Becoming an Accredited Centre

Want to run our schemes? That's great! All NICAS schemes need to be delivered at approved facilities, known as "accredited centres". This is to ensure there is consistency nationwide and between centres, both in facilities and coaching experience. If your centre is open to the public*, is a commercial facility, or is used by any groups other than those coached by your own staff, it can potentially become an accredited centre. (NB: If you're interested in running NICAS sessions as a freelancer, read our FAQs for Freelance Coaches.)

To see which NICAS schemes, or what levels of NICAS Climbing or NICAS Bouldering your centre could offer, first check our minimum requirements for coaches (qualifications and training) and physical structures (e.g number of routes).

About the application process

There are a number of key steps required to join as an accredited centre. We also have some FAQs that will help.
  • Review the minimum requirements for coaching qualifications and physical wall facilities for your chosen NICAS scheme.
  • Contact NICAS for an introductory chat and to request an application form.
  • Book/pay for an induction. This induction does not have to be completed before submitting your application, but will need to be completed before commencing delivery of the schemes.
  • Email your application with all its supporting documentation to NICAS for review by the Screening Committee. Applications can take around 6-8 weeks and NICAS will stay in touch with you by email during this time. If we raise any queries, you’ll be notified straight away.

We'll let you know when your application has been reviewed and, if approved, you will be told about any special requirements (such as the Course Director completing a qualification, or the frequency of route-setting being increased).

Registration fees

Centre registration is annual and valid for 12 months from 1st September to 31st August the following year. Registration fees are paid for each scheme a centre delivers; for example, if you become accredited to deliver both NICAS Climbing and NICAS Wild Climbers, then there will be 2 x fees.

Registration fees for 2023–2024 are:

NICAS Wild Climbers
  • £50 + VAT (£60) per year

  • £50 + VAT (£60) per year

NICAS Climbing
  • £50 + VAT (£60) to deliver Level 1
  • £75 + VAT (£90) to deliver up to Level 2 or Level 3
  • £100 + VAT (£120) to deliver up to Level 4
  • £125 + VAT (£150) to deliver up to Level 5

NICAS Bouldering
  • £50 + VAT (£60) to deliver Level 1
  • £75 + VAT (£90) to deliver up to Level 2 or Level 3
  • £100 + VAT (£120) to deliver up to Level 4
  • £125 + VAT (£150) to deliver up to Level 5

Further information

  • For Primary Centre fees, please contact us.
  • If your centre is not open to the public and is never used by other groups you may qualify as an Awarding Organisation. An awarding organisation (for example, Sea Cadets) is usually national and is approved to deliver NICAS Climbing and/or NICAS Bouldering exclusively to its own members or candidates up to Level 3, at multiple named artificial climbing facilities. The application process for these is similar, but the form is different. Please contact us for more info.

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