Single Pitch Award

The Single Pitch Award (SPA) is a national award which covers the skills needed to supervise groups of usually novice climbers in the crag environment. The SPA trains and assesses candidates in the delivery of safe, effective and enjoyable climbing sessions for climbers on outcrops, crags, and indoor climbing walls.

This course is ideal for climbers who find themselves working with groups in schools, outdoor centres or in the voluntary sector. Many other climbers choose to do the SPA for personal reasons, the Award being highly respected as a means of enhancing rock climbing good practice. 

The Single Pitch Award consists of a separate Training and Assessment course along with a consolidation period during which the candidate can develop their own skills by personal practice.


Training Course

The training course consists of two days training covering both personal and group climbing skills as per the Single Pitch Award Syllabus. Following this the trainers will give constructive feedback allowing candidates to plan for the consolidation period and Assessment as appropriate. It should be noted that the completion of the training course alone is not qualification in itself.

Prior Experience for Training

Candidates should be registered with one of the home nation boards e.g. Mountain Training England (MTE), Mountain Training Scotland (MTS), Mountain Training Wales (MTW). For details of these organisation click [here].

In addition you should:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have in excess of 12 months climbing experience
  • Be an active climber with experience of lead climbing
  • Have led at least 15 routes on leader placed protection


Assessment Course

The Single Pitch Award assessment course covers the whole syllabus over the period of two days.

Prior Experience for Assessment:

  • Attend a training course or apply for exemption
  • Lead Severe grade climbs
  • Hold a valid First Aid Certificate


Further Information

Our Single Pitch Award course information is available to download. If you are a group of 4 or more, e can also offer alternative course dates - please contact us for more details.


See the SPA movie


Single Pitch Award from team_BMC on Vimeo.