described with five examples of the effect on the work team. 


    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.
  • Assessment tools recommended are written or verbal assessment and a practical assessment.
  • Questions and answers must determine the theoretical knowledge An Oral examination is suggested to assess knowledge Reporting skills are demonstrated by effective communication that may be verbal or any other agreed upon method.
  • A practical demonstration of competencies is required in this unit standard Direct observation to take place in simulated conditions Simulated conditions are recommended as the workplace often does not lend itself to the range of situations required for assessment, and the learner first needs to be deemed competent before being allowed to perform manouevres on a worksite.
  • 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 standards 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. The assessor should be familiar with the following subject matter:
  • 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 by assessing worksites and conditions that can affect the rest periods of work terms. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively, evident in preparing operational plans and selecting and managing work teams. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively evident in communication the operational plans to work teams and reporting safety incidents. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively utilising rope access equipment. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Contribute to the full personal development of each learner by participating as a responsible citizen evident in performing rescues. 

    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.