On-site climbing walls

Instructor Qualification:

MT Climbing Wall Instructor and
MT Rock Climbing Instructor

Competent adult with suitable in-house training

Visiting staff and group members may assist following instruction and under supervision of Instructor

There must be at least one responsible adult present during session aware of the abilities and disabilities within the group

1 Instructor to 8 participants; no more than 2 active ropes per Instructor.    

Maximum number of climbers in hall at one time – two groups of eight


  • All equipment must conform to current EN standards
  • Equipment must be recorded and dated when new
  • Logged monthly inspections will be carried out
  • Equipment checked when setting up and putting away

 Note:  Helmets

Under normal circumstances all participants must wear helmets when on the climbing walls.  Where there is a compelling reason for a student to climb without a helmet (eg headsize, phobia) the instructor may use discretion and allow  such a climb to take place.

  • The participant should be encouraged to wear a helmet.
  • Consideration should be given to the balance between potential benefits of participation against the potential for harm. This would include consideration of the behaviour and abilities of the individual, other factors eg other support available, in assessing the possibility of injury occurring.
  • Discussion with the participant / responsible person about safety, additional risk and possible additional controls eg 1:1 working.
  • The agreement of the participant and/or responsible person must be obtained.

 The permission of the participant and/or responsible person must be obtained.  It should be stressed that only in exceptional circumstances will this be allowed.

Pre Session:

To be carried out prior to arrival of group, unless unavoidable

All equipment to be set up or checked by instructor responsible for session  noting:

  • Walls to be rigged in accordance with procedure
  • Equipment in good condition and fully functional
  • Safe practices observed when setting up
  • Ensure climbing zones and fire exits are clear of obstructions


Instructor responsibilities:

  • To assess needs and aims of group, including consideration of medical issues
  • To pass on safety information, as appropriate, eg, helmets, low level traversing, potential hazards, climbing calls
  • To ensure appropriate manual handling
  • To ensure that equipment is used correctly and the activity is carried out safely

Group supervision:

  • Instructor to maintain an awareness of the whole group – involving visiting staff in this
  • Instructor to stress that safety on the climbing wall is his main responsibility and that group control is the responsibility of visiting staff members

Climbing equipment:

  • Harnesses must be correctly fitted in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and checked by instructor before roped climber leaves the ground. 
  • Appropriate sizing and fitting is crucial and is the Instructor’s responsibility
  • Chest harness must be used when necessary (eg underdeveloped hips or if there is a danger of inverting)
  • Harnesses must be visible to allow constant check and waist belt must be above hip bone
  • Helmets must be worn at all times (see note)
  • Participants must remain on belay system when off the ground (unless bouldering under supervision)


  • Ensure appropriate clothing and footwear is worn
  • Where necessary ensure that baggy clothing is tucked away, rings and watches removed, long hair tied back, helmet straps tucked, sharp objects removed from pockets

End of Session:

  • Equipment to be put away, unless other arrangements made
  • When equipment is to be left out (eg for following session) steps should be taken to prevent tampering
  • As when setting up instructor must observe safe practice and take care with equipment.
  • Faulty equipment should be labelled and removed from service.  The fault should be logged (staffroom whiteboard/check sheet) and made good as soon as possible.