Coaching Scheme

The Coaching Scheme is designed to develop the coaching skills of those working in indoor climbing walls, sport climbing and bouldering. Whether you'd like to coach the next climbing superstars, or simply create fun and engaging skills-based sessions, the Coaching Scheme is a great way to improve your climbing coaching skills. The scheme may also be of great interest and value to volunteer and professional leaders, instructors and Guides.

There are three levels in the scheme: Foundation, Development and Performance. Each level is a qualification in its own right and a progression from the previous level. You only need to register once for access to the first two levels (Foundation and Development) and there is a separate registration process for the Performance Coach scheme (more details to follow, the scheme is currently being piloted).

Foundation Coach Development Coach Performance Coach

Is it for me?

Foundation Coach Development Coach
Required at Registration 16 years old
6 months climbing experience
Member of a mountaineering council
18 years old
12 months climbing experience
Member of a mountaineering council
Required at Training FUNdamentals of Climbing 1 (or APL) Foundation Training (or APL)
FUNdamentals of Climbing 1 and 2 or APL
Site Specific climbing or bouldering validation (or higher) see below*
Recommended at Training FUNdamentals of Climbing 2 FUNdamentals of Climbing 3
Physical Training for Climbing 1 and 2
Required at Assessment Foundation Training (or APL)
16 years old
Safeguarding workshop
Valid first aid
Site Specific climbing or bouldering validation (or higher)*
Development Training (or APL)
18 years old
Safeguarding workshop
Valid first aid
Site specific climbing or bouldering validation (or higher)*

*Coaches must be appropriately experienced and qualified to supervise safe sessions in the environment in which they choose to coach. E.g. A site specific sign-off by a Technical Advisor for bouldering; Climbing Wall Instructor for roped climbing; Climbing Wall Development Instructor for coaching lead climbing and Rock Climbing Instructor to coach on single pitch crags etc.

Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

For experienced and active coaches currently working at a high level, there is a process for ‘Direct Entry’ to Foundation Coach assessment, Development Coach training, or in exceptional cases Development Coach assessment. Please read all the information in the FAQs 10-12 to decide if this option is for you.

Read our frequently asked questions

Listen to our interview with John Dunne, internationally renowned climber and owner of the Climbing Centre Group, where he discusses his thoughts about the Coaching Scheme.

Foundation Coach

is designed to enable you to be more effective in coaching 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.

Development Coach

is ideal if you are an independent autonomous coach who wants to prepare and deliver a structured progression in ‘climber centred coaching’ over a series of coaching sessions. The skills learned during Foundation Coach will be developed to a more sophisticated level, so that your delivery can be matched 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.

Performance Coach

is aimed at people who work with climbers over a longer period of time and involves structuring annual plans for individuals and/or squads/academies. The content of the syllabus is being developed at the moment.


Coaching Scheme Handbook
(Handbook updated 28/03/18)

You are about to be redirected to the Candidate Management System (CMS)

Create an account to register for one of our schemes.

Log in to your existing account Learn more about CMS