Rock Climbing Instructor Award Assessment

Rock Climbing Instructor Award Assessment

Assessment dates – 30th June to 2nd July 2023 and 27th to 29th October 2023. Mountain Training Scotland provider Richard Bentley runs this assessment in conjunction with Active Outdoor Pursuits – based at our outdoor centre (Cairngorms Adventure Centre, Craigower Lodge, Golf Course Road, Newtonmore)

Run By MTS Provider Richard Bentley (Mountain Motion)

Rock Climbing Instructor Assessment – 2 Day Course

The Rock Climbing Instructor Award assessments we run are delivered over three days instead of two so that we can create a more relaxed atmosphere for everyone.  To attend you must have completed the RCI Training course or have exemption as well as meeting the assessment pre-requisites in the handbook.

RCI Assessment Content

Access the assessment syllabus via Mountain Training website here.  Over the days you are assessed on your overall performance with specific skills being focused on different days. These days are likely to be the following an indoor day, a group work day and a personal outdoor climbing day. For the course you are welcome to use your own equipment and there is an expectation as climbing instructors you should have some but we are more than capable of supplementing any required equipment from our stores. This includes dynamic ropes, rigging and abseil ropes as well as climbing racks etc.

A home paper will be issued prior to the course and the preparation of a short 5 minute talk on a topic relevant to climbing is also required. For example; rock types, advantage for top & bottom ropes & rope types.

The RCI assessment does not cover teaching leading this is only covered by the RCDI or the MCI awards.

Pre-requisites for Rock Climbing Instructor Award;

It is your responsibility to ensure you meet the pre-requisites for the award;

  • Completed the RCI training course (3 days) or received exemption from training.
  • Recorded a minimum of 40 lead climbs with 20 at a severe grade or above.
  • Assisted in the supervision of 20 climbing sessions (10 indoor and 10 outdoor). There must be at least 5 with reflective comments in dlog.
  • Recorded a minimum of 10 sport climbs at grade 4 or above.
  • You must have at least 30 indoor lead climbs at grade 4 or above.
  • Registered and active member of Mountain Training.
  • Hold a valid and current First Aid certificate (16 hours min). Please upload this to mountain training.
We do not cover personal registration fees or membership fees which need to be done prior to the course through Mountain Training.


The candidate handbook for the Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI) can be found at this link – this covers all elements of the assessment syllabus.

Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI) Further Information

The Rock Climbing Instructor Award (RCI) Assessment allows the candidate (if successful) to take people climbing indoors and outdoors on single pitch crags and artificial structures. The RCI used to be called the Single Pitch award but this was relaunched as the Rock Climbing Instructor Award in 2018. In short this assess experienced climbers to instruct climbing sessions.

The Rock Climbing Instructor Award assesses the candidate in single pitch environments. Multi Pitch routes can and do count towards the number of routes required in the prerequisites; please bear in mind there are differences between single and multi pitch climbs, so it is worth ensuring a good variety of single pitch climbs and different venues are present in your logbook. This will give you a nicely rounded base of experience. Which in turn gives you the best chance of passing the award. A single pitch crag can be defined as the following:

For the purposes of this scheme, a single pitch route is one which:

  • is climbed without intermediate stances.
  • is described as a single pitch in the guidebook.
  • allows climbers to be lowered to the ground at all times.
  • is non-tidal and has little objective danger.
  • presents no difficulties on approach or retreat, such as route finding, scrambling or navigating.
The RCI is predominately a UK based award but overseas climbs can and do count towards the numbers required as stipulated below:
  • Overseas sport climbing routes can count as all or part of the minimum number required for training or assessment. 
  • Overseas trad climbing routes can count for 50% of the minimum number required for training or assessment.
The Rock Climbing Instructor Assessment is run by Course Providers – normally Mountain Motion Richard Bentley

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