We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you understand what is ITRA is
doing and how you benefit from being involved.

How do I renew my membership?
  • January 01, 2020

As the world’s only trade association for technical rescue, we rely on the support of members such as yourself.

We encourage you to renew your membership using our online renewal form which uses Paypal/credit card.

If you prefer to pay using bank wire transfer and/or be issued a formal invoice, please contact our customer service centre.

If your membership has expired:

  • Instructors/Assessors: You are unable to instruct or assess under ITRA or be listed on our directory.
  • Officers/Working Group Members: You are unable to hold office for the association including our working groups
  • Voting: You are no longer eligible to vote or be engaged on matters of consultation
  • Newsletter: You are unable to be sent or access our newsletter
  • ITM: You are unable access ITM and your QR code has been de-activated.
  • You are unable to enjoy other benefits as your membership level permitted.

Do you collect arrears?

No. Your renewal is effective on the day you renew with no arrears.

Can I backdate courses I have instructed for when I was inactive?

No. For example, if your membership expired in January, and you did not renew your membership until March, then you are not a member during that inactive time and not entitled to member benefits, including providing ITRA recorded courses or assessments if you are qualified to do so.


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What is ITRA?
  • January 01, 2020

The International Technical Rescue Association is a non-profit trade association, established by technical rescue practitioners for technical rescue practitioners. We exist to provide global recognition of technical rescue practitioners including instructors. We have developed a global syllabus to compliment national standards, allowing local flexibility with global recognition.

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How do I become an ITRA Instructor (or upgrade)?
  • January 01, 2020

To become an ITRA Instructor you will need to hold the ITRA qualification at the level above you seek appointment, in that subject.

You typically, will start off as a Level 1 Instructor after meeting the following requirements:

  • Hold a current ITRA Level 2 qualification in the subject you are seeking to become an instructor in
  • Hold a a current ITRA Regular Membership
  • Be signed off by two ITRA instructors using the Instructor Candidate Skill Sheet (for subject/level sought)
  • Provide a logbook showing your instructing experience (ideally under an ITRA Instructor)
  • Undertaken an instructor mentoring programme or workshop (recommended)
  • Provide a rescue focused resume/curriculum vitae
  • Holding an adult education/learning qualification is recommended (but not mandatory)
  • Be highly familiar with the ITRA Instructor Manual
  • Be ready for an online video interview by an application review panel
  • Submit additional supporting evidence such as photos and videos of your training (recommended)
  • Complete ITRA learning objectives ITRA-100 and ITRA-372 (which can be done online).

To view the instructor pathway including further details and a copy of the Instructor Candidate Skill Sheet, visit the ITM Instructor Candidate folder under documents (you must have an ITRA membership first.

ITRA does not provide instant instructor courses. From 2020, new instructor applications are reviewed by a panel of experts based on the submission of a portfolio.

For instructors wanting to upgrade from being a Level 1 Instructor, please visit ITM for further information. 

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What about Instructor cross credit?
  • January 01, 2020

We currently do not have any cross credit scheme for instructors externally certified to ITRA. 

When we release new subjects (rescue disciplines), we provide a transitional period of normally 6 months to allow those with significant instructing experience and non-ITRA certifications to be cross credited as an ITRA Instructor for the new subject.

In 2019, we offered a cross credit for rope and swiftwater instructors, however this offer ceased on 31 December 2019 and new applicants now have to follow our normal instructor appointment procedure. We have also closed off cross credit applications from USAR, Animal and/or Confined Space Rescue Instructors as of 31 March 2020.



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How do I become an Assessor or Instructor Trainer?
  • January 01, 2020

To become a registered ITRA Assessor, you must hold a current ITRA Instructor qualification, complete the ITRA Assessor Course and meet other conditions set by the Board.

ITRA does not have Instructor Trainers as instructor application portfolios are evaluated by a panel of experts for that subject (generally the respective ITRA working group). Submitted portfolios need to demonstrate the instructor candidate has sufficient experience, qualifications and credibility to become appointed as an ITRA Instructor.

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What happens after I get assessed?
  • January 01, 2020

Once you have been successfully assessed by an ITRA Assessor for one of our qualifications, you should have signed the skill assessment result form to confirm the assessment outcome.

From there, you will either be provided a copy of this form, or invited to take a photo (i.e. on your phone) of it. This provides your interim proof of your assessment result. Make sure you leave with a copy of your result.

The assessor then has 7 days to report the result to ITRA and pay the associated fee/s.

Once the results are received, the cohorts forms are checked to ensure they are completed correctly and any other documentation requirements have been met by the assessor. If such requirements are not met, the cohort’s assessment results are held until the matter is resolved.

Within 7 days providing the result reporting has met ITRA requirements, the qualification achievement will be recorded on the candidate’s ITRA Record of Learning. You may then also apply for an official printed certificate as well as qualification patches from our website or ITM.

If you have been waiting more than 7 days for your results to be officially added to your Record of Learning, please contact your assessor in the first instance. If you have no response or are unsatisfied with their response after this time, then contact us.

If you already held the qualification but was assessed as “Not Yet Competent” (failed) and you are within the expiration date of that qualification, a “restricted operator notice” flag is added to your ITRA Record of Learning to disclose the result and employers/clients can make their own determination based on such disclosure.

If you wish to appeal your assessment result, you have 14 days from the assessment date to do so by contacting us.


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Is ITRA a training provider?
  • January 01, 2020

ITRA does not provide courses directly. We appoint instructors who operate to international best practice as established through our training system. We ensure instructors are kept current and are accountable to a code of conduct (and our instructor handbook). This external oversight ensures external quality assurance of instructors to give clients and the community confidence. We provide a calendar of public courses and an instructor directory to help you connect with our instructors.

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What are the benefits of joining ITRA?
  • January 01, 2020

As a member of ITRA you become part of a collaborative and supportive worldwide trade association that can provide instruction and assessment against global certifications across a range of disciplines and levels. It demonstrates that you are committed to excellence and high standards set by our Code of Conduct, providing external credibility and accountability. Members also have access to TechSafe, our global safety incident and alerting database to ensure our sector is proactive in safety management. Membership also provides opportunities to be involved in a range of association projects, from governance on the Board, to serving on committees and working groups. We also envision numerous national and international opportunities from exchanges and conferences becoming part of the future too.

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Where can I read the ITRA technical rescue curricula?
  • January 01, 2020

You will find that our technical rescue curricula is publicly available from our resources page. This document outlines ITRA, our training system, graduate profiles for each qualification and the teaching points within each.

Visit our resources section for the current version of our qualifications.

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I am a rescue technician, not an instructor. Is ITRA right for me?
  • January 01, 2020

ITRA is not all about instructors. We have developed three tiers across our range of practitioner qualifications: Level 1 Responder, Level 2 Technician, and Level 3 Advanced. Instructors must be qualified to at least one level above the one they wish to teach (with Level 3 Instructors appointed by the Board or delegated authority), as well as meet other requirements for instructing. Traditionally, many national teaching systems have been based on attendance – being assessed to become an ITRA practitioner (i.e. Rope 1, Swiftwater 1, etc.) demonstrates that you are a competent practitioner, not just that you completed the course. Being a certified practitioner also requires that you abide by the ITRA Code of Conduct and re-certify every three years. An ITRA practitioner qualification shows your stakeholders are a world class operator.

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We already have a local standard, why do we need ITRA?
  • January 01, 2020

The ITRA training system is unique, as it is made up of “Instruction” and “Assessment”. Instructors can teach any of the learning objectives within their level of instructor qualification and record such student attendance on our database. This allows instructors to teach just one teaching point, through to 300 teaching points on a course (naturally 300 teaching points would take some weeks) so there are no more ‘cookie cutter’ courses.

However, if you have an existing local standard or standardized course, instructors simply instruct the relevant teaching points aligned to that standard or standardized course. ITRA does provide “Introductory” Certificates, which can be issued to students who have attended/participated in all the learning objectives contained within a qualification, but have not been formally assessed for competency. Such introductory certificates are available to members (i.e. student member) and a fee is payable for the issue of the certificate. Such certificates have a QR code so they can be easily verified.

Students who are ready for competency-based assessment against all the teaching points within a certification (i.e. ITRA Swiftwater 1) are evaluated by assessors, and the candidate must satisfactorily pass all teaching points to be awarded the certification. This approach means that if someone completes a DEFRA (UK)course and the associated teaching points are recorded, then the same individual goes to the USA and wants to gain  NFPA recognition, any gap training can be quickly identified – making learning globally portable.

Additionally, it is common in vocational competency frameworks that assessors only need to hold the standard they wish to teach and assess. In many cases, stakeholders have lost confidence in the competence of graduates of such standards. The ITRA system also provides for instructor certification, including the external revalidation of such persons and a code of conduct which often does not exist for vocational competency framework trainers.



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Do you restrict the number of instructors in an area?
  • January 01, 2020

No. We take an inclusive approach and encourage all technical rescue practitioners and instructors to be part of ITRA.

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Do I need to purchase student packets?
  • January 01, 2020

As an instructor, you are always wearing an ITRA hat. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay for any student licensing or packets. Our focus is on quality instructors, not student materials. With this, some instructors may find it useful to purchase student manuals or field guides from various sources.

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I have more than 10 instructors in my organization, is there a membership discount?
  • January 01, 2020

Yes! We offer organizational membership tiers, that have a range of benefits.

ITRA organizational membership tiers

Simply contact us and we can arrange a bulk invoice and work directly with you for getting documentation for each of your instructors (as opposed to using the Wufoo form).

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Do you offer insurance for Instructors?
  • January 01, 2020

Yes! We now offer Instructor Insurance.

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What certificates do ITRA offer?
  • January 01, 2020

We have four types of certificates that are issued by the association.

The first is an “attendance” certificate, which confirms the student has attended a specific event with one of our instructors. This may range from a 1 hour session to a multi-day workshop. The course title is given by the instructor. Some instructors also choose to provide their own branded certificates for their courses instead.

The next is an “introductory” programme certificate, meaning the student has attended/participated in all the learning objectives for an ITRA qualification, but has not been assessed for competency. This certificate is issued by the association to members upon payment of a fee. This may require the student to attend multiple courses in order to be eligible for its award. An example would be the ITRA “Introduction to Rope Responder”.

The third is our practitioner “qualification” certificate, meaning the student has been formally assessed for competency against the respective ITRA qualification. They are required to revalidate this every three years to maintain currency and must also continue to be a member of the association.  An example would be the ITRA “Level 2 Rope Technician” qualification.

Lastly, we have an “appointment” certificate for our instructors. The ITRA Board, through the Training & Standards Committee appoints instructors at various levels and disciplines.

All the above certificates have a QR code to enable real-time verification, noting that “course’ and “introductory” certificates require the student to be a current member of the association to activate the QR code record.

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As an instructor, do I have to document all my courses?
  • January 01, 2020

Instructors are not mandated to enter every student they teach into the database, but we do recommend it as it does not cost anything for instructors to add such achievements to a student’s record. By entering your courses into our ITM database, the student then can be given a copy of their ROL – record of learning (transcript) which the learning objectives taught (not assessed for competency). The ROL contains a QR code so that the record can be validated in real-time, however they will need to activate the QR code through becoming a student member with ITRA.

Instructors can add as many students and their teaching point completions as they want as part of their annual membership fee. This means it does not cost anything apart from the instructor’s time (and an annual membership fee) to record even internal training, making the ITRA system attractive for agency instructors and those in organizations with less resources.

Our new ITM database makes course administration a breeze, so for many instructors access to such a system is a significant benefit of being with ITRA. ITM can manage public enrolments, joining instructions, reminders, course information, learner results and more. A small fee is charged if instructors want ITM to issue an ITRA attendance certificate (PDF) which also can be electronically signed – making courses entirely paperless and able to be done on a tablet where ever there is internet coverage.

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What rescue disciplines are you active in?
  • January 01, 2020

We already have approved curricula for rope, swiftwater, confined space, tactical, structural collapse (USAR) and companion animal rescue.

We currently have working groups drafting up large animal and ice curricula, which will be available for member consultation in early 2020. We also are looking into working groups for trench and extrication in due course, once we have the appropriate number of Subject Matter Experts to assist in this process. Our working groups are truly global to ensure ITRA remains internationally relevant and supported. If you are a subject matter expert in these areas, we welcome you to join and let us know of your interest to help.

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I am an instructor but not qualified with ACA or RQ3, can I be an instructor with ITRA?
  • January 01, 2020

At this stage, we are providing a fast-track for existing ACA or RQ3 instructors to be certified with ITRA. However, such certification is only valid for three years and will require full assessment to re-certify (i.e. fast-track is not available for ITRA instructor recertification and only available for a limited time too). If you have other instructor qualifications and extensive experience with references and formal credentials (i.e. IRATA Trainer, Foundation Degree in Technical Rescue etc), we will consider on a case-by-case basis to provide a fast-track option. In such cases, further evidence, such as video footage, may be required and special conditions imposed. If you have been instructing with no external qualifications, we suggest you wait until open entry instructor assessment becomes available in the future. The administrative process ends 31 December 2019 for cross crediting instructor qualifications. 

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I am not an instructor, can I still join?
  • January 01, 2020

Whether you are just starting out in technical rescue, or the department’s non-operational training administrator or safety coordinator, we have membership options to help keep you connected.

  • Student member
  • Associate member
  • Regular member
  • Fellow member (not currently available)


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How is ITRA governed and administered?
  • January 01, 2020

ITRA is now governed by a Board of Directors who were seated in 2019. Previously, an interim Steering Committee established the association and provided initial governance.

We are fortunate to have the support of MMCo, an association management company based in Wayne, PA, USA and have engaged them to provide operating and administrative services the association.

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