Awarding Organisations are a special category of Accredited Centres.

They are defined as local or national organisations who wish to use multiple non-commercial climbing structures to deliver NICAS or NIBAS, solely to their own membership or candidates and which are not accessible to any other users. They are limited to delivery of Levels 1, 2 and 3 only. The defining feature of an Awarding Organisation is that it works solely with their candidates who are introduced to the facilty(ies) purely by that organisation, where the facility(ies) are never open to the public or for use by other instructed groups.

The following may qualify as an Awarding Organisation:
  • Any facility which is solely open for, and used by, the instructors of the applicant organisation. The structure should never be accessible by:
    o the public to climb or boulder unsupervised or as a casual user
    o non-instructed groups
    o groups of climbers led by a freelance instructor or one from another company / organisation
  • Groups using the wall do not pay ‘per use’ to use it – its use is either included in their annual membership fee to the organisation (e.g. Scouts), or is included in their Course Fee (e.g. a week-long residential course) or is free
  • The organisation / group should either be National, or part of a recognised geographical area structure – e.g. Sea Cadets, Girlguiding UK, PGL, local Council Pupil Referral Unit
  • Each structure must meet the minimum facility requirements for Levels 1, 1-2 or 1-3 of NICAS or NIBAS
  • They must have access to a suitably qualified Technical Advisor or Competent Person who visits the structure(s) at least annually and supports delivery of the Scheme. The structures must be subject to the same inspection routine and insurance as any other artificial climbing structure for their local jurisdiction. Where appropriate, they must conform with the relevant European standards.
  • Their clients / candidates are exclusively their participants (e.g. Scouts, children from Armed Forces families, PGL-registered school children) and not members of the public who can book without an introduction, membership or other link to the organisation.

General notes for Awarding Organisations



Materials can be bought Awarding Organisations at the same rate as for any other Awarding Centre, and will be supplied by their affiliated Primary Centre.

Each Awarding Organisation will have a Course Director (CD) who is involved in hands-on delivery of the syllabus, and visits every site under their remit on a frequent basis. They will also have a Technical Advisor (TA) or Competent Person (CP) who oversees all sites, and will visit each on at least an annual basis. The CD, TA or CP, and every coach who wishes to deliver NICAS or NIBAS must receive an ABCTT induction. The Course Director is responsible for entering candidate details into the Online Candidate Database, but may delegate this to a central Course Administrator.

All Awarding Organisations will be subject to payment of an annual Registration fee to the ABCTT. The level of this fee will be in line with with the fees paid by stand-alone centres, and may reflect the number of facilities registered, the number of instructors or coaches delivering the syllabus, and the anticipated number of candidates who may register for the Schemes. The fee will be set by the ABCTT and agreed with the Awarding Organisation on an annual basis prior to delivery of either Scheme.

The ABCTT recommends that all artificial climbing structures consider applying for free Advised Member status of the ABC, adhering to the 10-point code of good practice.

All Awarding Organisations and their structures will be subject to Moderation on the same rolling timescale as all stand-alone NICAS and NIBAS accredited centres.

Facilities which have at any time been registered as stand-alone Accredited Centres previously may not be considered part of an Awarding Organisation’s facilities unless under exceptional circumstances, set out in writing to the ABCTT Board and approved by them.

Candidates who wish to pursue NICAS or NIBAS to higher levels than those delivered by the Awarding Organisation must transfer their registration to a stand-alone NICAS or NIBAS centre of the appropriate level to continue their training.

Facilities which do not meet the criteria set out above, or those who have facilities in excess of those required for Awarding Organisation levels, may wish to apply to be an Accredited Centre in their own right for the appropriate Scheme (e.g. Level 4 of NIBAS). They will then be treated as any other stand-alone Accredited Centre, as set out in the Scheme handbooks.

The application form for Awarding Organisations is slightly different to the application form for Awarding Centres. Any organisation who would like to explore being an Awarding Organisation should contact us for advice in the first instance.




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