For those of you who have missed all the excitement there have been big changes at Mountain Training and in particular the names of the Awards and the Syllabus content. The Climbing Wall Award is now the Climbing Wall Instructor and the Syllabus covers 12 different areas, rather than the previous 3. The handbook explains the 12 different headings which are divided into sub headings. There are Guidance Notes for each section and Key Practice Points which are both extremely useful. It is essential that candidates read The Handbook thoroughly as the CWA no longer exists and there have been many changes and developments.
The handbook is much more comprehensive than its predecessor, and has helpful tips and lots of information – ‘CWI’s need to build up a portfolio of knowledge and demonstration techniques to adapt and be effective……..Practice many times with feedback and criticism to allow development and progression of your own skills.’
I delivered my first CWI on 21/22 April, after reading The handbook several times, rewriting my course notes and changing the delivery of some elements, especially the emphasis. It is a much more intensive course in that it is more Planning, Management and Supervision based with a big emphasis on Knowledge and Demonstration of techniques and Teaching and Learning Skills – creating positive learning environments, positive attitudes and producing effective and safe climbers whatever type of session you were running, from Birthday Party to Youth Extreme. My 6 candidates were my Guinea Pigs and I couldn’t have wished for a better group. A great mix in all aspects from new to climbing to one who had just Red Pointed The Quarryman at 8c, male and female, ages and experience.
They all worked incredibly hard, understood the need to be meticulous as a role model, in their personal and teaching skills and that to become a Professional Instructor their dlog had to reflect their commitment to their role. Dlog is one of the main reasons candidates are deferred. Some candidates see it as a complete chore but it should be seen as a celebration and record of all that you have achieved – something to be proud of.
The suggested minimum number of climbs or assists is not something to aim for, ignore the numbers, go above and beyond, work towards being the best that you can be, learn as much as you can. Ask questions, make observations, keep notes, research games, ideas, teaching points, do a coaching course if only to improve your own climbing technique so you can do perfect demonstrations.
My first CWI Assessment is 12th May at Undercover Rock in Bristol, Places still available. The next CWI Training also at UCR is 26th/27th May and already fully booked.