CWDI Climbing Development Instructor Training (Open Course)

CWDI Climbing Wall Development Instructor Training (Formerly CWLA, Climbing Wall Lead Award); This award trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to teach lead climbing skills on indoor or outdoor artificial climbing walls and structures with fixed protection. It builds on the skills gained through either the CWI Climbing Wall Instructor (Formerly CWA Climbing Wall Award) or Single Pitch Award, one of which candidates must hold to access the Climbing Wall Leading Award scheme.

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Training typically lasts for one day (minimum 8 hours contact time).

The Syllabus

Climbing Wall Development Instructor holders should be competent in the following key areas, all of which will be covered, to a greater or lesser extent, during your training course.

  • Technical Competence (including personal climbing)
  • The Climbing Wall Environment
  • Supervision (including planning, managing and movement skills)

Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Climbing Wall Award Handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment. 


The period between training and assessment varies in length for each person and is an opportunity to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training course. You can use the excuse 'I'm preparing for assessment' to visit the wall as much as you like!

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Registration [with Mountain Training] for the Climbing Wall Leading Award is an application process, during which your experience of logged sessions as a Climbing Wall Award holder or Single Pitch Award holder, along with your personal indoor climbing experience, is taken into account.

The prerequisites for registration are as follows:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must hold either the Climbing Wall Award or the Single Pitch Award
  • You must have an up to date logbook (ideally DLOG) with evidence of the following...
  • 50 led routes
  • Climbed at 3 different major climbing walls
  • Belayed a lead climber 50 times
  • 25 lead routes at grade F6a on indoor climbing walls
  • 20 supervising sessions after passing either Climbing Wall Award or Single Pitch Award

If you can tick all of the above boxes, here's what to do next:

  • Log in to the Candidate Management System [at]
  • Register for the Climbing Wall Leading Award scheme (this costs £54)
  • Notify Mountain Training (via the SEND TO MT button in DLOG) that your DLOG is ready to be reviewed

You will need to check back again to update the system after your D-log has been approved; Before you book onto a Climbing Wall Leading Award training course your application for registration must have been approved by Mountain Training. If you have not fully completed the registration process as above, we will not be able to notify Mountain Training of your attendance on the course.  

You will be notified by email by Mountain Training with the result of your application. Applications with less than the minimum experience cannot be approved. 

The registration fee is non-refundable. However, if your application is not successful, you will receive feedback on how best to fulfil the experience requirements and your registration application will be held open for twelve months, during which you can submit an updated record at no extra cost. 

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