What's What - The BlueDome guide to outdoor qualifications

The Single Pitch Award

The SPA is the only nationally recognised award that enables holders to supervise novices and others on single pitch crags and climbing walls. To gain this award you need more than just good personal climbing skills. Our approved Providers will teach you about safe group management. crag etiquette, environmental responsibilities and more You will learn how to become an effective supervisor, encouraging others to enjoy their climbing safely, whilst also improving your own climbing techniques

Before undertaking the SPA award you should have been climbing for a minimum of 12 months, have an interest in the supervision of novices climbing and have led at least 15 graded routes outdoors It is usual for successful candidates to have led a minimum of 40 routes outdoors on leader placed protection before they attend an assessment.

You must be 18 years of age and a member of a Mountaineering Council Prior to registration you should have a minimum of twelve months rock climbing experience When you register you will be sent a logbook in which to record your climbing experience.

The SPA training course lasts for a minimum of 20 hours it will include personal climbing, group supervision and the use of climbing walls If you have an exceptionally high level of experience you may apply for exemption from the training course and proceed directly to assessment To do this you must first register and tick the exemption application request box on the registration form Then you should submit the exemption application form together with a copy of your completed logbook and the appropriate fee.

At the end of your training course you will agree a personal action plan with your training Provider This usually covers a period of at least six months during which time you will record your climbing and supervising experience in your logbook.

Your assessor will ask to see your logbook when you book on the course to check you have completed the SPA training course (or successfully gained exemption from training), satisfied the consolidation requirements and have a current first aid certificate The assessment lasts for a minimum of 20 hours and includes personal climbing, group supervision and the use of climbing walls. After passing the assessment you should keep your logbook up to-date and your first aid certificate valid

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