Climbing Wall Instructor Certification

Rate: 1 Day - $199 | 2 Day - $289 (2 Day option also includes lead endorsement)

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.


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.

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.

All participants must sign our Liability Waiver and Rules Agreement.