FAQs

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.

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 is ITRA governed and administered?
  • January 01, 2020

ITRA is now governed by a Board of Directors who were elected by the ITRA membership and who serve three-year terms. Previously, an interim Steering Committee was established to stand up 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 for the association.

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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 practices 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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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 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 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 certified instructors or registered 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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What rescue disciplines are you active in?
  • January 01, 2020

We currently have approved and deployed curricula for the following disciplines:

  • Rope
  • Swiftwater
  • Confined Space
  • Tactical
  • and structural collapse (USAR)

As part of our strategic plan we will be considering on-boarding additional subjects over the coming years.

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What certificates does 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” program 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.  Instructors must hold a Level 3 qualification in the appropriate discipline, submit an instructor portfolio, and undergo an assessment by an ITRA registered assessor. See more information on how to become an ITRA Instructor in the FAQ.

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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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 you are a world class operator.

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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.

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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What are the different membership categories? How do I join?
  • January 01, 2020

ITRA offers the following membership options:

Student Membership

  • No membership dues charged
  • No voting rights
  • Unable to serve on Board of Directors, Committees and Working Groups
  • Access to ITM including own profile and training records
  • Option to appear in ITRA online membership directory

Students are added to the ITM Training database by an ITRA Instructor when they take a course through ITRA. As an ITRA Student, you do have access to your own training record in ITM once you have completed a course and can also view/print any qualification certificates that you have earned.

Associate Membership

  • USD$25 per annum
  • No voting rights
  • Unable to serve on Board of Directors, Committees and Working Groups
  • Access to ITM including own profile and training records
  • Able to become organizational ITM administrator upon completion of online training (#100 and #372

Associate membership is reserved for those individuals who are affiliated with the industry and wish to become involved and/or are serving in an administrative position with a company or organization that provides training and are responsible for setting up training events and entering assessment data.  If you are a technician and/or wish to become an instructor, this is NOT the correct membership category for you (see Regular Membership below). 

Become an Associate Member here.

Regular Membership

  • USD$150 per annum
  • Has voting rights
  • Able to be considered for Board of Directors, Committees and Working Groups
  • Access to ITM including own profile and training records
  • Option to appear in ITRA online membership directory
  • Mandatory for ITRA Instructors

Become a Regular Member here.

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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.

Membership is based on a rolling 12-month period, which begins when your application is approved and payment is received. You will receive notification via email when your membership dues are due, and you can renew your membership using our online renewal form which uses Paypal/credit card. If you have any questions about when your membership is due, please contact the ITRA administrator at info@itra.international.

If you prefer to pay using bank wire transfer and/or be issued a formal invoice, please contact our customer service centrePlease note that if you choose to pay via wire transfer, a $50USD transaction fee is required in addition to membership dues.

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 (Regular members only)
  • Any insurance arranged via the Association may be void
  • Newsletter: You are unable to be sent or access our newsletter
  • ITM: You are unable access ITM and your QR code/training records/certificates are 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.

If my membership has been de-activated due to non-payment of dues, how long will it take to re-activate my membership if I pay my dues?

As soon as payment is received and processed, your record will be re-activated and you will be notified via email.

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I need help with my login or password
  • January 01, 2020

ITRA operates two web platforms – the ITM training database and the ITRA website. They may or may not use the same username, but may also have different passwords as they are independent of each other. Some members chose to change their passwords etc. to be the same for ease of remembering, while others do not for increased security.

Integrated Training Management (ITM) database

The first is ITM which is where current (Regular and Student) members can:

  • Update their personal details and photo
  • Print off their ITRA Record of Learning
  • Print off ITRA issued attendance-based certificates
  • Print off ITRA issued qualification certificates
  • Access documents, newsletters, application forms
  • Upload their own external qualifications for safe keeping
  • Register for events on ITM

If your membership has expired, you will not be able to access ITM even to reset your password. Renew your membership here.

To reset your ITM password click here if your ITRA membership is current.

ITRA Website 

Although most of the ITRA website is public-facing, only ITRA members (Regular and Student) are provided access to online courses that are available, as well as appearing in the member directory.

Appearing in the member directory is optional, and the default for each active member is set to “no”, so in order to appear in the directory, you must:

  • Log into ITM
  • Click on My Preferences
  • Under “Public Directory”, check the box for “show my details on the ITRA Public Directory”

It may take up to 24 hours to appear in the Directory after changing the permission.

To set up your log in to the website, the username should be the same as your ITM user name unless your ITM username contains special characters such as ‘ (i.e. O’Carroll).

To reset your website password click here.

Please do not contact the Association for password assistance unless you have tried the above options first as often self-resetting can offer the quickest solution. Please also ensure you are using a Windows OS computer using Chrome browser for best results. 

If you need password assistance, please contact HQ at info@itra.international.

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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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If I am currently a Level 2 in an ITRA discipline, how do I get to Level 3? Do I have to travel somewhere to take a Level 3 course first?
  • January 01, 2020

You are not required to attend a COURSE to get assessed.  If you are a current Level 2 ITRA technician, and you want to get assessed at Level 3, you can either have an assessor come to you and assess you on those skills, or you can come to them.  Or if you are not sure you have all the necessary skills mastered, you MAY take a Level 3 class and THEN assess.  It is totally up to you.    

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How do I become an ITRA Instructor?
  • January 01, 2020

To become an ITRA Instructor you will first need to hold the ITRA qualification through Level 3 for the appropriate discipline.  For example, if you wish to become an ITRA Rope Rescue Instructor, you will need to have a current qualification for Level 1 Rope Responder, Level 2 Rope Technician, and Level 3 Rope Advanced.

Note: as of January 2022, ITRA discontinued issuing Level 1 and Level 2 Instructor certifications for all disciplines.   Going forward, the certification is simply “Instructor” (no level).   

If you are a Level 1 or 2 Instructor right now, you have until December 31 2022, to a) get assessed as a level 3 technician and b) also get assessed as an Instructor. After this date, if you do not hold a current level 3 certification in your discipline, you cannot hold an instructorship for that discipline.  One reason for this change is that “Instructors” can now assess all students performing their technical LO’s.  The ITRA Board felt that an Instructor needs to be accomplished at the art of teaching and be skilled enough to recognize advanced mistakes. There are also some liability concerns with having people with only level 1 skills labeled as instructor. 

Application process

There are two paths to the application process which is either through non-direct entry which is for those that already possess ITRA qualifications in the disciplines they wish to deliver training in, or direct entry which is for those that do not hold any ITRA qualifications but may have transferable knowledge and skills from other previous training and operations that is comparable. The Working Groups will assess each application.

Non-direct entry

The following criteria applies to non-direct entry:

  • An applicant must hold a Level 3 ITRA qualification in the discipline they wish to deliver
  • The qualification must be in date
  • An assessment will be required in instructional delivery (as per ITRA Instructor Candidate Skill Form) by an ITRA Assessor
  • The assessment will be carried out typically over one or two days depending on the discipline
  • The cost of the Assessment will be at the applicant’s expense.

Direct entry

The following criteria applies to direct entry:

  • An applicant must hold a Level 3 ITRA qualification in the discipline wish to deliver so first must access an ITRA Direct Entry Level 3 Qualification
  • An assessment will be required in instructional delivery (as per ITRA Instructor Candidate Skill Form) by an ITRA Assessor
  • The assessment will be carried out typically over one or two days depending on the discipline
  • The cost of the Assessment and membership will be at the applicant’s expense.

Both non-direct and direct entry

For both entry paths, an adult learning or Instructor certificate is required under the following criteria:

  • Applicants must possess an adult learning/Instructional qualification
  • Applicants must evidence that they are active in their discipline(s) with regards to continual professional development, training or operations
  • Evidence should be validated by current experience.

Accepted adult learning evidence

There are many types of adult learning courses and certificates available in many countries which are too numerous to list. When evidence is submitted for the application, the relevant Working Group will assess it to ensure that the qualification is acceptable. In some cases, the qualification may be internal to an organization by policy and not a printed certificate.  The working group will have ultimate approval authority reference a candidate’s ability to teach adults.

Generally, the adult learning qualifications accepted will consist of the necessary components to deliver theory and practical training to adults. Components include roles and responsibilities as an educator, planning, communication, delivery methods, inclusive learning approaches, education and training resources.

Accepted Instructor qualification evidence

There are many types of Instructor qualifications available also. Examples include Instructor courses that may be specific to a discipline such as Fire Department Rope Rescue Instructor or general Instructor qualifications such as a military general instructor qualification that covers instruction in a wide variety of disciplines.

When evidence is submitted for the application, the relevant ITRA Working Group will assess it to ensure that the qualification is acceptable.

Generally, the Instructor qualifications accepted, are comparable with the adult learning qualification and will consist of the necessary components to deliver theory and practical training to adults.

References

Two references are required by the applicant.

The references should be:

  • Preferably from an ITRA Instructor or Assessor, or:
  • Other relevant Instructor/Assessor of a recognized organization/company.

The references should not be from:

  • Anyone related to the applicant (i.e., relative, co-worker, personal friend, etc.).

 

How to apply

Applicants who believe they have met the above requirement are to apply using the following process.

  • Complete the Instructor Application Portfolio and upload all the necessary documentation (instructions are contained within the online form)
  • Once the application has been received by ITRA, notification will be given that the application is being considered
  • On successful application, applicants should access an ITRA Assessor via the ITM
  • The applicant will then undergo an assessment in instructional delivery in the discipline in which they wish to be an instructor
  • On successful completion of the above, links of ITRA Instructor training material will then be sent to the applicant for them to complete
  • Once the above is complete, they will then be approved signed off by the relevant ITRA Working Group
  • If the applicant is not yet a Regular Member, a membership application must be submitted and the fee paid (currently $150 USD)
  • Note: Applicants may have to abide by other conditions as set by ITRA, which may change from time to time. This may include mandatory administrative updates which are typically delivered virtually/online.

Once all of the above is completed, and the paperwork/results have been submitted to HQ, the certification will be processed by ITRA administration, training records will be updated, certificate(s) issued, and the candidate will be notified via email.

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How do I maintain/get re-qualified as an ITRA instructor?
  • January 01, 2020

You must first be current in Level 3 of your discipline(s).  If you are, then to requalify as an Instructor, you just need to be assessed by a Registered Assessor for the instructor skills.  There are only 3 LO’s you have to do…teach a classroom block, teach a hands on block with a demo, and assess a mock student performing a level 1, 2,or 3 skill.  Depending on how many people you have in one location who need to requalify, it might make more sense to bring an assessor to you.    Or you can contact a Registered Assessor (you can find a list in the online directory) and see  what they have scheduled and where they will be, and you can go to their location for your requalification.

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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 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 enrollments, joining instructions, reminders, course information, learner results and more. Certificates can also be downloaded and/or printed by students on demand with no additional fees.

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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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How do I get assessed?
  • January 01, 2020

So you want to earn an ITRA qualification but don’t know where to start?  This FAQ has the process outlined in detail to help you succeed and join the global elite who also hold ITRA competency and independently assessed qualifications.

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

Once you have been successfully assessed by an ITRA Instructor or Assessor for one of our qualifications, make sure that you also 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 signed copy of your result.

The instructor or assessor is then responsible to report the result to ITRA via an online Assessment Result Submission Form, as well as enter the attendance data and objective deliveries via the ITM platform.  The instructor or assessor is also responsible for paying ITRA the assessment fees that are due.

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How do I become a Registered Assessor?
  • January 01, 2020

To become a registered ITRA Assessor:

Assessors are appointed by ITRA after undergoing a structured process that requires them to show evidence of experience, qualifications and competency in the areas they wish to assess in. ITRA Assessors are those that are responsible for assessing ITRA Instructors.

The primary role of the assessor is to ensure that each Instructor demonstrates performance of the required competencies in a safe, effective, and professional manner and, in accordance with ITRA systems and standards. Once appointed, assessors may conduct assessment on behalf of ITRA in accordance with the criteria as laid out in this document.

Application process

The following principles apply to the appointment of an Assessor:

  • Applicants must provide relevant and current evidence of experience, qualifications and competency along with two references
  • The Assessor pathway is based on being a current Level 3 & ITRA Instructor
  • Assessors will qualify by means of physically demonstrating (to a current ITRA Instructor/Assessor) an assessment of a student or students
  • This may be facilitated at the same time as Instructor re-qualification
  • The Instructor/Assessor Candidate Skill Sheet is used to record the assessment
  • Assessors must maintain competency (by being a current ITRA Instructor) and access any ITRA updates or training (such as online learning)
  • Those ITRA Assessors currently on the system will remain in that status providing they are current in their chosen discipline at Level 3 and are current Instructors.

The Training and Standards Committee, composed of representatives from the Board of Directors and Working Groups will assess each application.

References

Two references are required by the applicant.

The references should be:

  • Preferably from an ITRA Instructor or Assessor, or:
  • Other relevant Instructor/Assessor of a recognized organization/company.

The references should not be from:

  • Anyone related to the applicant.

 

 How to apply

Applicants who believe they have met the above requirement are to apply using the following process.

The process for applying is as follows:

  • Complete the Assessor online application form and attach all the necessary documentation (instructions are contained within the form)
  • Once the application has been received by ITRA, notification will be given that the application is being considered
  • Links of ITRA Assessor material will be sent to the applicant for them to complete
  • The practical assessment may be facilitated at the same time as the applicants Instructor re-qualification
  • Note: Applicants may have to abide by other conditions as set by ITRA, which may change from time to time. This may include mandatory administrative updates which are typically delivered virtually/online.

 

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