Climbing Wall Award FAQs

1/ What experience do I need to be able to do the award?

At training - you must have climbed on artificial walls on at least fifteen occasions, visited at least three different walls and successfully led climbs on walls. Without having done at least this amount of climbing you are unlikely to play a constructive part on the course or be able to make best use of the training.

At assessment - you must have led a minimum of forty indoor climbs, logged a minimum of 30 visits to at least three different climbing walls and assisted with the supervision of climbing for at least fifteen sessions at a variety of facilities.

2/ Does experience gained in climbing walls outside the UK/Ireland count?

Yes it doesn count but at least 50% of the minimum required experience must have been gained in the UK or Ireland.

3/ Does the CWA include abseiling?

The Climbing Wall Award comes in two parts. The CWA covers bouldering and roped climbing supervised at ground level. The CWA Abseil Module covers roped climbed and abseiling supervised from above. Training and assessment courses may combine the modules, or cover them separately.

4/ Does the CWA qualify me to teach people to lead on indoor walls?

No, you will need the Climbing Wall Leading Award for that. You must be either an SPA or CWA holder to access the CWLA.

5/ I just want to work on an abseil tower; can I just do the abseil module?

No, you must hold the CWA assessment before attending an Abseil module assessment, but some courses provide these concurrently.

6/ The school I work at has just had an indoor wall built; do the staff who are going to work on the facility need to do a CWA?

No, we would suggest that school staff working on one venue probably only need to undertake some site specific training. Generally this will take the form of 6 – 8 hours training for up to 6 – 8 people and will allow staff with limited experience to undertake appropriate training rather than several staff having to gain the CWA. The CWA will also expand the skills they have and therefore the quality they deliver for you.

7/ Who can I get to deliver some site specific training for my staff?

The appropriate qualifications to deliver site specific training are Mountaineering Instructors Award, (MIA), Mountaineering Instructors Certificate (MIC) or British Mountain Guide (BMG). The person delivering this training should have experience of similar work at a variety of facilities. The Climbing Wall Guidance Notes will help you set up a site specific training scheme for your staff.