Hazel Findlay climb (credit Stephen Ford Horne)The ABC Training Trust (known as NICAS) is a registered charity (number 1123559) set up by the Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC) in 2008 to administer the NICAS schemes. Day to day, we refer to the charity and our team as NICAS, as this is our key brand name which is recognised by climbing walls, candidates and parents alike.
Technical Expert
NICAS is run by a Board of nine Trustees and a part-time Officer team. Our Memorandum and Articles of Association have been designed to ensure that ABC members have a say in how we deliver our remit. We also work closely with Coaches and Technical Experts so we can support climbing facilities in their delivery of the schemes.
Kenton Cool closeup
The Trust is able to recruit independent Trustees to ensure a breadth of experience, skills and knowledge. The Trustee representation is drawn from five ABC Approved Member walls (with a wide diversity in their size, ownership and management) and up to four independent Trustees chosen for their particular business skills. Terms last for 3 years and elections take place every year at our AGM.

We have two ambassadors, mountaineer Kenton Cool and professional climber Hazel Findlay. Read more about their links with our schemes here.
Our Trustees Our Trustees can each serve up to two terms each of three years in post on our Board, and are voted in by the ABC at each year's AGM. The ABC-appointed Trustee has no time limit on their term of office.

Our Board comprises:
  • Andrew Link - Interim Chair - Independent Trustee
  • Dave Stainthorpe - Treasurer, Eden Rock, ABC Member Wall Trustee
  • Dean Straw - Mile End Climbing Wall, ABC Member Wall Trustee
  • Jeremy Tapping - Westway Climbing Centre, ABC Member Wall Trustee
  • Ben Levey - Castle Climbing Centre, ABC Member Wall Trustee
  • Lee Browning - The Boardroom Climbing Centre, ABC-appointed Trustee
  • Jon Chittenden - Independent Trustee
  • Carys Rowlands - Independent Trustee
  • Vacancy - Independent Trustee

Find out more about our Trustees here.

All our Trustees complete Conflict Of Interest declarations which are reviewed at every Board meeting, so that we can ensure all decisions taken are scrutinised thoroughly without undue bias.

We also have Observers who provide a valuable input and insight to the Board. Observers are invited to attend on an occasional basis. We have agreements in place to invite Observers from the BMC, Mountain Training UK, Mountaineering Scotland (Climb Scotland) and Mountaineering Ireland.

Interesting in applying to become a Trustee? We seek applicants in late Spring / early summer each year as vacancies arise ready for the AGM in the autumn. Details of the applicants sought and the process will be published in our News section.

Our Board is committed to following to the Voluntary Code of Good Governance as defined by the Sport and Recreation Alliance. The Code was created by the sector, for the sector, and can be used by organisations to demonstrate a commitment to improving and maintaining good governance.

Good Governance (source: SRA)
Officers Our Officer team manage the day to day delivery of our Schemes, dealing with climbing centres around the world. They are:
  • Executive Officer - Martin Chester
  • Technical Officer - Tim Miller
  • Administration and Finance Officer - Anne Garnish
  • Project Development Officer - Abbi Blakey
  • Administrative support - Andrea Hawkins
Technical Experts We are lucky to have access to a group of highly-experienced Technical Experts, who come from a variety of climbing backgrounds and all act as advisors to climbing facilities. Our Technical Experts carry out our moderation visits to centres and sometimes deliver training to coaches. They are:

Click on each name to see their Mountain Training record. The Tech Expert team are supported by our Technical Officer, Tim Miller.

We have a vacancy for London and the South East at present - contact us if you hold MIA, Development Coach, or equivalent and have extensive experience of a TA-like role with artificial climbing structures.
Screening Committee The Screening Committee are assisted by our Technical Officer who acts as liaison between centres and the committee if any technical queries arise. Our Technical Officer also heads up our Coach Development Team, members of which are listed in our Organisational chart (see below).
  • Tom Williams - NICAS Awarding Centre Course Director
  • Melissa Bacon - NICAS Awarding Centre Course Director, member of Coach Development Team (CDT)
  • Graham Little - NICAS Technical Advisor, member of CDT
  • Rob Watts - NICAS & NIBAS PC Course Director
  • Andy Newton - NICAS Technical Advisor
  • Chas Hall - NICAS Course Director, member of CDT
  • Tim Miller - Technical Officer, NIBAS Primary Centre Course Director, head of CDT
  • Oz Fry - NIBAS Competent Person
  • Will McEvoy - NICAS Awarding Centre Course Director
The complete Organisational chart can be seen

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this


What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.