The Scheme

The National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme (NIBAS) is a nationwide Scheme designed to provide a structured progression for complete novices through to experienced indoor boulderers. The Scheme focuses introducing new and young climbers to the skills associated with climbing on artificial climbing walls without the use of harnesses or ropes. It is open to candidates aged 7 and upwards.

The scheme is administered by the Association of British Climbing Walls Training Trust (ABCTT) and is recognised by the British Mountaineering Council, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the Mountaineering Council of Ireland

Aims Of The Scheme

  • to develop climbing movement skills and improve levels of ability.
  • to learn how to use equipment appropriately.
  • to develop risk assessment and risk management skills in the sport.
  • to work as a team, communicate with, and trust other boulderers.
  • to provide a structure for development, motivation and improved performance.
  • to develop an understanding of the sport, it’s history and ethics.
  • to provide a record of personal achievement.
  • to point the way to further disciplines and challenges in climbing beyond the scheme.

Structure Of The Scheme

The Scheme comprises five levels of award aimed at complete novices to expert boulderers. The Scheme is split into two parts and takes a minimum of 150 hours of candidate commitment. Part one contains Levels 1 to 3 and part two contains Levels 4 and 5. Candidates register with an Accredited Centre and are issued with a log book for Levels 1 to 3. They can also buy a separate binder and log pages to record their progress. They will either attend an assessment course or complete continuous assessment as appropriate for each level. Following successful completion of an assessment a nationally-recognised certificate will be issued by the Centre on behalf of the ABCTT.

The five levels are:

  1. New Boulderer
    An entry–level award for candidates who wish to learn what bouldering is as a physical activity and how to use a bouldering wall safely.
  2. Foundation Boulderer
    Aimed at helping the candidate to understand how a bouldering wall works, and basic preparation and control while bouldering, with an introduction to equipment and movement skills.
  3. Competent Boulderer
    Corresponding to most bouldering–only centres’ “membership” standards. This is aimed at ensuring a candidate possesses the knowledge and skill to boulder safely at any bouldering facility and operate in a responsible manner.
  4. Skilled Boulderer
    Aimed at developing a self–motivated boulderer who has a wide range of skills and has reached a high level of competence, with a desire to progress by identifying and setting goals.
  5. Performance Boulderer
    The top–level award that focuses on improving performance, with advanced skills and knowledge of training and bouldering as well as experience of local and national competitions.

Further Information

Full details of the scheme can be found in the NIBAS handbook.

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