The Climbing Wall Instructor qualification trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to supervise climbers on purpose built artificial climbing walls & bouldering. It is perfect for people who work at climbing walls or centres with permanent or mobile climbing towers.
In addition to our experience of delivering the Climbing Wall Instructor award scheme, we are active and current Climbing Instructors instructing climbing sessions with groups of all abilities. We’re passionate climbers ourselves and the only thing we love more than teaching climbing, is developing psyched instructors who want to share their passion.
We strive to provide a relaxed, friendly atmosphere on our Climbing Wall Instructor Assessments so candidates perform at their very best. Even though you’re on assessment, our aim is to provide development and learning opportunities for you to not just pass your award, but improve your instructional skills.
Optional Abseil Module Assessment
We also deliver the Climbing Wall Instructor Abseil Module Assessment on the same day, typically 2 or 3 hours extra. This is for those that have completed the Climbing Wall Instructor Abseil Module Training and are ready to present for assessment.
The Climbing Wall Instructor Assessment covers the following main syllabus areas:
- 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 – including fitting equipment, tying-in and belaying.
- The Climbing Environment – including access, etiquette and ethics.
Before booking, you should ensure you meet the prerequisites set out by Mountain Training;
- 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. (see CWI Scheme Handbook).
- You must have logged a minimum of 30 personal climbing 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.
All our course programs as ever are flexible to adapt to the specific needs of clients and individual experiences. Thankfully being an indoor award the Climbing Wall Instructor training is not as much at the mercy of the weather and so the rough itinerary below is a good idea of what we'll cover.
- Course Start - we'll meet at Basecamp at 08:30 for introductions, discussion of your experience, aims, and aspirations over tea & coffee.
- Assessment Introduction - Mountain Training, scope of the scheme and an outline of the assessment process.
- Home Paper Discussion - we'll likely look at and discuss the homepapers in the morning as a group.
- Collect & Check Kit - technical equipment handed out and personal kit check.
- Travel to Climbing Wall - we’ll organise lift-shares to reduce impact and ease parking. We're lucky to have a few good and different sized climbing climbing walls within striking distance.
- Teaching and Coaching Skills - we'll ask you to deliver some instructional sessions to the group on warm-ups, technical skills and coaching.
- Personal Leads -we'll assess your personal indoor lead climbing at F4.
- Group Management - considerations and top tips for managing various groups at walls.
- Problem Solving - we'll ask you to solve some common problems when working with groups.
- Return to Basecamp - return to Basecamp for around 15:30, hand in kit, grab a well-earned brew.
- Individual Debriefs - assessment results, feedback and advice.
- What Next? - we’ll discuss individual Action Plans for deferrals. As a group we’ll discuss working as a Climbing Wall Instructor with advice and top tips.
- Course Finish - usually we’ll wrap up the assessment by around 15:30.
- Abseil Module Assessment Starts - For those also booked on the Climbing Wall Instructor Abseil Module Assessment, we'll spend the afternoon assessing the extra content for this award.
- Course Finish - typically we’ll wrap up the abseil module assessment by around 18:00.
For more generalised questions please visit our FAQs page or for questions specifically relating to the Climbing Wall Instructor Assessment course see below.
Climbing Wall Instructor Assessment FAQs
Whilst Mountain Training specify that candidates must be at least 17 years old to register for this award and can attend the training from age 17, you must be 18 years old to attend the assessment.
Climbing Wall Entrance Costs are not included in the price though often our clients will receive a discount entering the wall with us.
If you're only a little short, and are planning on gaining some more experience prior to the assessment we will be happy to take a booking if you can outline a plan to have the required experience by the start of the course. Having said that we would highly recommend waiting until you have all the prerequisites as they are bare minimums!
Mountain Training set their prerequisites for good reason, having a good base of experience and understanding on which to build the knowledge and skills is vital. Research has shown that candidates who arrive at Assessment courses with less experience are more likely to defer or fail assessment than candidates who have a greater depth of personal experience.
It is your responsibility to hold the necessary prerequisites by assessment, neglecting to do so will result in a technical deferral as a minimum. We want you to arrive at assessment feeling prepared and confident so you can enjoy the process and gain the successful result you want!
If you've done all the prerequisites but you still feel you're not quite ready for assessment, then consider booking on to one of our refresher courses or get some private coaching. Get in Touch.
The Climbing Wall Instructor award doesn't cover the skills and techniques to run abseil sessions; these skills are covered in a separate "bolt-on", the Climbing Wall Instructor Abseil Module. It entails a separate training & assessment, completed in conjunction with the CWI training & assessment.
We offer a £20 discount on our Abseil Module training & assessments when booking a CWI training or assessment with us. If you've completed a CWI Training previously, but haven't done the optional Climbing Wall Instructor Abseil Module Training and would like to attend, details of the discount code are sent when booking an assessment or just get in touch.
The Climbing Wall Instructor Abseil Module Assessment takes place immediately after the CWI Assessment finishes, typically around 15:30, being covered in the afternoon and usually takes between 2 and 3 hours, finishing by 18:30.
It's an especially useful award if where you work regularly has an artificial abseil facility, but also if you want to open up more freelance opportunities and run a wider array of activities for more organisations. It's also a great heads up if you're thinking of pursuing the Rock Climbing Instructor award further down the line.
If you'd like to find out more about it and whther it's right for you we have a blog post here - What is the Climbing Wall Instructor Abseil Module, and is it for you?