The Rock Climbing Instructor qualification is all about supervising safe climbing and abseiling sessions on single pitch crags and artificial structures. Whether you're a parent, a volunteer or an outdoor centre instructor, the Rock Climbing Instructor qualification trains and assesses experienced rock climbers to instruct climbing.

This qualification used to be called Single Pitch Award which was revised following a review and relaunched under this new name on 2nd April, 2018.

Is it for me?

The prerequisites for registration are as follows:

  • 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 tick all of the above boxes, here's what to do next:

Training

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.

Rock Climbing Instructor training lasts for 3 days

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.

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.

The Rock Climbing Instructor assessment is 2 days long.