Climbing Wall Award

The Climbing Wall Award trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to supervise climbers on purpose built artificial climbing walls and boulders. It is ideal for people who work at climbing walls or at venues with permanent or mobile climbing towers. There is also an optional Abseil Module (often run in conjunction with the Climbing Wall Award) which is all about supervising abseiling in climbing walls.

The Climbing Wall Award does not include the skills and techniques required to teach lead climbing.

Is the Climbing Wall Award for me?

The prerequisites for registration are as follows:

  • 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, Mountaineering Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland

You must also:

  • Have an account with the Mountain Training Candidate Management System
  • Be registered on the Climbing Wall Award scheme (this costs £44)

Training

Before you book onto a Climbing Wall Award training course, make sure you have done the following:

  • You must be registered on the scheme
  • You must have recorded visits to 3 different climbing walls on at least 15 different occasions; this must include at least one major public wall
  • You must have led routes on walls
  • You must have an understanding of the wider sport of climbing and ideally have climbed outdoors.

Climbing Wall Award training lasts for 2 days.

The Syllabus

Climbing Wall Award holders 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
  • The Climbing Wall Environment
  • Supervision

Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Climbing Wall Award Handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment – use the Skills Checklist below to help with this.

Consolidation

The period between training and assessment varies in length for each person and is an opportunity to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training course. You can use the excuse ‘I’m preparing for assessment’ to visit the wall as much as you like!

Assessment

Before you book onto a Climbing Wall assessment, make sure you have done the following:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must have attended a Climbing Wall Award training course (or have been granted exemption)
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have logged a minimum of 30 visits to at least three different climbing walls
  • You must have led a minimum of 40 climbs in indoor walls
  • You must be confident at climbing 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
  • You must hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 8 hours and relevant to your work as a Climbing Wall Award holder

The Climbing Wall Award assessment is a minimum of 6 hours.