How do I pass my CWI Climbing Instructor assessment? (1)


When you attend a Climbing Wall Instructor Assessment, your assessor really wants you to pass.  They will do everything they can to get you to standard by the end of the day.  Our main trainer/assessor is Paolo Fubini and these are his tips to help you make sure:


  1. You meet the requirements for the assessment.
  2. Are super confident in all the required skills.


Firstly, keep in mind this is a serious qualification, it means you are certified to supervise a climbing group, and an assistant, at any climbing facility in the UK.

Read the BMC Participation Statement to remind yourself that falls from climbing walls have resulted in serious injuries and death.

Prepare to clearly demonstrate that you are up to the required standard.

“From our point of view, we take a candidate, who we may not know, put them in charge, it is expected that they are competent, we need some evidence to give you the space to allow you to be effectively assessed, not having everything complete, does not give confidence to an assessor, and you need to be trusted to be fully assessed. “


Secondly, plan a thorough consolidation period, asking for help if you need it.

Mountain training recommends that you spend a minimum of six months preparing for your assessment, three months at the very least and possibly up to a few years.

“Take as much time as you need.”

 “Plan your consolidation period carefully so at the end of it you have the confidence and competence to pass your assessment.”


 Thirdly, make sure you know what the assessment will cover by reading the Climbing Wall Instructor course handbook,  Download the pdf document to print or read online.

  • The full syllabus is listed on page 7 to page 28.
  • Revise the boxes of ‘Guidance notes’.
  • Work through the ‘Key Practice Points’
  • If you would like more detail on the content covered in the handbook get hold of a copy of the official book for Mountain Training climbing qualifications Rock Climbing Essential Skills & Techniques by Libby Peter.
  • The hand book tells you which content from this book you need to know.


Fourthly, how can we put it.  Don’t piss your assessor off, before you’ve met.

Make sure they have the following, at least a week before your assessment.

“That way they can already believe in you, and once you arrive at the assessment you can get straight in to showing your competence. 

  • An up to date DLOG with more than the minimum requirement
  • A valid First Aid Certificate completed in the last three years
  • A completed home paper, that you have taken time and effort to research.

“Failure to meet some of these requirements can also lead to an automatic deferral.”


Finally, double check where you are meant to be, at what time, how you are going to get there and what you need to bring with you.  Aim to be early and get a really good start to your assessment day.


If you found this useful check out the following ‘How to pass CWI climbing instructor assessment’ blogs on our website in the next few months with more details on what’s involved.  We will add links below as we publish the blogs.

(2) What do I need in my DLOG for CWI climbing instructor assessment?

(3) What First Aid do I need for CWI climbing instructor assessment?

(4) What is involved in a CWI Home Paper?

(5) How to use the Climbing Wall Instructor Checklist from Mountain training.

(6) How can I nail group supervision on CWI climbing instructor assessment?

(7) A candidate’s view of how to pass CWI climbing instructor assessment?

(8) When and how do I book a CWI climbing instructor assessment?

(9) What you need to know about the Indoor Climbing Assistant qualification.

(10) Now you have your CWI climbing instructor qualification.

Arrampica are a company specialising in the training, management and maintenance of climbing walls and ropes courses.  

We have been running climbing wall instructor training and assessments since Mountain Training first launched their CWA qualification in 2008.


Post by Jenny Haygarth

2 Responses to How do I pass my CWI Climbing Instructor assessment? (1)

  1. Fionn Coughlan-Wills

    This is going to be an awesome resource for CWI candidates, looking at the upcoming articles. It can be hard to find the right info online directly from a provider. Thanks for this! F