Well, I passed today (as did Daniel). I have never been to Spanset before and this was my first 'proper' step into the industrial work at height world. I was a little uncertain how much I'd enjoy this course as I drove in on Monday, in my experience these 'industry' things can sometimes be a bit rough round the edges or often just delivered in a plainly connect-the-dots/follow-the-script manner by the trainer. I have to say this was in no way the case at Spanset.
The facility is modern, bright and well designed. It is easy to find and there is plenty of parking. There are good brew making facilities, biscuits, hot lunch was included and there is a comfortable lounge area with an excellent view of the training tower. The class rooms are simple and uncluttered, but kitted out with touch screens for presentations and personalised input from the trainers. All equipment was provided for the course and there was plenty of it.
The rope work training area is just WOW! Stick that facility in the middle of Derbyshire as a training area for cavers and you'd never bother heading to P8 again. Anything you can think of doing on a rope could be recreated in simple or fiendish fashion on this purpose designed framework. If I win the lottery, I'll buy one for the Peak District.
Every single staff member I had interactions with was polite, relaxed and friendly. There is clearly a great working atmosphere here and that translates through to how enjoyably relaxed, entertaining but ultimately professional the course felt. Thank you to Nick, our trainer, who was excellent and great company for 5 days.
So, if you're looking to get into rope access, already are in it, or have need for height safety training or equipment, I'd definitely recommend chatting to Spanset. Certainly you'd not regret booking an IRATA course there.
Many thanks to Pegasus, Wardy and Spanset for offering this competition prize in the first place, and to CatM who's post here drew my attention to it even if she did not pick me to win! I paid my money for this course (with a discount offered by Spanset) and felt it was good value. Book it if you're not sure, you won't be disappointed.