Getting started
To get started on the Rock Climbing Instructor qualification you need to meet the following prerequisites:
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You should be an experienced indoor and outdoor rock climber.
  • You should have a genuine interest in climbing and the supervision of groups.
  • 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

Rock Climbing Instructor candidate handbook

Rock Climbing Instructor Candidate Handbook
Latest version 1.1 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
The standard Rock Climbing Instructor training lasts for 3 days and will be run by one of our approved providers in the UK or Ireland. Providers can also deliver a 2 day training course if all participants have already attended a Climbing Wall Instructor training course.

Before you book onto a Rock Climbing Instructor training course, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must be registered on the scheme.
You must have an up to date logbook (preferably DLOG) with evidence of the following:
  • 15 led routes which must be graded rock climbs with traditional protection.
  • 15 led routes at a climbing wall.
  • 5 led routes which must be outdoor bolt protected sport climbs.
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 Rock Climbing 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.



The Syllabus

Rock Climbing 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, anchors, belaying, personal skills, abseiling, background knowledge)
  • Management and Decision Making (including planning, organising, managing other staff, managing participants, knowledge and demonstration of techniques)
  • Teaching Skills
  • The Climbing Environment (including access, conservation, etiquitte and ethics)
Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Rock Climbing Instructor handbook (below) 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 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. So go climbing and use your enthusiasm to hone your skills for as long 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.

MTA logo

Join now

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




E-learning

E-learning modules can be accessed through the 'Awards & Training' tab of your CMS account.

Mountain weather

Weather elearning slide

Created by the Met Office for Mountain Training, this free module is packed full of useful information about weather systems, forecasts and how to use this information as a leader to plan your journey. The module takes approximately 1 hour to complete and is available to anyone who has registered on one of our schemes.

Geology

Geology elearning slide

These three modules are free for members of the Mountain Training Association - they have been developed in partnership with Paul Gannon, author of the Rock Trails series of books.

Mountain building
This module covers a basic understanding of mountain building and plate tectonics.

Mountain landscapes and rock types
This module covers a basic understanding of various rock types and how they appear in the landscape.

Mountain destruction
This module explores the ways in which weathering and erosion slowly dismantle mountain ranges and should help you spot signs of the on-going processes of mountain destruction.
Assessment Before you attend a Rock Climbing Instructor assessment, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have attended a Rock Climbing Instructor (or Single Pitch Award) training course or been granted exemption from training.
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus.
  • You must be competently leading Severe grade climbs on outdoor crags with leader-placed protection.
  • You must have led a minimum of 40 graded rock climbs with traditional protection at a variety of venues (of which at least 20 MUST be at Severe grade or above).
  • You must be proficient in the use of climbing walls and have a minimum of 30 climbing wall leads graded at F4 or above.
  • You must be proficient in outdoor bolt protected sport climbing and have a minimum of 10 sport climb leads graded at F4 or above.*
  • You must have assisted in the supervision of 20 instructed sessions. These sessions should be at a variety of different venues with 10 being on indoor climbing walls and the other 10 on outdoor crags. A session is a half day or evening. 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 two full days or sixteen hours of instruction and included an element of assessment.
Rock Climbing Instructor assessment is 2 days long.

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



OfQual Regulation and Mountain Training England


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