Key info

Min. age for training: 18

Min. age for assessment: 18

Training: 3 days (2 days if all candidates have completed Climbing Wall Instructor training)

Assessment: 2 days


Average time from training to passing assessment: 1.1 years


Ideal for: Experienced lead climbers who want to instruct climbing sessions outdoors and indoors.


Rock Climbing Instructor courses delivered by Mountain Training England are regulated by Ofqual.

Entry requirements

To register


  • 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 (club or individual) of a mountaineering council (BMC, Mountaineering Ireland, Mountaineering Scotland). Find out why this is required.
  • You must create an account on our system and register for the Rock Climbing Instructor qualification (cost: £65)


To book a training course


  • You must be registered on the Rock Climbing Instructor qualification
  • You must have recorded (ideally on DLOG*):
    • 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.

To book an assessment course

  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have attended a Rock Climbing Instructor training course.
  • 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 include an element of assessment.


*DLOG is the digital logbook on our system, which you will be able to access once you have registered on a qualification.

**What are personal reflective comments?


Training and assessment courses are delivered by our approved providers at single pitch crags and public and private climbing walls across the UK or Ireland. 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.



Rock Climbing Instructor training lasts for three days and will cover:

  • The Rock Climbing Instructor syllabus
  • What to expect at assessment
  • Feedback on your performance and areas to focus on prior to assessment

There is a two day training course for people who have already completed Climbing Wall Instructor training. It does not cover any of the indoor elements of the syllabus. You should familiarise yourself with the required competencies (the syllabus) in the candidate handbook.



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 and learning skills

The climbing environment (including access, conservation, etiquette and ethics)



After completing a training course, use the feedback from your course director and the skills checklist to identify syllabus areas you need to practise.


Our membership association (Mountain Training Association) offers peer-led learning opportunities and formal workshops on a range of topics, from coaching climbing movement to lead climbing skills, to help you during this phase.

Join our association


The Rock Climbing Instructor assessment is two days long. You will be assessed against the syllabus competencies in the candidate handbook. At the end of the assessment you will receive one of three results:

  • Pass
  • Defer (requires a partial reassessment)
  • Fail (requires a full reassessment)
Meet an instructor