Getting started
To get started on the Climbing Wall Instructor qualification you need to meet the following prerequisites:
  • 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 meet all of the above requirements, here's what to do next: Register now

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.

Climbing Wall Instructor candidate handbook

Climbing Wall Instructor handbook
Latest version 1.2 uploaded 12/12/2018

Not quite right?

If this doesn't sound like the right qualification for you, consider the following: You could also read through our 'Which scheme is right for me?' page.
Training
Climbing Wall Instructor training lasts for 2 days and will be run by one of our approved providers in the UK or Ireland.

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 (preferably 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.
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

Use the Climbing Wall Instructor Skills Checklist

This document can be used during or shortly after your training course to help you identify areas of the syllabus that may require attention prior to assessment.



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 and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment - use the Skills Checklist to help with this.
Consolidation The period between training and assessment ((often referred to as the consolidation period) 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!

The Mountain Training Association

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.

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The Book - Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing has been written specifically for people working their way through Mountain Training's 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

Buy now
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 have physically attended and completed (i.e. not online) a first aid course which involved at least one full day or eight hours of instruction and included 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.

Find a course


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"I like the freedom that working in climbing gives you and the fact that you get to work with like-minded people who you have lots in common with."

Lisa Farris - August 2016

Support & Development

Join the Mountain Training Association and be part of a community of like-minded people on our schemes.

MTA offers a range of workshops for trainee and qualified leaders and coaches across the disciplines, as well as great deals and discounts

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