The CWI qualification trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to supervise climbers on purpose built artificial climbing walls and boulders.
It is ideal for people who work at climbing walls or at venues with permanent or mobile climbing towers.
There is also an optional Abseil Module (often run in conjunction with Climbing Wall Instructor training and assessment courses) which is all about supervising abseiling on artificial structures.
The Climbing Wall Instructor qualification does not include the skills and techniques required to teach lead climbing.
Is it for me?
The prerequisites for registration are as follows:
- 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 tick all of the above boxes, here's what to do next:
- Create an account on Mountain Training's Candidate Management System or log in if you already have one.
- Register for the Climbing Wall Instructor scheme (this costs £45)
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 (perferably 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.
Climbing Wall Instructor training lasts for 2 days and will be run by one of our approved providers in 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.
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. You can use the excuse 'I'm preparing for assessment' to visit the wall as much as you like!
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 hold a current first aid qualification which involved at least one day an an element of assessment.