Climbing Wall Instructor

Climbing Wall Instructor

This is a national scheme which allows the bearer to Coach, instruct, teach and supervise groups and individuals on any artificial climbing structure in the British Isles. The Climbing Wall Instructor is primarily concerned with ensuring good practice, leading to the safe enjoyment of climbing activities, and to an understanding of the sport. It covers the supervision and management of activities such as bouldering, the teaching of basic movement skills and roped climbing, excluding the teaching of leading. An additional module is available for those candidates who wish to supervise abseiling and top roping for those walls and structures which have top access. It is ideal for people who seek to work at climbing walls or at venues with permanent or mobile climbing towers.

This scheme used to be called Climbing Wall Award which was revised following a review and relaunched under this new name on 2nd April, 2018.

To get started on the Climbing Wall Instructor and to attend training, you need to meet the following prerequisites:
• You must be at least 17 years old (18 at assessment)
• You should have at least 6 months of experience of using a variety of climbing walls
• You should have an interest in climbing and in supervising groups on climbing walls
• You must be a member of a mountaineering council: BMC (join here) , Mountaineering Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland (you can join one when you register if you're not already a member)

If you can meet all of the above requirements, here's what to do next:
1. Create an account on our Candidate Management System or log in if you already have one here.
2. Register here for the Climbing Wall Instructor scheme (this costs £49).

Before you attend a Climbing Wall Instructor training course, make sure you have done the following:
• You must be registered on the scheme.
• You must have an understanding of the wider sport of climbing.
• You must have an up to date logbook (preferably DLOG) with evidence of the following:
• Visits to 3 different climbing walls on at least 15 different occasions; this must include at least one major public wall.
• 10 led routes at Fr4 on walls.

Before you attend a Climbing Wall Instructor assessment, make sure you have done the following:
• You must be at least 18 years old.
• You must have attended a Climbing Wall Instructor (or Climbing Wall Award) training course or have been granted exemption from training.
• You must be familiar with the syllabus.
• You must have logged a minimum of 30 personal climbing visits to at least three different climbing walls.
• You must have led a minimum of 40 climbs on climbing walls.
• You must be confident at leading routes at Fr 4.
• You must have assisted in the supervision of at least 15 instructed sessions on at least two different walls including a large public facility in a variety of contexts. At least five of these sessions must have personal reflective comments recorded on DLOG.
• You must have physically attended and completed (i.e. not online) a first aid course which involved at least one full day or eight hours of instruction and included an element of assessment.

A copy of the Climbing Wall Instructor Handbook is available free to down load here.

Course Information

Training – 12 hours split over either two days or three evenings

Assessment – 6 hours

Training - Ratio: 1:6 and 2: 12.  Climbing Wall Instructors should be

competent in the following key areas, all of which will be covered, to a
greater or lesser extent, during your training course.
Technical Competence (including equipment, belaying, personal skills
and background knowledge)
Management and Decision Making (including planning, managing
participants, decision making, knowledge and demonstration of techniques
and managing other staff)
Teaching and Learning Skills
The Climbing Environment (including access, etiquette and ethics)

Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Climbing Wall Instructor handbook (see above) and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment - use the Skills Checklist to help with this.

Assessment - Ratio: 1:4 and 2:8.  As above over two days. 

Accommodation: This course is non-residential


Training – At a variety of venues including: Sunderland Wall, Awesome Walls, (Sheffield) and The Foundry (Sheffield)

Assessment – As above


Training: Course only - £140

Assessment: Course only £110

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