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  Rock Climbing Instructor Assessment


Peak District


£159 per person


2 days

Max. Ratio:


The Rock Climbing Instructor award, is a nationally recognised award that covers the skills required to safely supervise groups in the single pitch crag environment and on climbing walls.

The award is suitable for individuals who have a passion for climbing, and who want to work with groups in the outdoor sector, schools, or in the voluntary sector. It is also useful for individual climbers who want to expand their knowledge and become safer climbers, demonstrating rock climbing good practice. This two day assessment is very practical in nature and visits two different crags and an indoor wall.

In April 2018 the award changed its name from Single Pitch Award to Rock Climbing Instructor in alignment with the renaming of the other climbing awards administered by Mountain Training. The award is very similar but now has a three day training course. Assessment is almost identical to the SPA and candidates who hold SPA training need no conversion to be assessed under the new award name.

Course Dates
Following Government announcements we are now reopening. Walking, navigation, scrambling and outdoor rock climbing courses are now running.  We are hoping to be able to run RCI courses from August.

Sat 8 – Sun 9 Aug
Thu 24 – Fri 25 Sept
Sat 31 Oct – Sun 1 Nov

Meeting Point

We meet at 09:00 in The Sir William at Grindleford. Its Postcode is S32 2HS.  There is complimentary coffee & tea available from about 0845 so please make yourself at home.

Course Format

This two day Rock Climbing Instructor assessment looks at your competence to deliver safe and rewarding climbing and abseiling sessions as well as demonstrating safe personal climbing. All aspects of the syllabus will be covered at some point over the assessment. A typical course looks like:

Day 1 – Introductions. You, us and the course. Following this and possibly a quick look at the home research paper, we head to a local single pitch venue where you will be asked to demonstrate your personal competency by leading climbs of Severe standard and undertaking a personal abseil. We will then head to a local wall for some more climbing and some simple problem solving.

Day 2 – We meet at a crag and you will have an opportunity to demonstrate different systems suitable for different groups and discuss the reasons for your choice. We will also discuss access, environment and ethics.
At the end, and over a cuppa, we will discuss your performance over the two days.

Whilst this is an assessment, we take every opportunity to develop your skills so that you come away ready to wow your first group with your skills, knowledge and enthusiasm.

Detailed guidance notes on the syllabus and a skills check list are available here.

Equipment Required

In addition to your normal climbing clothing (including waterproofs), you will need to bring all the equipment you would need to run a climbing and abseiling session for a group. You will also require some money to pay for access to a climbing wall.

Lead ropes and static lines for rigging will be available if required.

Recommended Reading

The Rock Climbing Instructor Award Handbook contains all the details of the syllabus and the remit of the award.

The official handbook of Mountain Training’s climbing schemes is:
Rock Climbing essential skills & techniques. Libby Peter.
The BMC have a range of useful short videos and articles on a range of climbing issues.


This Beyond the Edge course is non-residential to allow you to select between a thermarest or 5 star hotel as you require. There is lots of accommodation in the Hope Valley and we recommend The Sir William which offers BtE clients a discounted rate and most courses start from here. Other options are listed on our Accommodation page.


Prior to attending the 2 day Rock Climbing Instructor assessment you must have:

  • Completed a training course or been granted exemption by Mountain Training.
  • Have led a minimum of 40 climbs on outdoor crags with leader placed protection at a variety of venues of which 20 must be at Severe grade or above.
  • Be proficient in the use of climbing walls and have a minimum of 10 sport climb leads at F4 or above.
  • Have assisted in the supervision of 20 instructed sessions post training
  • Hold a valid first aid certificate relevant to working away from habitation.

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