Rock Climbing Instructor

The Scope of the Scheme

The Rock Climbing Instructor scheme is for those who are in a position of responsibility during single pitch rock climbing activities. It is primarily concerned with good practice, leading to the safe and quiet enjoyment of the activity. Completion of a training course alone, without passing the assessment course, is not a qualification in itself, although it may be of considerable personal benefit to the trainee.
It is valid throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland and is recognised by the Adventure Activities Licensing Scheme.
For the purposes of this scheme, a single pitch route is one which:
is climbed without intermediate stances
is described as a single pitch in the guidebook
allows climbers to be lowered to the ground at all times
is non-tidal, non-serious and has little objective danger
presents no difficulties on approach or retreat, such as route finding, scrambling or navigating
The majority of these routes must be in the UK and Ireland.
Our Single Pitch Award (SPA) training and assessment courses will give you the skills to instruct groups on single pitch rock climbing crags across the UK. We have a number of easily accessible single pitch venues across Snowdonia that are ideal for all parts of the SPA syllabus.
The scheme does not cover:
general mountaineering skills, such as those needed to approach and return from remote mountain and moorland crags
multi-pitch rock climbing skills, the teaching or supervision of leading, (these are covered by the Mountaineering Instructor Scheme)
access to tidal sea cliffs or any other location where escape is not easily possible
the gauging of a candidate’s personal qualities


Training Dates:

7th-9th December 2022


£200 non residential
£230 residential

Our training course will be held on a mixture of crags, each of a different rock type. This will enable a full and varied RCI training course that will give you extra experience in setting up anchors. All aspects of the syllabus will be covered with extra time built to re-address the topics you want to concentrate on. The course will be based from Arete Centre.

Rock Climbing Instructor ASSESSMENT

Before you book onto a Single Pitch Award assessment, make sure you have done the following:
You must have attended a Single Pitch Award training course or been granted exemption
You must have logged a minimum of 40 lead climbs, outdoors on leader-placed protection (a substantial number of these must be at least Severe grade at on a variety of rock types)
You must be proficient in the use of climbing walls
You must have assisted in the supervision of approximately 20 instructed sessions at a variety of locations, some outside and some inside (a session is a half day or evening)
You must hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 16 hours and relevant to your work as a Single Pitch Award holder
The Single Pitch Award assessment is 2 days long (approx. 20 hours).

Assessment Dates:

17th – 18th March 2023


£160 non residential
£175 residential

The RCI assessment will be run from Arete Outdoor Centre. We will give you every opportunity to demonstrate your climbing skills at the RCI level. Our instructors are all experienced and very aware of the standard required for the RCI so you receive a fair assessment.


If you choose to include the accommodation option this will be at Arete Centre. We have a mix of shared rooms, or for a premium a single room can be accommodated. The accommodation is for one night after the first day and includes lunch on both days, an evening meal and breakfast on the second day. Extra nights can be added before and after the course. There is plenty of space to relax in the evenings include a friendly public house just 100m away. For more details on accommodation check out the information on the website.