Rock Climbing Instructor

The Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI) 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 RCI 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 RCI for personal reasons, the Award 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 CWI training course, then the RCI can be delivered over 2 days instead. Please contact us for further information. 

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 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 Severe grade climbs
  • 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 RCI movie


Single Pitch Award from team_BMC on Vimeo.