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Eastern Counties Climbing Wall Supervisors Scheme: From 2014 onwards
Zest for Adventure is an approved provider of the Eastern Counties Climbing Wall Supervisors Scheme. The scheme is designed to provide a basic level of competence for those who are in a position of responsibility for supervising participants during climbing wall activities using bottom-roping techniques. It is primarily concerned with good practice leading to the safe and positive enjoyment of climbing wall activities. It is based on the MLTUK (Mountain Leader Training UK) guidance for climbing walls and staff.
The scheme is for those who are in a position of responsibility for supervsing participants during climbing wall sessions. The qualification is recognised throughout the local authorities of Norfolk, Suffolk, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Luton. The scheme is site specific in that approval is given for specific walls, and supervisors must contact an assessor of the scheme to extend their approval to other walls.
It is the duty of the employer or organising authority to decide whether a supervisor possess the personal attributes needed to take responsibility for the care of young people and novices. Similarly, it is the responsibility of the employer to assess the first aid experience necessary for the walls in question. It is the combination of technical skills, wide experience and personal qualities that form the basis for effective supervision. This scheme assesses the technical skills and experience; the emploer or organising authority must gauge the personal qualities.

Stages in the Scheme


The scheme comprises registration with the local authority advisor in their own authority. This person will then enter them on the database, and they can download logbook pages from Mountain Leader Training UK. They then pursue the following route:


Attend a training course (minimum 6 hours in total)

Consolidation period between training and assessment

Attend an assessment course (minimum 2 hours)

Continuing experience entered in log book

Three year logbook-based revalidation of the qualification


Experienced climbers with extensive supervisory experience can submit a logbook to a scheme assessor and, if approved, can proceed directly to assessment.




The training course is for potential climbing wall supervisors, and thus assumes basic competence in climbing skills. Consequently, before attending a training course, candidates must be proficient in the following skills:


Selecting and fitting a climbing harness

Using a screw gate karabiner

Tying a rewoven figure of eight and a stopper knot

Setting up a belay device and being able to demonstrate

effective belaying techniques

Demonstrating ability to hold a fall and lower a climber

Climbing routes on the selected climbing wall


Candidates must be 17 tears or over in order to attend a training course. Training courses are at least six hours in duration. The training course will have a minimum of two candidates and a maximum of eight. The training course will highlight those skills which canidiates might have difficulty in learning without expert guidance. A few minor aspects of the syllabus may not be covered during the training course, and candidates are expected to deal with these items themselves.


Following the training course, oral feedback will be given to each candidate, and the date of the training course will be entered in their log book. Candidates are encouraged to use the skills checklist in the logbook to evaluate their current skills and to plan, with their trainers, their particular route to assessment.




Experience gained by candidates should be recorded in the logbook. Entries should be concise and easily read, and should include all rock climbing and other relevant teaching/instructional experience.

The logbook is divided into five sections:


Summary of prior experience

Training course report

Consolidation period: logged personal and supervisory experience

Assessment course certificate

Post-assessment experience


Consolidation Period


Candidates will explore new ideas and techniques during training and will, therefore, need some time to practise and evaluate these before taking the assessment. During this period of consolidation, candidates are advised to climb at a range of venues. It is also recommend that candidates should aim to assist with a minimum of five climbing sessions between training and assessment.


The trainer will give further advice about the amount and nature of the personal climbing and supervising experience that candidates should gain.




This will be carried out by Mountain Instructors approved by the scheme.



The assessment will take place over a minimum of two hours and a minimum assessor:candidate ratio of 1:4, and candidates will be tested in accordance with the syllabus requirements. The minimum age for assessment is 18.




Upon completion of the award, candidates are expected to continue logging all relevant experiences.The qualification has a life span of three years. Thus, candidates must revalidate their qualification if they wish to continue delivering climbing wall sessions. Revalidation can be gained by submitting their log book to their local advisor who may contact a scheme assessor. It will be granted to those who have demonstrated continued climbing wall practice.




Experienced climbers who already have substantial experience of supervising groups on climbing wall activities may apply to be exempted from attendance at a training course and the log book period. There is no exemption from assessment. Those holding the Single Pitch Award award already have competencies beyond the scope of this award.


Links to other Local Awards


If people wish to transfer into this scheme from other local awards, the transfer process will be managed by their outdoor education advisor in communication with the assessors of this scheme.


Ownership and Staffing


Ownership of this scheme rests with the officers of the named authorities who are responsible for outdoor education. Authority to modify the scheme and to appoint assessors rests with those advisors.


Assessors must hold the Mountain Instructors Award, the Mountain Instructors Certificate or be a British Mountain Guide. Assessors will run trainer courses for appropriately experienced Single Pitch Award holders. Only these named individuals may train or assess within the scheme. All of these individuals must be recorded on the database held by the local authority advisors.