Climbing Wall Leader Award (CWLA)

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The Climbing Wall Leading Award has been designed to train and assess those who wish to teach lead climbing skills on indoor or outdoor artificial climbing walls and structures with fixed protection. This includes a wide range of structures (including, for example towers and mobile climbing walls) which will be referred to throughout as ‘walls’. These structures are deemed to have safety equipment, such as top anchors, in place and are maintained through a management regime. The award is concerned with ensuring good practice when developing leading skills.

It covers the introduction, coaching and on-going development of the technical and movement skills required to lead routes. Completion of a training course, without passing the assessment, should not be considered as a qualification in itself, although it may be of benefit to the trainee. The award includes a measure of personal competence. However, it is not a personal proficiency programme and should not be used as either an entry requirement, or a measure of suitability for climbing on artificial walls.

The award is valid throughout the UK and wherever UK qualifications are recognised. For the purposes of the Climbing Wall Leading Award, a climbing wall is:

  • An artificial structure, designed for the purpose of being used for climbing activities (this includes towers and mobile climbing walls), with fixed protection e.g. bolts
  • Indoors or outdoors
  • A structure which has safety equipment such as top anchors in place and is maintained through a management regime The employer or organising authority must have appropriate management structures in place if they wish to employ CWLA holders for duties beyond the remit of the award.

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