Can I use my previous experience to apply for direct entry to Development Coach?

We recognise that there will be some experienced coaches who wish to gain entry at a level higher than Foundation Coach training. You can enter the coaching scheme at Foundation Coach assessment, Development Coach training, and in exceptional cases Development Coach assessment, but you will need to submit an application to have your prior learning accredited (APL). There is no exemption from Development Coach assessment.

To decide whether direct entry is an appropriate option for you first make yourself familiar with the content of the scheme, the courses, and the supporting modules by reading the handbook.

For each level of the Coaching Scheme (Foundation, Development, or Performance Coach) a candidate has to demonstrate experience and competency in three main strands:

  • Technical competency to supervise a climbing session(s).
  • Technical understanding of climbing to develop appropriate decisions regarding “what to coach”.
  • Coaching knowledge in order to demonstrate “how to coach” and deliver in an effective manner.

Check that you meet all the prerequisites at the level you wish to enter, as well as those of the previous level. You will also need to show evidence of the experience and competencies required in the syllabus.

If you have read the syllabus and guidance in the Coaching Scheme handbook, meet all the prerequisites, and can provide alternative examples of prior learning and competency in the key areas of the scheme, you may apply for direct entry. The process is as follows:

  • Register for the scheme (there is one registration for Foundation and Development Coach)
  • Contact Mountain Training and ask for a Coaching Scheme APL Request form.
  • Add enough entries of your previous experience in the Mountain Training digital logbook (DLOG) to give a representative impression of the depth and breadth of your experience.
  • Upload supporting (or previously recorded) evidence of experience in the CV section of the DLOG (most file formats are supported)
  • Remember to make sure you have demonstrated your technical competency in: session supervision; what to coach; how to coach at the required level for your chosen entry point.
  • Complete the Coaching Scheme APL Request form and return to Mountain Training
  • Call Mountain Training on 01690 720272 (the office is open Monday – Friday 9am -5pm) to pay the £35 Coaching Scheme APL Fee (this is non-refundable).


As long as you have provided all the required information, outlined above, your application will be considered by the Mountain Training screening committee. You will be notified of the decision by email, but please note this may take up to 14 days. If your request for direct entry is successful your record on the Candidate Management System will be updated, and you will be able to book on to a course of your choice. In the event of an unsuccessful application, you may be requested to supply further information, advised to apply again in the future, or encouraged to attend a course at a lower level in the scheme.