Climbing Wall Instructor


The Climbing Wall Instructor qualification 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 training and assessment courses) which is all about supervising abseiling on artificial structures.

The Climbing Wall Instructor qualification 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 2nd April, 2018.

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: Frequently asked questions

Tying knots cSoraya

Training

Before you attend 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 (perferably 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 and will be run by one of our approved providers in the UK or Ireland. 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

The Syllabus

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 demonstation 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 (which is currently being developed) 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 Instructor handbook
Latest version 1.1 uploaded 04/04/2018



Crazy Climb

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 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 hold a current first aid qualification which involved at least one day an an element of assessment.
The Climbing Wall Instructor 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.
MTA logo

Climbing Wall Instructor profiles

These individuals gained the Climbing Wall Award which was revised and renamed on 2nd April, 2018.

Lisa Farris
Lisa 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.

Rock Climbing

Get Book

The Scope of the Scheme

The Climbing Wall Instructor qualification 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.

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.

OfQual Regulation and Mountain Training England