NICAS Bouldering

Teal banner with "Bouldering" in white letters under NICAS logo, representing the NICAS Bouldering scheme

What is NICAS Bouldering?

NICAS Bouldering is a UK-wide scheme designed to introduce participants to bouldering through a structured programme. This scheme covers techniques, movement skills, and problem-solving skills specific to bouldering.

Who is it for?

NICAS Bouldering is suitable for individuals aged 7+, whether you’re an absolute beginner or a more experienced climber looking to improve your bouldering skills.

How does it work?

The NICAS Bouldering scheme has 5 different levels, each with its own set of skills and challenges:

NICAS Bouldering Levels

  1. New Boulderer
    Aimed at introducing people to bouldering, including basic balance and movement skills, warm ups and warm downs, bouldering lingo and how to boulder safely.
  2. Foundation Boulderer
    Level 2 looks at bouldering equipment, how to read a route, and grading systems, while continuing safe behaviour and further developing movement techniques.
  3. Competent Boulderer
    This level corresponds to most bouldering gyms’ membership standards, and aims to ensure learners gain the knowledge and skills to boulder safely and responsibly at any bouldering facility. It explores spotting, risk management, hold types and advanced movement techniques.
  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
    This top-level award focuses on building personalised programmes to improve performance. Level 5 graduates will have advanced skills and knowledge of training and bouldering, as well as experience of local and national competitions.

Participants progress through each level by completing practical assessments and demonstrating competency in various skills that support bouldering development.

Where can I take part?

Contact your local accredited centre to sign up for NICAS Bouldering.

Group of three teenage boulderers on the climbing mats wearing brightly coloured NICAS t-shirts