Industry | Telecommunications

Basic Tower Climbing and Rescue (12 Months)


The Mast and Tower Safety (MATS): Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue scheme is designed to support the safety of those individuals who work on towers and masts in the telecommunications and broadcast industry.

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About the Scheme

The Mast and Tower Safety (MATS): Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue provides a framework to support consistency and relevance in training provision and assessment of competence.

Developed in collaboration with the industry “Mast and Tower Safety Group”, the scheme was launched on 01 January 2020 and recognises the skills and underpinning knowledge required to safely and competently climb and undertake rescues from towers and masts. This scheme covers the minimum training and assessment required for those working safely on masts and towers and incorporates the relevant requirements of HSE legislation.

The MATS Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue scheme consists of two parts:

  1. Initial Programme

This is designed for use with first time climbers and offers an introduction to basic tower climbing and rescue.  It is delivered over 3 consecutive days where both knowledge and practical elements are assessed and consists of the following:

  • Understanding legislation and safety standards
  • Assessing risk
  • Managing common hazards
  • Using harnesses
  • Using fall arrest lanyards
  • Selecting appropriate anchor points
  • Using fixed fall arrest systems
  • Using work positioning lanyards
  • Using additional fall prevention equipment
  • Developing rescue plans
  • Inspecting rescue equipment
  • Managing suspension syncope
  • Selecting rescue techniques
  • Using knots and “off-weighting” techniques
  • Demonstrating climbing techniques
  • Carrying out a rescue
  1. Renewal Programme

This is designed for individuals wishing to update and renew their registration. It is a 1-day programme which includes a practical demonstration of climbing and rescue competence. This renewal programme includes:

  • Understanding legislation and safety standards
  • Inspecting and fitting Personal Fall Protection Equipment (PFPE)
  • Using fall arrest lanyards
  • Selecting appropriate anchor points
  • Using fixed fall arrest systems
  • Using work positioning lanyards
  • Using additional fall prevention equipment
  • Developing rescue plans
  • Managing suspension syncope
  • Selecting rescue techniques
  • Using “off-weighting” techniques
  • Demonstrating climbing techniques
  • Carrying out a rescue

Working at height medical requirements

Medicals should be undertaken prior to any climber training or activities to ensure fitness to climb.

Medicals are required to:

  • Highlight medical problems early
  • Minimise the risk of sudden incapacity and need of rescue
  • Encourage employees to seek medical support to compensate for relevant medical conditions
  • Provide consistency in assessment

They should be repeated at regular intervals based on age to ensure that there is a continuing assessment of both health and fitness to climb. The usual approach is:

  • Under 40 – every 5 years plus a surveillance questionnaire in intervening years
  • Between 40-49 – every 2 years plus a surveillance questionnaire in intervening years
  • 50 or over – annually

Individuals will be required to declare by signature, at the start of both the initial and renewal programmes, that they have undertaken and passed a suitable fitness assessment/ medical for climbing and working at heights in accordance with MATS Group Guidance GN-005 Medical Requirements for Climbing Masts & Towers. This guidance note sets out the minimum standard and employers may choose to ask its employees to undertake more frequent fitness assessments/ medicals for climbing at height.


EUSR Registration

The following EUSR registration category is available for this scheme:

  • Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue

The EUSR registration card will reflect the category.

EUSR Registration is based on successful completion of an Energy & Utility Skills approved training programme and assessment delivered through a network of Energy & Utility Skills approved providers.

EUSR registration for the Basic Tower Climbing & Rescue scheme is for 1 year from the date of assessment.


EUSR Registration Renewal

Registration renewal on EUSR is required after 1 year and is dependent upon you being able to demonstrate continued competence evidenced through the completion of the 1-day annual renewal programme.


Find Out More

If you are a provider and would like to deliver this scheme, please see our guidance in the Approval and Delivery section.

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You can find a provider of this scheme here.

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Get in Touch
If you have any queries relating to EUSR or the evidence requirements for any of our schemes or programmes, please contact the EUSR Support team. We are available Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 5.00pm via email eusr@euskills.co.uk or tel: 0121 745 1310.