IPSQA 3010:2022

Standard for Public Safety Qualification: Tactical Rope Operator

Standard: 3010

Version: 2022

Level: 4

Credit: 20

Subject Area: Rope

Awarding Qualification: IPSQA Certificate in Public Safety (Tactical Rope Operator)

Awarding Postnominal: CertPubS®(TRO)

Graduate Profile

Graduates of this certification are able, as part of a small team, rig and operate rope systems and perform tactical functions at height. 

Knowledge Outcomes

K1. Recognise tactical rope operation hazards and identify suitable risk management controls.

K2. Identify equipment used for tactical rope operation and describe their use.

Range: tactical ropes, tactical harnesses, tactical descender (mechanical), micro-rope systems, connectors. 

K3. Recognise hand, voice and whistle signals used in tactical rope operations. 

K4. Demonstrate knowledge of rope physics. 

Range: Vector forces, whiteboard analysis, system safety factor. 

Skill Outcomes

S1. Demonstrate tying of knots used for tactical rope operations. 

Range: Figure of eight rethreaded, figure of eight bend, double fisherman’s, tape/water knot, classic 3 wrap prussik hitch, alpine butterfly. 

S2. Construct simple load-sharing anchors.

Range: tensionless hitch, wrap 3-pull 2, 3 bend. 

S3. Construct and operate edge-restraint system.

S4. Rig belay and main, or twin tension rope system for tactical access training.

Range: control devices, two rope system, edge-protection, contingency anchor. 

S5. Perform safety check on tactical rope systems.

Range: May include, but not limited to touch check, buddy check. 

 S6. Operate tactical rope rescue system.

Range: rappel, inverted rappel, lower, micro-rope system/bail out kit, self-belay, ground belay. 

S7. Perform tactical rope functions at height.

Range: Window entry and a minimum of two: weapon management, deployment of canine, secure offender or suicidal person. 

S8. Perform emergency action drills to resolve compromised tactical rope operator. 

Range: May include, but not limited to lower/raise of operator, self-rescue, unresponsive operator. 

S11. Inspect and maintain rope rescue equipment following tactical rope operations. 

Range: visual inspection, cleaning, drying, documentation. 

Professional Requirements

P1. Verified logged experience as tactical rope operator with at 10 operational and/or training activities.

P2. Verified logged descents as tactical rope operator greater than 5 operational and/or training activities. 

Range: minimum 20 descents with height greater than 50 metres, mechanical descender. 

P3. Verified logged experience as tactical rope operator at 5 different locations. 


Minor (O): the assessment shall end upon three or more the following minor discrepancies made by the candidate.  

O1. Poor or slow technique that may lead to safety issue

O2. Bunching, tangles or marginal slack in rope

O3. Excessive time to perform task

O4. Incorrect or poor use of equipment

O5. Fails to wear helmet in warm zone

O6. Equipment left behind

O7. Equipment dropped not causing injury

O8. Uncontrolled movement of load – minor

O9. Helmet not secure in hot zone (i.e. unfastened chin strap)

O10. Fails to interpret commands specified in briefing 

O11. Equipment used against manufacturer caution notice. 

Major (X): the assessment shall end upon any of the following major discrepancies made by the candidate.  

X1. Excessive time taken to complete task

X2. Task not completed

X3. Excessive slack in edge-restraint when in warm zone

X4. Control device not tested prior to use

X5. Uncontrolled movement of load – major 

X6. Action or inaction that causes or likely to cause injury

X7. Inadequate edge-protection where unprotected edge is a hazard

X8. Equipment used against manufacturer warning notice

X9. Candidate instructed to stop by Assessor due to medical concern. 

X10. Breach of IPSQA Code of Conduct. 

X11. Breach of safe weapon practices. 

X12. Breach of animal welfare where canine used. 

Special Notes

N1. Skill and knowledge performance must be consistent to approved industry references.

N2. This standard shall be assessed in a vertical environment (>60 degree incline or vertical). 

N3. Assessment of this standard shall be performed with second rope (twin rope or main/belay system) or single rope where a suitable fall matt is used, except for operational occurrences used for evidence for the professional requirements of the standard where single rope technique may be used if accepted under local procedures.  

N4. The English version of this standard takes precedence over any translated version.

N5. Special policies may apply to the moderation of assessment evidence for this standard, if required for national security reasons. 

Recertification Requirements

3 yearly


Approved on 16 June 2022 by the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Certification Commission10