The Rock Climbing Instructor qualification (the qualification formerly known as Single Pitch Award) is all about supervising safe climbing and abseil sessions on single pitch crags and indoor walls. Whether you’re a parent, a volunteer or an outdoor instructor, the Rock Climbing Instructor qualification trains and assesses rock climbers to instruct climbing.

In addition to our experience of delivering the Rock Climbing Instructor award scheme, we are active and current Rock Climbing Instructors instructing rock climbing sessions with various groups. We’re passionate climbers ourselves and the only thing we love more than teaching climbing, is developing psyched instructors who want to teach climbing.


The Rock Climbing Instructor Training covers the following main syllabus areas:

  • Technical competence – including equipment, anchors, rigging, belaying, abseiling, personal climbing skills, background knowledge of rock climbing.
  • Management and Decision Making – including planning, organising, managing other staff, managing participants, knowledge and demonstration of techniques.
  • Teaching skills – including technical skills such as fitting kit, tying in, belaying.
  • The Climbing Environment – including access, conservation, etiquitte and ethics.


Course Details

Before booking, you should ensure you meet the prerequisites set out by Mountain Training;

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.

What if I don’t have all the prerequisites yet?

The itinerary below isn't set in stone; by design we're flexible to adapt to the weather. Having our own base to run presentations and theory sessions allows us to move these sessions around in the day to take advantage of drier spells. We can even split the wall session over 2 half days. Below is a rough plan for the course:

Day 1

Personal Climbing and Rigging Intro

  • Course Start - we'll meet at Basecamp at 08:30 for introductions, discussion of your experience, aims & aspirations over tea & coffee.
  • Scheme Introduction - stages of the award, Mountain Training, scope of the scheme and course outline.
  • Collect & Check Kit - technical equipment handed out (e.g. rigging ropes) and personal kit check.
  • Travel to Crag - we’ll organise lift-shares to reduce impact and ease parking. There’s a great deal of climbing nearby; though we may drive up to 30 mins to escape rainy forecasts.
  • Outdoor Climbing - walk in to the crag to the crag, warm-ups and personal climbing skills looking at gear, belays, and using sport crags.
  • Group Management - considerations and top tips for managing various groups at the crag.
  • Bottom and Top Rope Rigging - various methods of rigging both top and bottom roping systems safely and slickly.
  • Return to Basecamp - return to Basecamp for around 16:00, grab a well-earned brew and review the day.
  • Evening Session - a detailed look at climbing equipment, PPE standards, kit maintenance and group specific kit.

Day 2

Climbing Wall and Instructing Groups

  • Morning Session - we'll meet at Basecamp at 08:30 to chat through supporting knowledge, legal considerations, paperwork, regulation, access, conservation and etiquette.
  • Travel to Wall - we’ll organise lift-shares to reduce impact. There are a couple of great climbing walls nearby.
  • Climbing Wall - indoor wall session, typically the Beacon Climbing Centre as it’s a great facility. Session planning, basic coaching, instructing technical skills such as tying in and belaying, problem avoidance and problem solving.
  • Return to Basecamp - return to Basecamp for around 16:00, grab a well-earned brew and review the day.
  • Evening Session - perhaps a short evening session covering anything missed and prepping some skills for the following day.

Day 3

Outdoor Rigging, Abseils and Problem Solving

  • Morning Brief - we'll meet at Basecamp at 08:30 for weather brief and plan the day as a group.
  • Consolidating Group Rigging Skills -varied practice and a look at problem solving and prevention on outdoor crags.
  • Group Abseils - rigging and running group abseils and the common pitfalls to avoid with regards problem solving.
  • Return to Basecamp - return to Basecamp for around 16:00, hand in kit, grab a well-earned brew and review the day.
  • What Next? - your instructor will discuss a personal Action plan and we'll email you some post course resources to help you on your Rock Climbing Instructor journey.
  • Course Finish - usually we’ll wrap up the course by around 16:30.

Llanberis, Snowdonia National Park

Basecamp – all our Snowdonia based courses start from our Basecamp, right on the high street in Llanberis. With great facilities for presentations and free tea & coffee.

World Class Climbing – we’re ideally placed with great single pitch crags right on our doorstep; and a wealth of crags a short drive away in the Glyders, Tremadog, Holyhead, North Wales Limestone and the Moelwyns. The unique differing micro climates help us to evade damp weather and there’s 2 great local climbing walls if it’s torrential.

Accommodation – check out our Llanberis Accommodation Guide with top picks for all budgets.

We provide a detailed kit list for each of our courses so you know exactly what kit you’ll need and what we’ll provide. We appreciate outdoor kit can be pretty pricey so we’ll advise where is best to spend your money and what kit we really rate. We can provide all the group rigging kit on this course such as static ropes for rigging.
Download the Kit List
We have also set up a 15% discount for Mountain Independence clients with V12 Outdoors. They are our favorite climbing shop with an amazing range of kit, super friendly and knowledgeable staff and they’re very local – exactly 100m from our door in Llanberis!
V12 Outdoor Logo


General FAQs

For more generalised questions please visit our FAQs page or for questions specifically relating to the Rock Climbing Instructor Training course see below.

Rock Climbing Instructor Training FAQs

The geography of Snowdonia means that although the mountains themselves can attract their fair share of rain; we have a range of crags outside the national park with unique & differing micro climates. Often, travelling up to 30 minutes North or South can mean climbing in a t shirt vs getting a good soaking!

As part of the syllabus we must spend at least 8 hours in a climbing wall, which we'll do on the worst weather day. We have 2 great local climbing walls close by, the Beacon Climbing Centre and the Indy Climbing Wall.

We'll use our specialist local knowledge and years of experience to pick the best place to climb and stay as dry as possible. We're fortunate to have our own indoor space to run presentations and theory sessions from; allowing us greater flexibility to move evening sessions to earlier in the day and head outside on an improving forecast.

Mountain Training specify that candidates must be at least 18 years old to register for this award.

As a suggestion if you're not quite that age and looking to work in the outdoors and gain a qualification, the Climbing Wall Instructor registration age is 17 years.

We have years of experience working in the outdoors, training and assessing instructors, and developing trainees at outdoor centres. If you'd like some direction and development towards an outdoor career

You must be registered with Mountain Training for the Rock Climbing Instructor scheme.

  • Firstly you'll need to Register an Account with Mountain Training (if you haven't already done so) and then Log In to your account.
  • In the top left corner click on Register to register for the individual schemes.
  • Click on Scheme and select Rock Climbing Instructor.
  • Select Board - essentially it doesn’t matter which board but being based in Wales I’d pick Wales (Mountain Training Cymru) as they’re who we’re a registered provider.
  • Purchase Membership or Link Existing Membership, to the British Mountaineering Council, Mountaineering Scotland, or Mountaineering Ireland.
  • Then Pay for the registration. Currently £65 (Jan 2024).

If you're only a little short, and are planning on gaining some more experience prior to the training 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.

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 Training courses with less than the minimum prerequisites are more likely to defer or fail assessment than other candidates.

If you'd like some more input and coaching in your personal rock climbing to work toward the prerequisites consider booking some private coaching, Get in Touch.