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 it 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) - find out why
If you can tick all of the above boxes, here's what to do next:
- Create an account on our Candidate Management System or log in if you already have one.
- Register for the Climbing Wall Award scheme (this costs £44)
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 and will be run by one of our approved Providers in the UK. A variety of cost packages are available depending on what's included; food, accommodation etc. so you can choose one that's right for you.
Find a course
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
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.
Handbook and Skills Checklist
Climbing Wall Award Skills Checklist
Climbing Wall Award Guidance Notes for Trainers and Assessors
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 book onto a Climbing Wall Award 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.
Assessments are run by one of our approved Providers and a variety of cost packages are available, depending on what's included; food, accommodation etc. so you can choose one that's right for you.
Support and Development
Join the Mountain Training Association and be part of a community of like-minded people on our schemes. The Association offers a range of workshops for trainee and qualified leaders and coaches across the disciplines, as well as a quarterly magazine, gear deals/discounts, a monthly newsletter and an insurance deal. You can join the Association at any point after you have registered on one of Mountain Training's leadership/coaching schemes.
Climbing Wall Award holder profilesLisa Farris
- Climbing Wall Award holder and climbing wall manager
The Book - Rock Climbing
Rock Climbing has been written for people working their way through the climbing schemes and it's packed with colourful diagrams, photographs and simple language. It covers the full spectrum of modern climbing practice including movement skills, knots, bouldering, sport, trad and indoor climbing as well as risk management and problem solving.
The Scope of the Scheme
The Climbing Wall Award is for climbers who are in a position of responsibility when supervising climbing activities on indoor or outdoor climbing walls, artificial boulders and towers.
This includes a wide range of structures utilised for these activities which are referred to throughout this page as ‘walls’. It 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.
This scheme has been designed to provide a level of basic competence for those who are in a position of responsibility during climbing activities at walls. Whilst the award does include a measure of personal competence it is not designed as a personal proficiency programme, and it should not be used as either an entry requirement or a measure of suitability for individuals who wish to climb on climbing walls.
Watch the video
OfQual Regulation and Mountain Training England