Climbing Wall Instructor
Climbing Wall Instructor 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 Climbing Wall Instructor) 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.
This qualification used to be called Climbing Wall Award, which was revised following a review and relaunched under this new name on 2 April 2018.
Is Climbing Wall Instructor 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 can join one when you register if you’re not already a member)
You must also:
- Have an account with the Mountain Training Candidate Management System
- Be registered on the Climbing Wall Instructor scheme (this costs £45)
Before you book onto 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
Climbing Wall Instructor training lasts for 2 days.
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 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.
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!
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 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
The Climbing Wall Instructor assessment is a minimum of 6 hours.