Rock Climbing Instructor


This qualification has been around since its inception in 1992 and Roxcool’s owner Cliff Lowther has been involved with delivery of the scheme since then. So rest assured you are getting an experienced trainer and one who is current and still as enthusiastic about climbing as he was back then. Initially the scheme was called the Single Pitch Supervisors Award, later to be called the Single Pitch Award, however, both of these names did not really describe what the award was all about. Following a review, it was relaunched under the new name on 2nd April, 2018

This qualification is all about supervising safe climbing and abseiling sessions on single pitch crags and artificial structures (indoors and out). Whether you're a parent, a volunteer or an outdoor centre instructor, the Rock Climbing Instructor scheme trains and assesses experienced rock climbers to instruct climbing.

Professionally speaking the scheme is one of the main ones to gain for work in an outdoor centre and is certainly held in high regard. However, the scheme is not the easiest to gain and requires a certain amount of commitment to spend time at different crags and at different locations (who needs an excuse to go climbing eh?).

To get started on the Rock Climbing Instructor you need to meet the following prerequisites:
• You must be at least 18 years old.
• You should be an experienced indoor and outdoor rock climber.
• You should have a genuine interest in climbing and the supervision of groups.
• 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 for the Rock Climbing Instructor scheme (this costs £49) Register here

You must have an up to date logbook (preferably DLOG) with evidence of the following:
• 15 led routes which must be graded rock climbs with traditional protection.
• 15 led routes at a climbing wall.
• 5 led routes which must be outdoor bolt protected sport climbs.

Before you attend a Rock Climbing Instructor assessment, make sure you have done the following:
• You must have attended a Rock Climbing Instructor (or Single Pitch Award) training course or been granted exemption from training.
• You must be familiar with the syllabus.
• You must be competently leading Severe grade climbs on outdoor crags with leader-placed protection.
• You must have led a minimum of 40 graded rock climbs with traditional protection at a variety of venues (of which at least 20 MUST be at Severe grade or above).
• You must be proficient in the use of climbing walls and have a minimum of 30 climbing wall leads graded at F4 or above.
• You must be proficient in outdoor bolt protected sport climbing and have a minimum of 10 sport climb leads graded at F4 or above.
• You must have assisted in the supervision of 20 instructed sessions. These sessions should be at a variety of different venues with 10 being on indoor climbing walls and the other 10 on outdoor crags. A session is a half day or evening. 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 two full days or sixteen hours of instruction and included an element of assessment.

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


Training – The standard Rock Climbing Instructor training lasts for 3 days

Assessment – two days


Training - Ratio: 1:4 and 2: 8.  Rock Climbing 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, anchors, belaying, personal skills, abseiling, background knowledge)
• Management and Decision Making (including planning, organising, managing other staff, managing participants, knowledge and demonstration of techniques)
• Teaching Skills
• The Climbing Environment (including access, conservation, etiquette and ethics)

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: Northumberland, North Yorkshire and The Peak District
Assessment – As above


Training: Course only - £240

Assessment: Course only - £155

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