Climbing Site Belayer

The PCIA Climbing Site Belayer Certification is a basic training class and evaluation created specifically for the needs of summer camps, gyms and outdoor education programs. The purpose of the course is to provide a nationally standardized curriculum of instruction for individuals who provide supervision and belaying of participants at climbing sites. It is designed to train staff in the key skills required to safely operate a climbing tower or to serve as a climbing site assistant under the direction of more experienced and trained staff who are able to provide anchoring, system set-up, facilitation and rescue as needed.


Climbing Wall Instructor

The PCIA Climbing Wall Instructor Course provides instructors and potential instructors with an in depth, standardized understanding of the skills essential to teaching climbing in an indoor setting. It is the first step in a sequential approach to professional climbing instructor development. The course reinforces the importance of teaching technically accurate information and debunks many common climbing myths.


Top Rope Climbing Instructor

The Top Rope Climbing Instructor course provides instructors and potential instructors with an in depth and standardized understanding of the skills essential to teaching climbing in an outdoor setting. 


Top Managed Climbing Instructor

Top managed sites hold different risks and require different skills from base managed sites to effectively manage climbing groups. The PCIA Top Managed Climbing Instructor™ Course addresses these needs in a one day course designed to build upon skills acquired in the Top Rope Climbing Instructor™ Course. Like other PCIA courses, the course continues to reinforce the importance of teaching technically accurate information and to debunk many common climbing myths.


Single Pitch Climbing Instructor

Upon completion of all Top Managed Climbing Instructor course components and demonstration of proficient 5.6 traditional leading ability, graduates are upgraded to a certified PCIA Single Pitch Climbing Instructor. There is no separate exam for this level unless an individual is challenging the exam.

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Slope Access Technician

Geotechnical and geo-stabilization workers are often required to access slopes and cliffs using techniques adapted from mountaineering.  For instance, there may be a need to access slopes on short notice or with a minimal number of personnel.  Access to the top for anchoring and rappelling may be difficult.  The terrain can be extremely dirty and quickly foul complicated safety devices.  Mountaineering techniques, when adapted to this environment, offer alternatives.  The PCIA Slope Access Technician Courses have been designed to meet the training needs of those working in mountain-like conditions.  Depending on the scope of the work to be done, mountaineering-based techniques can get the job done quickly, safely and for less money.

Level 1 - Slope Access Technician

The Slope Access Technician course is an entry level course focusing on understanding equipment, basic techniques, safety practices and slope assessment essentials.  Participants will learn and practice a variety of knots, basic anchors, rappelling, ascending, belaying, knot passes and simple self-rescue skills.  Slope Access Technician terrain involves up to Class II slopes.  A Slope Access Technician works under the supervision of a Journeyman or Master Slope Access Technician.  A Level 1 challenge test is available for individuals seeking to demonstrate proficiency.

Level 2 - Journeyman Slope Access Technician

The Journeyman Slope Access Technician course broadens a participant's suite of skills to open access to Class III and IV terrain.  The course covers alternative tools for rappelling and ascending, complex anchoring needs (multi-point anchors and load distribution), releasable systems, multi-rope systems, hauling and batwing systems, and partner rescue.  A Level 2 challenge test is available.

Level 3 - Master Slope Access Technician Educator

The Master Slope Access Technician Educator course is for the experienced Journeyman and is the first step toward becoming a Slope Access Technician course instructor.  The course reviews and expands the technician's breadth of knowledge in order to allow him/her to to instruct individuals from a variety of technical backgrounds.  Complex anchoring, belaying, difficult hauling and partner rescue are reviewed and explored.  The course also explores multiple tools and methods that can be used to perform similar tasks.  There is a significant emphasis on educational process, including lesson organization and practice teaching.  The Level 3 program is currently under development and no challenge exam exists at this time.

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Site Verification

This program is intended for specialized programs such as summer camps or organizations that offer limited climbing instruction at a single site with the same staff. Typically these programs are facilitating a climbing experience with the staff belaying participants and are not teaching rock climbing skills such as belaying, anchor construction, etc. to participants. A site verification provides training focused on the specific climbing activities being done and is not comprehensive in nature.


The PCIA accreditation program connects training and certification with accreditation. Two of the founding directors of the PCIA have been involved with the various nationally recognized accreditation programs for nearly twenty years. The PCIA accreditation program builds upon knowledge that the founding members have garnered from their development and administration of the these programs.