The Structure and Scope of the Coaching Award Scheme

The Mountain Training Coaching Award Scheme has been specifically designed for the needs of our sport.

The popular FUNdamentals of Climbing and Physical Training workshops, when combined with extensive experience of climbing, provide a thorough technical understanding of “what to coach”. The existing Mountain Training Award schemes (or equivalent site-specific accreditation) when combined with supervisory/instructional experience and child protection training ensure the safe supervision of groups.

The Coaching Award Scheme draws on this existing experience, and then develops a higher level of coaching expertise in order to improve the Coaches understanding of “How to Coach” more effectively.

Coaching Award Scheme info 2


There will be three award levels, to support the development of Coaches from their first delivery of foundation skills through to the highest levels of performance climbing and competition with the first two levels launched on 1st October 2013. These awards form a logical pathway of development and ensure you will find the level of award that is fit for your specific requirements.

The Foundation Coach Award is designed to enable coaches to be more effective in coaching the delivery of the fundamental movement skills of climbing. Foundation Coaches will usually be concerned with the stimulating delivery of a single session to a group of individuals. They will often be assisting a Development Coach who will set the learning outcomes for the session, as part of a longer term progression, course, or scheme.

The Development Coach Award is for independent autonomous coaches who will prepare for, and deliver a structured progression in ‘Climber Centred Coaching’ over a series of coaching sessions. The skills of the Foundation Coach will be developed to a more sophisticated level, to match their delivery to the needs of developing climbers within a group. Often working with Foundation Coaches, the Development Coach will take a mentoring role, and lead in the review process to promote reflective coaching practice.

The Performance Coach Award is currently under development. This high level Coaching Award will be aimed at Coaches who are involved in the long term development of individual climbers and squads/academies. The emphasis will be on helping talented climbers to fulfil their potential in achieving specific high performance aims and goals. As a lead coach in an academy, the Performance Coach will also be familiar with recruiting external specialist help, and deploying Foundation and Development Coaches in support of their climbers.
There will be a link to the full syllabus coming soon

Registration for the Mountain Training Coaching Award Scheme is available from a minimum age of 16 upwards and is a single enrolment process for all levels. All registrants must be a member of the Mountaineering Council (or a member of an affiliated club) for their home nation.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

For experienced and active coaches currently working at a high level, there is a process for “Direct Entry” to the assessment as a Development Coach: If you have registered, have appropriate experience and have completed the training modules for Foundation and Development Coach, you can complete your portfolio of coaching experience, and proceed directly to the Development Coach Assessment.

If you have extensive prior learning through an equivalent coaching scheme, and current experience of coaching climbing, you may be able to apply for Accredited Prior Learning. For example, coaches from another sport who have completed equivalent coach education courses may be able to gain exemption from the Coaching Foundations course. All applications for APL will be approved by the MTUK screening committee, and whilst they will be collectively compared, each application will be considered on its individual merits.

Who will be running the training and assessment modules

The FUNdamentals of Climbing workshops (1 & 2); and the FUNdamentals Physical Training workshop are delivered by the Mountaineering Councils. Coaching Foundations, Coaching Development, Coaching Performance and all the Assessment Courses are all run by Mountain Training approved providers. For more details of the application and selection process, please visit the following link (to provider application information) which will be going live soon.

How to apply

Register for the Coaching Scheme. Available from 1st October 2013.

Book a FUNdamentals workshop in England or Wales here

Book a FUNdamentals workshop in Scotland here

Book a coaching award scheme course, available from 1st October 2013 on the Mountain Training Candidate Management System.

Upon successful assessment and qualification, Coaches can become listed as a ‘Registered Coach’ by becoming a current member of a Professional Association.