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Course Length: ~20 Hours
Prerequisites: The candidate should: hold a current CWI-L or higher certification and be able to model sport lead climbing at the 5.8 standard, illustrating confident, smooth, and controlled movements.
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 Sport Climbing instructor (SCI) course is designed to bridge the gap between indoor climbing instruction and outdoor climbing instruction. The purpose of this course is to allow CWI-Leads to be evaluated in outdoor, sport climbing instruction. It is designed to provide supplemental knowledge and specialized skills that will allow the SCI to effectively operate at outdoor climbing sites. The scope of this course is limited to sites where there is access to bolted top anchors via non-technical means or sport leading.

Sport Climbing Instructor Course Curriculum:


In addition to the CWI curriculum, the SCI emphasizes:

  • Professionalism:  The principles of Leave No Trace (LNT).

  • Legality: Outdoor emergency action plans. 

  • Safety:  Lead belaying with a dynamic catch; inspection of bolts and sport anchors; top-access protection; utilizing ground anchors and back-up belayers in an outdoor setting; outdoor climbing site management; and edge protection.

  • Technical:  Construction of multiple, SERENE, sport anchors; set-up and operation of releasable rappels; basic rappel rescues; and determining when to lower vs. rappel. 

  • Accessibility:  Working with diverse populations; route setting for different styles and abilities.

  • Instructing/Coaching:  Climbing site orientation and skills remediation in an outdoor setting.

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