How do I start doing NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering?

NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering are delivered at approved climbing and bouldering walls. You can find all of them on our interactive map. To register and start learning contact your closest wall or the one where you want to do your training. Every centre has a named Course Director who oversees the delivery of NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering there, so you can ask them any questions.

Tips: Every climbing centre is different so they all offer NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering in different ways. Some run courses over a fixed number of weeks, some run as drop-in sessions, some even use a mobile climbing tower. Your local centre can tell you what they offer and how to book. You may have to join a waiting list if their sessions are very popular.

When you start climbing at your centre they’ll give you the opportunity to register and buy a logbook to record your achievement. They add your details to a secure national online database to create your Unique Candidate Number. This number identifies you and creates a single record for any climbing you do with NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering.

How much will it cost?

A first NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering logbook, for Levels 1 to 3, costs £7.50 (or €9), which includes the cost of your certificates as you pass each level. It’s a requirement of NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering that you have your own logbook. You have the option to buy a binder to keep your logbook pristine – they cost £3 (or €4), but they’re not mandatory.

Tips: Some centres ask for you to buy the logbook as a separate cost, and some include it within a course of lessons or instruction. The cost of your sessions will be set by your own centre, not by us, and may cover your entry fees, coaching costs, and use of equipment like climbing shoes or harnesses. Costs for courses vary around the country so ask your centre for details.

When you have passed the first three levels you will be given the opportunity to buy a separate logbook for the next two Levels – 4 and 5. This also costs £7.50 (€9). You don’t need to buy this second logbook when you first start climbing or bouldering though.

Tips: Your centre might give you the opportunity to buy badges as you pass each level – ask your centre if they stock them, and the cost. Typically they shouldn’t be more than £2 each.

What details are needed to register me?

The centre needs your given name, your family name and your date of birth. We ask them to add your details to a secure, national online database to create a candidate record. Additionally they may ask for your gender, or if you are completing NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering as part of another award such as GCSE or Duke of Edinburgh.

Tips: As our system is linked to Mountain Training, they may also ask for an email address or postal address so that if you decide to take a coaching qualification later, your record is already set up.

Why are these details needed?

So that your unique record can be identified as specifically about, and for, you. These details also create statistics which get passed to us (NICAS) so we can see how many candidates are doing the scheme, where they are in the world, how old they are, what gender split we have, how many candidates are working on a particular level and so on. Some of these statistics are shared with organisations such as Sport England and the British Mountaineering Council, but no individual candidates can be identified from this data.

Who can see my details?

The only people who can see your full details are the centres where you are registered for NICAS Climbing and NICAS Bouldering, or if you have started the scheme as part of an organised group (such as Scouts or a school) then your teacher or group leader may have access. When you reach 16 you or your parent / guardian can choose for your record to be made available to you, as it'll be linked to the Mountain Training database. This means that if you want to register for any MT courses, you already have a record with them.

Your details are not publically viewable or searchable.

NICAS has a Data Protection Officer and a clear . You can contact us with any questions or concerns.

What if I think my details are wrong?

Tell your centre's Course Director and if they can't correct your details, or if you don't use that centre any more, contact us.

You can find lots more Frequently Asked Questions and their answers here.

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