Climbing Wall Instructor – Training and Assessment
Mountain Training is the collection of awarding bodies for skills courses and qualifications in walking, climbing and mountaineering in the UK and Ireland.
These courses train and assess people to look after other participants undertaking activities at climbing walls. Those achieving our qualifications are assessed at a nationally agreed standard and, as well as facility staff candidates on our open courses include volunteers, youth workers, outdoor instructors and teachers.
The Climbing Wall Instructor award (previously CWA) is a National Governing Body qualification for climbers who are in a position of responsibility when supervising climbing activities on indoor or outdoor climbing walls, artificial boulders and towers.
This course develops the skills and techniques to manage climbing and bouldering groups in a variety of situations. It consists of a series of discussion workshops to share and benefit from each other’s experiences.
All candidates undertaking the CWI Assessment will be given the opportunity to perform to the best of their ability in realistic conditions. Though this is an assessment course, it will contain an element of training.
During the assessment, amongst other criteria, you will be assessed on personal climbing experience and experience assisting with the supervision of novice climbers, theoretical and practical contents of the CWI training, competent personal climbing and belaying skills of Fr 4 grade climbs.
You will need to demonstrate appropriate use of your personal climbing and belay equipment, along with use of a range of equipment provided by the assessor and demonstrate appropriate use.
This course develops the skills and techniques required for managing top-roping and abseiling groups on purpose built artificial climbing walls and structures. A range of techniques are covered which will be appropriate for different circumstances.
It consists of a series of discussion workshops to share and benefit from each other’s experiences.
A variety of delivery styles will be used to match the course to the skills and experience of the candidates.
At the end of the course candidates will develop an individual action plan regarding consolidation prior to assessment. The period between training and assessment varies in length for each person and is an opportunity to develop your skills.
The Climbing Wall Abseil Instructor award (previously CWAA) is an additional qualification to train CWA candidates to supervise abseiling from climbing walls.
All candidates will be given the opportunity to perform to the best of their ability in realistic conditions. Though this is an assessment course it will contain an element of training.
During the assessment, you will be assessed on:
- Theoretical and practical contents of the CWAI training and some of the CWI training
- Valid First Aid certificate
- Competent personal abseiling and top rope belaying skills of top ropes
- Personal lead climbing a Fr 4 grade climb and attach to insitu top anchors, in preparation for belaying a climber
- Demonstrate belay and lower a second and attach them to top anchors
- Use of a range of equipment provided by the assessor and demonstrate appropriate use.
What are the revised Mountain Training Climbing Instructor Qualifications?
Mountain Training explain: “The change to our climbing qualifications is necessary because climbing continues to evolve and is increasing in popularity. The role of instructors and coaches in the climbing sector is adapting to this and it’s important that our qualifications support and enhance this evolution.”
Mountain Training have produced a very useful diagram / infographic to illustrate the new structure further, illustrating the pathway of the new qualifications (click on the image opposite)