Climbing Wall Instructor Certification Program




As indoor climbing has grown in popularity, so has the need for international industry standards in climbing wall instruction and management. The Climbing Wall Association was created to meet this need in the United States. Now CWA’s Climbing Wall Instructor Certification Program is available in Thailand and Asia (provided by Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures).

Why Certification?

The purpose of certification is set a standard for how climbing walls are operated. This ensures that climbing walls around the world are run both safely and professionally. The result is happy owners who have confidence in their staff, as well as happy clients who can trust the places they go to climb and the people who work there.

Certification Standards

The goal of the certification program is to help climbing wall providers and schools to safely and properly operate their facilities and ensure the well-being of their customers. The goals of the certification program are as follows:

• To increase the level of professionalism in indoor climbing

• To improve the level of consistency and competency in indoor climbing technical instruction

• To define a consistent standard of care for climbing instructors in the following areas:

      • Client orientation and instruction
      • Teaching general climbing skills including movement
      • Teaching proper belaying techniques
      • Teaching proper leading techniques
      • Teaching proper equipment care and use
      • Proper facility use, care, and inspection

      • Emergency procedures

• To evaluate the technical skills of climbing instructors

• To provide candidates with guidance for further progressional development

• To provide a means of promoting consistency and quality assurance in climbing instruction for the benefit of the public

How to Get Certified

CMRCA offers 1-2 day training courses throughout the year that include an official assessment and CWI certification. Courses will be conducted as follows and certification lasts for 3 years. Please inquire about group rates.

• Top Rope Certification: 1 day course, 0.5 day assessment

• Lead Certification: Additional 0.5 day course/assessment

For candidates who do not meet the pre-requisites below or do not feel confident about their ability, CMRCA also offers 2 day prep programs prior to enrollment in a course/assessment. Second assessments can be arranged for those who do not pass.


Experience Recommendations:

• The candidate has one year personal climbing experience

• The candidate has climbed indoors/outdoors on 20 different occasions

• The candidate has 40 hours of combined formal training and climbing experience

Pre-Requisites for Course:

• The candidate is at least 16 years old (by end of course date)

• The candidate can demonstrate basic climbing movement skills

• The candidate can confidently top-rope 5.8 climbs without falls

• The candidate can confidently lead 5.7 climbs without falls

• The candidate has or is provided with equipment in good condition

• The candidate can demonstrate proper care, use, and inspection of climbing equipment

• The candidate can demonstrate proficient and safe belay technique


Top Rope Certification: 8950 THB/candidate

Lead Certification (includes Top-Rope): 12000 THB/candidate

Second Assessment:

Prep Course:

Price includes all CWA paperwork and certification fees, facility use and equipment.

Additional Resources

Climbing Walls Association Certification Website

Certification Standards

Assessment Sheet

Certification Program Student Manual

Policy Manual

Application Form

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