CWA Training

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The Climbing Wall Association is a non-profit membership association whose mission is to support the development of the climbing wall industry, to promote the sport of climbing and to advocate for its members. It is currently the only organization of its kind in the United States. The CWA’s network includes over 400 private climbing gyms, college programs, athletic clubs and recreation facilities; as well as climbing wall and equipment manufacturers, media and industry supporters.



The purpose of this certification program is to establish a voluntary certification for climbing instructors and a uniform set of performance standards that can be easily adopted throughout North America. It is the ideal course for anyone interested in becoming a CWA certified Climbing Wall Instructor or working directly with patrons at an indoor climbing wall or facility. The curriculum includes professionalism, equipment inspections, risk management (as it relates to climbing activities), patron orientations and developing effective teaching skills.

The Certification Program Student Manual serves as a source book in preparation for this course. Participants that pass the course will receive a CWI certification card issued by the CWA.

CWI Certification Course Goals

  • Increase the level of professionalism in indoor climbing in North America
  • Improve the level of consistency and competency in indoor climbing technical instruction
  • Define a consistent standard of care for climbing instructors in the following areas:
    • Client orientation and instruction
    • General climbing skills including movement
    • Proper belaying techniques
    • Proper leading techniques
    • Proper equipment care and use
    • Proper facility use, care and inspection
    • Emergency procedures
  • Evaluate the technical skills of climbing instructors
  • Provide candidates with guidance for further professional development
  • Provide a means of promoting consistency and quality assurance in climbing instruction for the benefit of the public

Training Format
At the outset of the training, the candidate is observed as they climb and are visually assessed by the program provider to confirm that they meet the required program prerequisites. At the end of the course, the candidate is provided with an exit interview and assessment with the course provider to determine pass or fail.


2016
Date Time Location Rate: $200/participant
Day 1: Tuesday, January 12
8:00 AM–4:30 PM Vertical Endeavors – Minneapolis
Day 2: Wednesday, January 13 8:00 AM–12:00 PM Vertical Endeavors – Minneapolis
Day 1: Saturday, February 6 8:00 AM–4:30 PM Vertical Endeavors – St. Paul
Day 2: Sunday, February 7 8:00 AM–12:00 PM Vertical Endeavors – St. Paul
Day 1: Tuesday, March 1 8:00 AM–4:30 PM Vertical Endeavors – Minneapolis
Day 2: Wednesday, March 2 8:00 AM–12:00 PM Vertical Endeavors – Minneapolis
Day 1: Saturday, April 23 8:00 AM–4:30 PM Vertical Endeavors – St. Paul
Day 2: Sunday, April 24 8:00 AM–12:00 PM Vertical Endeavors – St. Paul

The CWI Certification Course is designed as an 8-hour program. Course fee includes the $45 CWA CWI Certification fee. Day 2 covers the CWI Lead Endorsement curriculum and is available for an additional fee of $89.

We must have a minimum of 6 participants to run this course.


Vertical Endeavors – Minneapolis
Address:
2540 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone: 612.436.1470


Vertical Endeavors – St. Paul
Address:
855 Phalen Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55106
Phone:
651.776.1430


Required Prerequisites

  • The candidate is at least 16 years of age by the conclusion of the course*
  • The candidate can demonstrate basic climbing movement skills on top rope at the 5.8 level in a calm, confident manner with good positioning without falls
  • The candidate can lead climb at the 5.7 level, demonstrating an awareness of potential hazards, possess lead belay skills and climb confidently without falls**
  • The candidate has/is provided with appropriate equipment in good condition
  • The candidate can demonstrate proper care, use and inspection of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
  • The candidate can demonstrate proficient belay technique

*Participants under the age of 16 may audit the course but will not receive certification. Participants will instead receive a letter of completion.

**Only mandatory for those participating in the CWI Lead Endorsement on Day 2.


Minimum Experience Recommendations

  • The candidate has one year personal climbing experience
  • The candidate has a minimum of 20 outings climbing indoors/outdoors
  • The candidate has a combination of formal training and climbing experience totaling a minimum of 50 hours

NOTE: These guidelines are provided by way of example. Candidates that do not have sufficient prior climbing experience may not pass the course.


The Climbing Wall Manager Training Program is the ideal course for anyone interested in becoming a CWA certified Climbing Wall Instructor or managing an indoor climbing wall/facility. The primary goals of the program are to increase the level of professional climbing instruction in North America and to assure that climbing wall operators are in compliance with current industry standards. This program is endorsed by the Climbing Wall Association (CWA) as a pilot program and is modeled after Vertical Endeavors’ Instructor Training Program which has been administered for over 18 years.

The CWA Industry Practices and the Certification Program Student Manual serve as source books in preparation for this course. Participants that pass the course will receive a CWI certification card issued by the CWA.

Training Format
The Climbing Wall Manager Training Program takes place over two days. The Climbing Wall Instructor Certification Course is covered in the first eight hours of program on day one. Day two will begin with a sport leading climbing session for participants seeking the CWI Lead Endorsement. The training continues with curriculum designed for managing an indoor climbing wall or facility. Content includes industry practices, risk management policies, administration, human resource management, program development and operational policies. Upon completion of the training, a written exam is administered. The program provider combines the exam score, the CWI score and overall assessment of the candidate to determine pass or fail.

Participants that pass the second section will receive a CWI Lead Endorsement Certification from the CWA and the CWMTP Certification issued by Vertical Endeavors. Certificate holders may be grandfathered in as CWA certified CWMTP participant once the pilot period has ended.


2016
Date Time Location Rate: $350/participant
To be determined To be determined To be determined

The CWMTP Certification Course is designed as a two-day,16-hour program. Course fee includes the $45 CWA CWI Certification fee.

We must have a minimum of 6 participants to run this course.


Vertical Endeavors – Minneapolis
Address:
2540 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone: 612.436.1470


Vertical Endeavors – St. Paul
Address:
855 Phalen Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55106
Phone:
651.776.1430


Required Prerequisites

  • The candidate is at least 18 years of age by the conclusion of the course*
  • The candidate is currently First Aid and CPR certified (American Red Cross Basic – 5.5 to 6.5 hours or equivalent)
  • The candidate provides a résumé or other document showing a minimum of 50 hours of work as a climbing instructor, demonstrating an expertise in indoor climbing settings
  • The candidate can demonstrate basic climbing movement skills on top rope at the 5.8 level in a calm, confident manner with good positioning without falls
  • The candidate can lead climb at the 5.7 level, demonstrating an awareness of potential hazards, possess lead belay skills and climb confidently without falls**
  • The candidate has/is provided with appropriate equipment in good condition
  • The candidate can demonstrate proper care, use and inspection of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
  • The candidate can demonstrate proficient belay technique

*Participants under the age of 18 may audit the course but will not receive certification. Participants will instead receive a letter of completion.

**Only mandatory for those participating in the CWI Lead Endorsement on Day 2.


Minimum Experience Recommendations

  • The candidate has one year personal climbing experience
  • The candidate has a minimum of 20 outings climbing indoors/outdoors
  • The candidate has a combination of formal training and climbing experience totaling a minimum of 50 hours

NOTE: These guidelines are provided by way of example. Candidates that do not have sufficient prior climbing experience may not pass the course.


This training will provide an overview for the CWA Climbing Wall Instructor Certification Program for prospective instructor pool members. It is intended that as the program evolves, this training will also serve as continuing education option for instructor pool members.This training will review the program policy manual, the CWA Industry Practices, the student manual and curricula and general course flow. A portion of the training will be spent in scenarios to develop provider skills in consistent nationwide delivery of course content, fair student evaluation, providing effective student feedback, risk management and in discussing the consensus pass/fail standards.

PPT Course Goals

  • Educate provider pool members in the Climbing Wall Instructor certification program and to prepare provider pool members to be effective advocates for the program
  • Help provider pool members understand the program’s policies and procedures
  • Familiarize candidates with program materials
  • Train provider pool members to administer and deliver courses within the CWI certification program and to familiarize candidates with program materials
  • Train provider pool members in the CWA Industry Practices
  • Train provider pool members in the program curricula
  • Train provider pool members in evaluating and applying course standards, use of the evaluation instrument, and how to assess climbing wall students consistently and fairly
  • Communicate the risk management and safety measures to be employed during the course
  • Ensure that the certification program is delivered with consistency and quality
  • Provide a forum for provider pool members to have questions answered and discuss program issues

Training Format
The CWI Program Provider Training Course is an eight-hour course including limited lecture, but with an emphasis on demonstration, group discussion of the program/curricula, and review of course flow/scenarios.


2016
Date Time Location Rate: $200/participant
To be determined To be determined To be determined

Required Prerequisites

  • The candidate must be a current CWA Member (self or employer)
  • The candidate is at least 21 years of age
  • The candidate is currently First Aid and CPR certified (American Red Cross Basic – 5.5 to 6.5 hours or equivalent)
  • The candidate provides a résumé or other document showing a minimum of 200 hours of work experience as a climbing instructor, showing expertise in indoor climbing settings
  • The candidate can demonstrate basic climbing movement skills on top rope at the 5.8 level in a calm, confident manner with good positioning without falls
  • The candidate can lead climb at the 5.7 level, demonstrating an awareness of potential hazards, possess lead belay skills and climb confidently without falls
  • The candidate must be a current CWA certified Climbing Wall Instructor*
  • The candidate must provide contact information for two non-related professional references
  • The candidate must have a signed agreement and attestation on file
  • The candidate must provide proof of insurance

*If the candidate is not a current CWA certified Climbing Wall Instructor, the candidate may complete an alternative qualification procedure documenting that the candidate meets the requirements of becoming a provider by showing a minimum of 400 hours of work experience as a climbing instructor. Exceptional and wide-ranging indoor climbing teaching experience, prior experience as an instructor or guide, or other certification will be considered as evidence of qualification. Completion of a provider training course may or may not be required as part of the alternative qualification procedure.


Refund/Cancellation Policy for CWA Courses

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