Are you a freelance climbing coach using many different venues who would like to deliver our syllabus? You're in the right place.

 
"NICAS had helped me as an instructor have more structured sessions at the wall, it really gives the children something to focus on and they learn way more"
(NICAS coach, NICAS Survey 2016)
 

What do you need to do?

NICAS and NIBAS can only be delivered at accredited centres, but providing you hold the right qualifications and have received an induction, you may be able to deliver the syllabus at these centres. Your induction will appear on your Mountain Training D-log so you can prove you've had one, and that it's in date.

Every centre which is approved for delivery has a Course Director who is responsible for NICAS and / or NIBAS there. Before you book an induction, contact them to check what their requirements are. Many centres will ask freelance instructors to provide proof of:
  • Insurance
  • First Aid
  • Qualifications
  • DBS check (or other local equivalent)

You need to be aged 18 or over.

As you will know, every climbing centre is run as a stand-alone business and individual centres may not allow freelance coaches to take clients or groups there. The centre's own policies override those of NICAS and NIBAS in this case: we won't challenge their decision as to whether they allow freelancers. If they do allow freelance coaches, we will require you to meet our qualification requirements below to deliver our schemes at their centre.

You can check what qualifications we need you to hold for each level of NICAS or NIBAS in the last column of each of these tables, which are extracts from the . We require freelance coaches to have higher levels of qualifications and coaching experience than in-house coaches who are located at a specific centre.

2017 NICAS quals 2017 NIBAS quals
Click image to enlarge
2017 NICAS quals
2017 NIBAS quals

We've produced some specific guidance for Freelance coaches in our . After you've had an induction you'll also get access to the Coaching Handbooks for NICAS and NIBAS, which set out the syllabus and guidance for every level.

What can you do?

Depending on your qualifications, you may train and assess candidates up to and including Level 4. Only in-house coaches can deliver Level 5. You cannot register candidates or award certificates: this can only be done by the Course Director of the Accredited Centre - see below.

Course Directors of the Accredited Centres where you're coaching must satisfy themselves that you have sufficient qualifications, training and experience and insurance to deliver the relevant levels of the Scheme. Accredited Centres reserve the right to refuse to allow you to deliver NICAS or NIBAS at their centre, even if you have received an induction from the ABCTT.

Registering candidates


If you use multiple centres, we recommend you choose the largest as your main centre. You need to let that centre's Course Director know the details of your candidates so they can set up an online record for them and give you logbooks. The online record generates a unique candidate number which identifies each candidate; this number should be written inside the logbook which you also buy from the centre. Every candidate must have their own logbook. The cost of the logbook includes any certificates for those levels. The Course Director at that centre will sign and give these to you as each candidate is accredited.

The minimum information the Course Director will need is:
  • Candidate's name
  • Their date of birth
  • Their gender
  • The date that you are registering them for the Scheme
  • The date that they pass each level

Each time you go to another NICAS or NIBAS centre you will need to make contact with the Course Director so they are aware that you are inducted, that your candidates are registered, and that they have logbooks.

Climbing at other centres or on real rock

Any climbing, belaying or bouldering done at a registered NICAS or NIBAS centre counts towards their syllabus and assessment criteria. If your candidates are lucky enough to climb outdoors with you, or if they go to another centre which isn't accredited, we encourage them to record their achievements but be aware that this can't be counted towards their NICAS or NIBAS levels. It demonstrates a breadth of experience and is good practice to log everything though.

Assessing candidates

The Course Director at each centre you use may want to be involved in some elements of the delivery or assessment of your candidates. There is more about this in the on pages 25 and 30.
The final decision about any candidate assessment rests with the Course Director. This is because they retain over-arching responsibility for all candidates who are registered at their centre. In the event of a query or complaint from an exam board, an awarding body or any other third party, the Course Director needs to have sufficient knowledge of the candidates and their abilities to be able to justify their level of accreditation, or the grade given at an examination. This is not hypothetical - this has happened in the past, so the Course Director really needs to have confidence in what's happening in their centre and why candidates have the accreditations (or deferrals) they have!

Other stuff (the small print)

You need to complete a re-induction at least every three years in order to continue to deliver either syllabus. You do not need a re-induction for each centre you use.

You may advertise that you deliver NICAS or NIBAS but must name the centres you use and the levels you deliver at each. You may use our logos with restricted permissions - have a look at the ' ' document.

Applying to be an Accredited Centre

If you work regularly at a facility which has a suitable climbing or bouldering wall, why not consider applying for that facility to be an Accredited Centre in its own right? You do not have to be an employee or work there full-time: we only need the approval of the owner or manager of that site for you to be the named Course Director.

An example might be a school wall where they contract or employ you to deliver climbing as part of their GCSE PE. The wall might never be used by any other groups, or open to the public, but you use it regularly with school pupils. As a Course Director you could then buy logbooks at a slightly reduced rate, register candidates online, and award pass certificates on your own. Have a look at our Centres page (and the Schools page) for more information. Registration forms can be found in the Downloads section.




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