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How to become a rock climbing instructor (UK)

How to become a climbing instructor:

A dream job? maybe for some, with every job there are downsides but if you already spend your time teaching people how to climb and thoroughly enjoy it then maybe this is for you.

First of all you need solid experience- no teacher /coach can do their job without that so basically you need to climb, and climb lots, with as many different types of people you can manage.

There is a scheme that is recognised by the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) called the SPA (The Single pitch Award)

The SPA is the first stepping stone and many young instructors use this award to gain more experience before moving on to a more senior qualification like the MIA (Mountaineering Instructor Award)

Lets start with the SPA.

Its a basic qualification that will allow you to work indoors or outdoors and is perfect for teachers and those wanting to work as freelancers to outdoor centers.The SPA is designed for those teaching on single pitch venues and does not cover teaching lead climbing.

The qualification usually takes about a year to achieve and you must demonstrate basic ropework skills and lead to Severe standard (about grade IV french)

It's a 2 day course for the training and you will require a valid First aid at work certificate for registration. Consolidation is required then a 2 day assesmnet will see you attaining the award.

The MIA.

After the SPA you might wish to progress to the MIA so you can take more responsibility this requires more than just climbing skills to achieve. In fact its a Mountaineering quaslification that also credits you with the ability to teach multi pitch rock climbing skills including mountain routes and sea cliff climbing.

Before you can register for the MIA you need the Summer Mountain Leader Award or ML summer

The ML Summer .
I hear you say... I don't want to lead people in the mountains! I just want to teach rock climbing! Yes... many say that, but currently there is no climbing qualification available here so you have to take this route!

Once you have taken the ML summer 6 day training and the 5 day assessment and pass, you can register for the MIA.

Back to the MIA.

The MIA is a senior climbing award/ qualification Summer conditions only/ or no snow and ice en route.

The MIC is the winter equivalent (Mountain Instructor Certificate)

Next is the BMG (British Mountain Guide) a carnet very few people go for as it involves lots of alpine mountaineering.

To register for the SPA check out MLTW



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