Rock Climbing Instructor

The Rock Climbing Instructor is the new name for the Single Pitch Award. It is a national award which covers the skills needed to supervise groups of usually novice climbers in the crag environment. The Rock Climbing Instructor scheme 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 Rock Climbing Instructor scheme for personal reasons, the qualification being highly respected as a means of enhancing rock climbing good practice. 

The Rock Climbing Instructor 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

Our training course is run over 3 full days and covers all aspects of the Rock Climbing Instructor.  We aim to focus on the practical elements of the award, both indoors and outdoors, as well as provide individually tailored coaching and guidance which will support you through the consolidation period in both personal and group climbing related activities. Under the new scheme syllabus, if candidates have already attended a Climbing Wall Instructor training course, then the Rock Climbing Instructor training course can be delivered over 2 days instead. Please contact us for further information. 

Prior Experience for Training

Candidates should be registered for the Rock Climbing Instructor scheme with Mountain Training. For details on how to register, please visit [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 15 routes on leader placed protection
  • Have led 15 routes at a climbing wall
  • Have led 5 bolted sport climbs


Assessment Course

The Rock Climbing Instructor assessment course covers the whole syllabus over a period of two days.

Prior Experience for Assessment:

  • Attend a training course or apply for exemption
  • Lead 40 graded rock climbs, at least 20 being graded Severe or above
  • Be proficient in the use of climbing walls, having led 30 routes F4 or above
  • Lead 10 outdoor sport routes F4 or above
  • Assisted with delivery of 20 sessions, 10 outdoor, 10 indoor
  • Hold a valid First Aid Certificate


Further Information

Our Rock Climbing Instructor 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 Rock Climbing Instructor movie


Single Pitch Award from team_BMC on Vimeo.