CLIMBING WALL INSTRUCTOR
Course Length: ~20 hours
Prerequisites: The candidate should: have the ability to comfortably top rope climb at the 5.8 standard, illustrating confident, smooth, and controlled movement; own the personal equipment necessary for the course; demonstrate basic technical skills with ease; and be comfortable with multiple styles of belay devices.
Certification Duration: 3 years
Re-certification Criteria: There are three re-certification options: (1) take a 1-day refresher course; (2) obtain 10 hours of continuing education credits (CEUs); (3) obtain a higher-level certification.
The Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI) course emphasizes the instruction of fundamental skills to climbing gym participants, the formation of risk assessment and risk management skills, and basic problem-solving skills. Participants are assessed on their knowledge and their ability to effectively teach related skills.
Certification Levels: Depending on performance, participants can earn one of three certification levels.
CWI-A: Climbing Wall Instructor Assistant
CWI: Climbing Wall Instructor
CWI-L: Climbing Wall Instructor with a Lead Climbing endorsement
Climbing Wall Instructor Course Curriculum:
Professionalism: Professional demeanor and attire; client greetings; facility introductions; professional training programs and other outdoor education organizations.
Legality: Administrative aspects of wall management; gym inspections; gym set-up; and emergency action plans.
Safety: Inspecting equipment; administration of skills tests; use of gym-appropriate knots; various belay techniques; skills interventions; basic rescue skills; supervision of bouldering and roped climbing areas; and spotting techniques.
Accessibility: Working with diverse populations; route setting for different styles and abilities.
Instructing/Coaching: Sequencing; teaching movement; and role modeling.
Academic Course Format:
The CWI Course Curriculum is also available from the PCIA in an academic classroom format. Lessons are divided into 75-minute blocks to better fit class schedules. Assignment suggestions, sample exams, sample activities, and an A-E grading model are included.