In an effort to prevent fraud and require mandatory tower climber retraining, ComTrain, one of the industry’s largest tower training companies, has announced that its new certification cards will expire after two years following their issue. In addition, all new cards will have the holder’s photo to further authenticate it.
According to ComTrain President Zane Windham, after conducting surveys at last year’s NATE conference as well as in-house instructor re-certification studies, in addition to talking to 100s of climbers and company safety directors, “It was clear that the industry believes there should be expiration dates on climber certifications so that retraining is mandatory.”
There are no legal requirements for retraining every two years, but it is encouraged by the National Association of Tower Erectors and safety professionals. ComTrain joins other training companies that have been putting a two-year expiration date on their authorized climber training. Some companies will provide a one-year expiration for their rescue training.
Whereas previous ComTrain certifications only had the date on which the climber graduated, cards issued after Jan. 1, 2015 will now provide an expiration date of two years from their issuance.
For cardholders without an expiration date, Windham said that they don’t technically expire.
He said that if the climber’s company or their client’s policy allows certifications that are more than two years old then they can still carry their card.
The company’s web site states, “ComTrain suggests that you retrain and certify all climbers with certs more than two years old since ‘the industry’ may consider all certs expired based on the new expiration rule. We will no longer replace certificates with a training date older than two years but will provide letters of certification.”
The addition of photos to all certifications will help curb the use of fraudulent climber cards which turn up all too often on job sites around the country, according to Windham. Climbers are using what we call ‘Fake ID Cards’ as proof of their training and certification. The picture on the card will make it easier to spot a card that does not belong to the climber using it.”