What is CE anyway? Is it an abbreviation of the French phrase “Conformité Européene” which literally means “European Conformity” as in our climbing gear? Does CE mean “Common Era”?.. As in the Year AD 1 (Anno Domini)? Oh wait!!!! How about CE as “continued education”? This might really sound lame, but if you are getting my point here… CE has many meanings and rarely the same for everyone.
So long about early 2017, the concept of creating some sort of logged hours for our members began to take shape. We knew organizations and other “bodies” were doing good job at collectively keeping their members “up to speed” with what they deemed “appropriate” education. However, what happens with the education process someone requires something other than “in-house” training? What happens when the education process requires (or should include) learning from other corners of technical rigging and rescue arenas and there is no “conformity standard” to go along with it? For matter, what the heck is a conformity standard if you are looking for answers outside of your own 4 walls? Well, this is the question I had for my team.
Educational requirements are certainly varied among our industry, to such a degree that some circles don’t actually require it (at all). However, we live in a world of cross-pollination and education is part of that. Beside our phone, what is The most used appliance in our lives… maybe you guessed it!… Your microwave. You can thank NASA for that one. Space exploration benefits a fast food lifestyle. Well, so goes with our rigging skills and requirements. Can it be said, we too would go to the ends of the earth to grow and benefit our lives and the lives of others?
As you observed in our attached video… Rich Hattier (ISC Wales) delivers one thought actively being carried out in the field of “rope access”. A few years ago, rope access was only an industrial microcosm of “working at height”. Guys and gals have been climbing trees and doing work for decades and often at elevated platforms… Certainly this would/should be considered “working at height” as well. It is getting closer, but there are old guards who don’t want this to happen… And it isn’t happening from people you’d think would be complaining (a story for another time).
The long and short of it is that we determined to build a “continued education” process for not just the individual members but also for the many fire service organizations and government agencies across North America and many parts of planet now. Continued Education isn’t about hours accumulated, but rather a source of understanding. So we have brought to our brothers and sisters in the “rigging and rescue” world… a place to hang-out and learn from each other AND… gain some much needed oil and lubrication for teams really needing to get a bead on their teams progress and being able to forecast where things are going in the future.
Below is an example of a cross-sectional matrix of what a roadmap could look like for a team of rescuers. While not clearly defined in the image, industries like fire service, arbor, slacklining, mountain rescue, climbing, industrial rope access, classroom physics, tower industry, marine and many others… Try pulling all this together under the hat of say NFPA? You can’t and I would actually say… you shouldn’t. Why? Because organizations and people need elements of control to maintain continuity and health. However, ignoring the work of others erodes this health too. So, here we are. You in-house Research and Development team partners.
So where do we go from here? Well, I am not completely sure at this point. Reason being isn’t that we don’t have a great plan… we just are sure how the rigging community wants to employ the work of others into their own “savings account” and continue too invest into it. It could be said it is a lot like investing into other currencies, except that investing into these currencies actually build the value of your own. See, this savings account or investment portfolio pays huge dividends without waiting years for your return on investment (ROI). The return is immediate.
We are developing not just a platform that keeps track of your hours and courses completed… with a Certification of Completion application, but also developing an entire Group/Community Corner so teams can talk amongst themselves or be a part of a larger conversation with others. By the way… any Certification of Completion simply certifies you have successfully completed your course…
Many agencies and or organizations have what is know as Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)… There are other who have protocols and these might be known as JPRs (Job Performance Requirements). You fire department guys would know this through the NFPA 1670 and 1006 process. It would be up to the AHJ (the person in charge) to determine what is and or isn’t included in the CE process. I know this a lot to take in, but all good things take time simmer, process and redefine. We are in this for the long haul and working this for you guys is well worth the effort.
Thanks for being a part of the dreams and vision of an old guy trying to stay young for as long as possible.
As always… rig safely and once the foundations are understood… be creative!
Peace on your days…
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