NICAS Climbing

What is NICAS Climbing?

Red banner with "Climbing" in white letters under NICAS logo, representing the NICAS Climbing scheme

NICAS Climbing is a UK-wide scheme designed to introduce participants to roped climbing through a structured programme. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to enhance your climbing skills, NICAS provides a safe and enjoyable pathway for climbers of all ages.

NICAS Climbing aims to develop climbing skills in a safe and structured environment. It covers both indoor roped climbing as well as bouldering, providing participants with a solid foundation in climbing techniques, safety awareness, and personal progression.

Who is it for?

NICAS Climbing is suitable for individuals aged 7+, from absolute beginners to experienced climbers looking to refine their skills.

How does it work?

The NICAS scheme is divided into different levels, each with its own set of skills and challenges:

NICAS Climbing Levels

1. New Climber

Level 1 introduces beginners to roped climbing, and recognises their ability to climb safely under supervision.

2. Foundation Climber

Aimed at promoting good practice in climbing and bouldering unsupervised on artificial walls.

3. Technical Climber

Level 3 focuses on developing technique and movement skills. It equips learners with the knowledge and skills to climb and belay safely at any climbing facility (whether or not under supervision or with back-up) and operate in a responsible manner. Achievement at this level is broadly equivalent to a pass at GCSE.

3. Lead Climber

Concentrating on the skills required to lead climb proficiently. Aimed at developing a self-motivated climber 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.

4. Advanced Climber

This top-level award focuses on improving performance, including creating a personal training programme and experience of local and national competitions, as well as exploring the wider world of climbing.

Participants progress through each level by completing practical assessments and demonstrating competency in various climbing skills.

Where can I take part?

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

Girl in purple T-shirt climbing on a climbing wall with ropes and colourful climbing holds