TRAINING AND ASSESSMENT SCHEME

INTRODUCTION
The emphasis of the scheme is on providing opportunities for training and qualification and an incentive for instructors to increase their experience and abilities. The association tries to avoid being overly prescriptive in its approach, believing that the development of good judgment in all aspects of climbing is of primary importance.

The training scheme addresses the following aspects of rock-climbing instruction:
1. Technical knowledge and skills.
2. Safe practices.
3. Effective group management skills on and off the cliff.
4. Sound environmental awareness and practices.
5. Effective teaching skills.
6. Informed climbing ethics, philosophy and historical perspective.
7. Competent emergency response.

Entry into the training scheme at the Top Rope Guide level is open to anyone with some climbing experience who wishes to work with clients in a top rope and/or abseiling situation. At the first level, candidates do not need to be lead climbers. However, to continue onto the second level (Single Pitch Guide) which is encouraged, they would need to be a competent lead climber, capable of leading graded traditional climbs safely and efficiently. Previous instructing experience is not a prerequisite.

The ACIA currently operates with several levels of qualification. These are sequential and each builds upon the knowledge, skills, and experience of the preceding level. At each level there is a training course and subsequent assessment, separated by an interim training period with a logbook requirement. The levels are:

Top Rope/Abseil Guide (TRG)
Single Pitch Guide (SPG)
Multi Pitch Guide (MPG)
Climbing Instructor (CI)
Instructor Trainer/Assessor (ITA)


OVERVIEW OF THE TRAINING SCHEME
The training scheme deals with techniques for the safe and effective instruction of the sport of rock climbing and assumes that all participants have knowledge of, and experience in, the basic techniques of rock climbing. For those candidates who have little or no experience with rock climbing equipment such as placing traditional gear, there is a 2 day preliminary course to the TRG which covers these basics and others. Previous instructing experience is not necessary.

At each level there is a training course, interim log book period, and assessment. The duration of each course varies - see the individual course details. The training courses at each level are broken into seminar type sessions on various instructing techniques and there is plenty of opportunity for ‘hands on’ practice of the topics covered. All of the techniques that will eventually be tested at the assessment are covered during the corresponding course.

At the end of each course there is an interim period before assessment, during which a logbook must be kept. Interim log book requirements vary at each level and some candidates may have extra requirements added if it is felt that they will need more experience or training before assessment. It is also possible for candidates to apply for exemptions from some or all of the interim requirements if they feel they have sufficient previous experience. The onus is on the candidate to apply.

At the end of each training course candidates are also appointed an ‘adviser’, normally from the course staff. The adviser is a contact for the candidate to consult regarding logbook requirements or any other problems before assessment. Once the logbook requirements have been met the candidate can attend assessment. Candidates take as long as needed to complete log book requirements and return for assessments.

It should be noted that candidates are not necessarily required to complete any assessments. The scheme is available to those who wish to complete the training courses without undergoing any assessment. This would suit people who just wish to acquire more skills and knowledge but are not interested in working in the industry and hence do not require a qualification.

Currency Requirements

All qualified instructors are required to hold a valid first aid certificate and be a financial member of the association in order to be listed as current instructors on our database.
There is an ongoing currency requirement for all levels of instructor. This is based on a self-reporting system and is a minimum requirement of instructing and/or climbing experience over the preceding two year period. Specific currency requirements are explained in detail during the courses.

COURSE BOOKING PROCEDURE

Entry into all courses is by completing an application form. Please be as detailed as possible with regard to your previous experience in order for us to make an informed decision about your ability to enter the course. Please include a deposit of $100.00 with your completed application form. You can find an application form on the document download page. Please book early to avoid disappointment. The balance of the course fee is due three weeks prior to the course starting date but can be paid earlier.

Courses have a minimum (and maximum!) number to make them viable. If any course doesn't reach its minimum number of applicants may be cancelled. In this case all applicants will be notified immediately and any fees paid will be returned or applied to a future course if preferred.

A cancellation fee (loss of $100 deposit) may apply if cancellation is made by an applicant less than three weeks before the course starting date. This cancellation fee may apply even if the applicant is requesting to switch to a later course.

A late registration fee of $20 may apply to bookings made within two weeks of course date. Places are not guaranteed until confirmed by the course coordinator or executive officer.
Tax receipts will be distributed during the course. Credit cards can be used for payment, but will incur a 4% charge additional to course cost.


GENERAL NOTES
• You need to provide your own food and accommodation during the course.
• You will need to provide your own climbing equipment and ropes for the course.
• Full details and course programs are sent out prior to the course start date.
• A course manual and logbook is included in the course fee for SPG courses.

Note: All course costings are shown at the end of the Course Schedule page.

TOP ROPE / ABSEIL GUIDE

Top Rope Guide Preliminary Course - 2 days
Entry requirements: some previous rock climbing experience. This is a preliminary course to the Top Rope Guide course (see below) and is designed for those who wish to do the TRG course but who have little or no experience with climbing equipment, placement of traditional gear (nuts, hexes, cams etc) or knots typically used for rock climbing. It is expected that the candidates will already have an interest in rock climbing and wish to better prepare themselves for the Top Rope Guide course. Candidates will be required to provide their own traditional rack, rope and personal climbing gear for the course. There is no assessment nor qualification awarded at the end of this Preliminary Course.

Over 2 days, candidates will be introduced to rock climbing equipment and instruction basics from the ACIA perspective. Course content will include: participation in a short climbing and abseiling session guided by our instructors; introduction to equipment, traditional gear, knots and anchor principles; gear placement and anchor construction incorporating traditional gear, natural features, bollards, trees and bolts.

Top Rope Guide Course - 3 days
Entry requirements: Must have completed the Preliminary Course or have gained exemption from the ACIA. This course is designed for those who wish to gain qualification with the ACIA in order to work in the rock climbing industry in a top rope or abseil situation. Candidates will NOT be qualified to lead clients up rock climbs. No instructional experience is necessary. Candidates will be required to provide their own traditional rack, rope and personal climbing gear for the course. Course content will include: top rope bottom and top belay anchor construction; abseil construction, site selection; soft skill instruction - running a top rope session, pre & de-briefing, methods of group management; environmental impacts & etiquette at sites, ratios; teach belaying, rescue skills for top rope and abseil guiding.

Top Rope Guide Assessment - 1 day
Entry requirements:
• Must have completed an approved TRG training program or gained an exemption from the ACIA
• Must present a logbook detailing (at least) the minimum requirements of climbing and instructing experience.
Individuals who satisfy the assessment requirements will be competent to conduct top rope and abseiling sessions. Full membership of the ACIA for the current calendar year is included in the course fee.

SINGLE PITCH GUIDE
Single Pitch Guide Training Course - 4 days
This course is for those who would like to work in the industry, or for recreational climbers who would like to learn about instructing techniques. The course fee includes Associate Membership of the ACIA for the current calendar year.
Entry requirements :
Candidates may enter at this level bypassing the Top Rope Guide level if they feel they have sufficient lead climbing experience. It is expected that candidates be competent lead climbers on traditional gear, and have their own personal climbing equipment to participate in the training program. There is no minimum leading grade requirement and previous instructional experience is not necessary.
Course content:
Over the four days, candidates will cover a full range of techniques and issues relating to climbing instruction, including:
• The setting up of safe and efficient top rope and abseil teaching systems using a variety of belays and sites.
• Methods for conducting clients safely and efficiently on single-pitch climbs.
• Self rescue techniques and emergency situations relevant to single-pitch situations.
• Site choice with relation to safety, environmental factors and outcome for the participant.
• Teaching techniques and group management issues.
• Environmental and land management concerns.

Single Pitch Guide Assessment - 2 days
Entry requirements
• Must have completed an approved SPG training program or gained an exemption from the ACIA
• Must present a logbook detailing (at least) the minimum requirements of climbing and instructing experience.
Individuals who satisfy the assessment requirements at this level will be competent to guide single pitch climbing and single pitch abseiling activities. There is no minimum leading grade requirements for this assessment. The course fee includes Full Membership of the ACIA for the current calendar year.


MULTI-PITCH GUIDE

Multi-Pitch Guide Training Course - 3 days
Entry requirements:
Must have completed the single pitch training course, or gained an exemption from this training from the ACIA. Candidates do not need to have completed the single pitch guide assessment.
It is expected that candidates will have strong multi-pitch climbing experience (typically to grade 14).
Course content:
Over the three days the course will build on the skills gained in the single-pitch guides course and give instruction and practice in various techniques specific to multi-pitch guiding, including:
• Efficient multi-pitch belay set ups.
• Methods for conducting students safely and efficiently on multi-pitch climbs.
• Self rescue techniques and emergency situations relating to multi-pitch climbing.

Multi Pitch Guide Assessment - 2 days
Entry requirements:
It is expected that candidates will be experienced single pitch guides and competent recreational lead climbers on multi-pitch climbs.

• Must have completed an approved MPG training program or gained an exemption from the ACIA.

• Must present a logbook detailing (at least) the minimum requirements of climbing and instructing experience.
Must be a Full financial member of the ACIA.
Individuals who satisfy the assessment requirements at this level will be competent to guide people on multi pitch climbs and abseils. They will demonstrate all of the skills, knowledge and experience associated with the SPG level as well as demonstrating stronger technical, guiding and rescue skills appropriate to multi pitch climbs. The minimum lead climbing standard expected is grade 14.


CLIMBING INSTRUCTOR
Climbing Instructor Training Course - 3 days
Entry Requirements:
It is expected that candidates in the CI training program are experienced SPGs, have completed the MPG training course and are experienced lead climbers. Candidates should apply to the ACIA office with evidence of their suitability including details of the following minimum requirements:
• Five years of climbing experience (min. 2000m./year) on a variety of rock types and including climbs up to grade 16.
• Three years of regular guiding and/or instruction.
Course content:
The focus of this course is very much on the distinction between guiding and the instruction of clients to operate independently. There is discussion of effective teaching models, the assessment of a client’s level of skill, developing an appropriate teaching progression and practical techniques to minimise risk during training and afterwards.
Practical sessions include:
• Structuring a ‘learning to lead’ course with case scenarios.
• Techniques for managing a student making their first lead climb.
• Rescue techniques relevant to dealing with a student lead climber.
• Teaching gear placement and belay set ups to clients.

Climbing Instructor Assessment - 2 days
Entry requirements:
Should be a qualified MPG and have completed the CI Training and all interim log book requirements.
Individuals who satisfy the assessment requirements at this level will be competent to teach others to be independent climbers (top-rope, lead climbing and abseiling). They will demonstrate a high level of personal climbing competence and would normally be leading to a minimum of grade 18.



INSTRUCTOR TRAINER/ASSESSOR

This level of qualification is used by the ACIA for the purpose of staffing ACIA courses. All instructors working on ACIA courses or assessments should hold this level of qualification.
To be involved in the delivery and assessment of ACIA courses, individuals should:
• Be a current CI.
• Participate in a negotiated ‘apprenticeship’ system with current ACIA instructor/trainer/assessors.
• Demonstrate the judgment and experience required to conduct instruction and assessment of the previous levels.
For more information, please contact your regional centre, or the ACIA executive officer.


RESCUE SEMINAR - 2 days
This is a two-day course intended for people involved in our training scheme or for any recreational climbers wanting to brush up on their self rescue skills. It is not necessary to be taking part in the ACIA training scheme.
During the two days participants will be taught, and will have the opportunity to practice, a variety of self-rescue techniques including:
• Prusik knots and prusiking techniques.
• Hoisting Systems (assisted and unassisted).
• The assisted abseil.
• Lowering off with a knot change.
• Assisting a stuck lead climber


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