Rock Climbing Instructor training course

From: £240.00

Rock Climbing Instructor Training Course

Please select the start date of the course and add the Rock Climbing Instructor Training Course to your cart.
Note: Only the start date of the 3-day course is shown on the calendar. This course begins at 8:30 am on the start date.


Rock Climbing Instructor Training course

(formally known as the Single Pitch Award)

What is the Rock Climbing Instructor?

The Rock Climbing Instructor training course is all about supervising safe climbing and abseiling sessions on single pitch crags. Whether you’re a parent, a volunteer or an outdoor centre instructor, the Rock Climbing Instructor has been designed to maintain high standards of supervision so that people can enjoy safe sessions in this increasingly popular sport.

Our three-day course covers many skills designed to turn climbers into instructors who are able to motivate & coach rock climbing to a wide range of groups. Over the three days, we focus on group sessions, rigging, abseiling and coaching.

As well as a focus on group instructing skills we also cover the important aspects of personal climbing skills.

Why do your Rock Climbing Instructor training course with us?

We have been a provider of Rock Climbing Instructor (formally known as the Single Pitch Award) courses for many years and we draw on a wealth of experience.  We bring to the course not only a vast level of training and coaching experience but we also run many actual sessions for real groups and so remain really current with hands-on delivery. Running sessions for scouts, schools, young families, beginner climbers, teaching leading and rigging to university students, adult groups, etc. This allows us to stay current and continually assess our course delivery.

As a result of this, we deliver courses that are practical, simple and give you effective skills to develop your rock climbing sessions.

We have spent a lot of time analysing best practice and strive to be the best that we can be.

We aim to deliver courses in a clear and thought through style, that is progressive and structured and yet flexible enough to allow discussion and new ideas. We understand that candidates have different learning styles and we aim to deliver our courses to reflect this.

Mountain Training registration

Before attending a Rock Climbing Instructor course

You must be registered with Mountain Training to do this course.

You must create an account with Mountain Training and register on the scheme.  The best way to do this is on the Mountain Training website. Sometimes candidates don’t realise that they need to create an account and also register on the chosen scheme.

This video clip runs through all the steps to being registered.

Prerequisites for the training course

Have an account on Mountain Training’s Candidate Management System
You must be registered in the scheme
You must have led 15 routes on single pitch crags using leader-placed protection
You must also be a member of a Mountaineering Council (the British Mountaineering Council,
Mountaineering Council of Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland).

If you haven’t already registered then you need to visit www.mountain-training.org to complete this process.

Digital logbook

Please ensure you have entered your minimum prerequisites in your digital logbook at the time of confirming your place on the training course.

Rock Climbing Instructor training course outline

The Rock Climbing Instructor training course has a minimum course delivery time of  24 hours. We run our courses over three full days giving you 24 hours of contact time.

We want you to be as confident as possible at the end of the course, fully understanding what to practice and build on as you prepare for assessment.

Below is an outline of skills that we will look at over the three days.  We will vary the days and make the most of the weather, so if one day is really wet, that will be the indoor wall day.

Brief course plan

Day 1
We meet at 8:30 am on the morning of the first day and then travel to a crag (venue arranged around the weather).

Day 2
Head into the climbing wall.

Day 3
We will meet at 9 am and head out to a crag to consolidate skills learned over the last two days.

Course content

The course follows the Rock Climbing Instructor syllabus.
Revisions may occur to take account of weather and other considerations, whilst still satisfying the spirit and detail of the scheme.

Rock Climbing Instructor holders should be competent in the following key areas, all of which will be covered, to a greater or lesser extent, during your three-day training course.

Group management and supervision
Supervising sessions
Group management
Risk assessment

Technical competence
Personal climbing skills
Background Knowledge

The Climbing Environment
Professional codes and ethics

Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Rock Climbing Instructor handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment.

Reasonable Adjustments

To ensure candidates have unimpeded access and equal opportunities to attend Mountain Training courses. Mountain Training aims to ensure its qualifications are accessible to all individuals capable of demonstrating their leadership competence.
If this is something you wish to find out more about please follow this link

Rock Climbing Instructor training course detailed outline

Day 1

Course introductions
Mountain Training presentation
Pathway to qualifications
Stages in the scheme
Scope of the scheme
Explanation of the minimum requirements prior to assessment

Course Programme

Explanation of Mountain Training/Mountain Training Association/Mountaineering Councils
Visit an appropriate crag
Introduction to:
Suitable equipment to use and how to use it appropriately
How to manage and organise a group at a crag
Appropriate methods of personal safety at crag
Top/bottom rope systems using a mix of appropriate anchors
Group abseil
How to avoid and solve problems
How to engage and teach climbing skills
Current access guidelines
Current conservation practices
An awareness of etiquette at the crag
Climbing history, ethics & traditions

Day 2

Climbing wall day
Introduction to:
A range of belay devices/techniques appropriate to different situations
Personal climbing skills
How to manage and organise a group in a wall
Movement coaching
Indoor climbing games for groups

Day 3

Explanation of the responsibilities of a group leader
Introduction to digital logbook
Weather interpretation
Visit a second appropriate crag
Introduction to:
Personal climbing skills including personal abseil
Consolidate Top/bottom rope systems and group abseils
Current conservation practices
An awareness of etiquette at the crag
Climbing history, ethics & traditions


Group review allowing for notes to be taken, sketches of rigging setups.
Logbooks and personal action plans
Consolidation period and assessment outline

Syllabus points from the Rock Climbing Instructor handbook

1. Technical competence
2. The climbing environment
3. Supervision

 Technical info

Group abseiling rig and sessions

Setting up a group abseil with safety and abseil rope, locking off the Italian hitch, release ability, ease of access and take off point, instructor safety and different rope systems, what happens at the bottom of the rope, group safety before and after abseiling, tandem abseil and abseil pickups, simple problem solving e.g stuck coat/hair etc. Discussion of different venues. We aim to go to two different venues in the morning and afternoon session.

Bottom rope, bottom belay.

Skills include different belay techniques, involving the group in the belay system/peer belaying, tying on vs crabbing on, climbing calls, ground anchors, avoiding problems, techniques for safe lowering, simple problem solving if things go wrong Ensuring the static rope is over the edge of the crag, use of rope protectors, different attachment methods for the dynamic rope pros and cons e.g. single or double crabs, pulleys, figure eights. Anchor choice and type, different knots, critical angles. Fast and efficient ways of rigging.

Top rope top belay.

Setting up a system where the instructor is out of the system. Different methods. Climbing calls and tying on. Belaying using a plate and Italian hitch. Access above crag for groups. Hand lines. Pro’s and Con’s of each system and when each is appropriate. Dealing with nervous or difficult clients.

Indoor climbing wall session covering:

” Safe use of a climbing wall and other users, warming up and mobility stretching and its importance, bouldering: games, teaching and coaching movement, spotting, paired climbing, challenges and route setting, Roped climbing: using harnesses, tying on and wall policy, belay techniques and ground anchors, different types of climb, coaching movement, blindfold climbing and quiet climbing etc as techniques to improve awareness of the body, teaching climbing moves for different situations, safe lowering, group games, Warming down/stretching

Personal climbing

Each candidate to lead climbs they feel comfortable on. Focusing on: ” Instructor appearance and role modelling to show best practice ” Choice of crag and route ” Using a guidebook ” Seasonal restrictions at crags ” Climbing calls and instructions to the novice second before leaving the ground e.g. nut key use etc ” Where the second should stand and teaching belaying to a novice second ” Good gear placement appropriately spaced ” Awareness of rope line ” Awareness of length of runner to be used ” Placement of the first runner ” Rigging at the top including anchor choice and rope system. Independence of anchors etc. ” Correct use of belay plate ” Lowering of a climber ” Locking off the belay plate ” Simple problem solving ” What to do with the second at the top ” Dealing with additional climbers ” Retrievable abseil ” Coaching where possible to improve the candidates climbing ability and confidence and to improve their skills and efficiency.


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