CWDI Climbing Wall Development Instructor Assessment (Open Course)

CWDI Assessment; A minimum of 6 hours during which candidates will be assessed on the CWDI syllabus.

Recommend course:


The Scope of the Scheme to which you will be assessed;

The Climbing Wall Development Instructor has been designed to train and assess those who wish to teach lead climbing skills on indoor or outdoor artificial climbing walls and structures with fixed protection. This includes a wide range of structures (including, for example towers and mobile climbing walls) which will be referred to throughout as ‘walls’. These structures are deemed to have safety equipment, such as top anchors, in place and are maintained through a management regime. The award is concerned with ensuring good practice when developing leading skills. It covers the introduction, coaching and on-going development of the technical and movement skills required to lead routes. Completion of a training course, without passing the assessment, should not be considered as a qualification in itself, although it may be of benefit to the trainee. 

The assessment of this award includes a measure of personal competence. However, it is not a personal proficiency programme and should not be used as either an entry requirement, or a measure of suitability for climbing on artificial walls. The award is valid throughout the UK and wherever UK qualifications are recognised. 

For the purposes of the Climbing Wall Development Instructor, a climbing wall is:

  • An artificial structure, designed for the purpose of being used for climbing activities (this includes towers and mobile climbing walls), with fixed protection e.g. bolts
  • Indoors or outdoors
  • A structure which has safety equipment such as top anchors in place and is maintained through a management regime
  • The employer or organising authority must have appropriate management structures in place if they wish to employ CWDI (Formerly CWLA) holders for duties beyond the remit of the award.

The CWDI does not cover

  • the skills to needed to climb and/or supervise others on natural crags and former quarries
  • multi-pitch rock climbing skills
  • the teaching or supervision of leading on outdoor crags
  • the placing of non-fixed protection
  • the use of high or low ropes courses
  • the use of ice climbing walls including dry tooling
  • the assessment of candidates’ personal qualities
  • a Criminal Records Bureau check

If you are in doubt about a particular venue's suitability with the award criteria; consult Arrampica.

For more support and information, please see the Mountain Training Website (click here)follow Arrampica on social media, and join our Facebook group: "Arrampica CWI" for more support, hints, and tips from other Candidates and the Arrampica Team.  



  • You must have attended a Climbing Wall Development Instructor training course (or have been granted exemption)
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have logged a minimum of 100 different lead climbs, at least half of which must be a grade of French 6a or above
  • You must have assisted or observed at least 5 teaching leading sessions delivered by a suitably qualified person
  • You must hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 8 hours and relevant to your work as a Climbing Wall Award holder

The Climbing Wall Development Instructor assessment is a minimum of 6 hours.

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