About Us

We are a small educational charity based in the UK that provides structured award schemes for climbers with the aim of providing a pathway from indoor climbing to life-long participation in climbing and mountaineering.

Our schemes offer a progressive pathway for climbers to develop technical skills, safety awareness, and accreditation through structured levels of achievement. By emphasising safety standards, skills development, and recognition of progression for our learners, and supporting coaches at our accredited centres to deliver engaging sessions, NICAS cultivates a vibrant and supportive atmosphere where climbers can thrive in their sport, while also promoting a culture of safety and fun.

Our charity is formally known as the ABC Training Trust. Day to day, however, we refer to the charity and our team as NICAS (pronounced “nye-cass”), as our brand name is more familiar to climbing walls, candidates, and parents. NICAS®, NIBAS® and ABCTT® are all trademarked.

NICAS is run by a board of trustees and a staff team of four. We also work closely with coaches and technical experts to support climbing facilities in their delivery of our schemes.

Our Team

NICAS is run by a staff team of four:

  • Our Managing Director, Nicholas Parkin, provides leadership and decision-making skills that play a pivotal role in steering NICAS towards its goals and objectives.
  • Our Projects Manager, Abbi Blakey, joined us in April 2019 as Membership Manager. Having previously worked part time for the schemes on specific projects, Abbi brings continuity of expertise as well as a customer-focused approach for our accredited centres.
  • Our Products Manager, Skinner, has delivered NICAS schemes throughout the UK since 2008, and was previously a Level 5 NICAS Climbing Course Director. He now heads up our Coach Development Team, training other coaches during workshops and online training sessions.
  • Our newest team member, Jen Rigby, joined us in June 2022 as Operations Co-ordinator.

More about us

  • Our Trustees – find out more about who sits on our Board of Directors on our Trustees page.
  • Coach Development Team – find out who the talented individuals who deliver our Coach Development training sessions at our accredited centres through online webinars are.
  • Safeguarding – check out the safeguarding resources available for all, as well as our policy and procedures designed to protect children, young people and adults taking part in the NICAS schemes.