NGB Courses

SPA Training

The Single Pitch award, or SPA, is a national climbing qualification for those who wish to supervise groups on single pitch crags or climbing walls.

During the SPA training we will cover a range of skills, such as rope management, correct use of equipment, rescue techniques, group etiquette, group management, emergency procedures, choice of venue, access and conservation.

The SPA training course is normally run over 2 days for a duration of 20 hours. In order to be eligible for the SPA training course candidates must:

  • Be an active rock climber and have an interest in the supervision of novices,
  • Be at least 18 years old,
  • Have a minimum of 12 months climbing experience,
  • Have led 15 outdoor trad climbs, where the protection is leader placed.

Between training and assessment, candidates are expected to gain experience both in terms of supervision and personal climbing experience. Every opportunity should be taken to practice the skills learnt from the SPA training course.


SPA Refresher

Although not a NGB recognised course, here at Climbing Cornwall, we run SPA refresher days intended for those who are looking to brush up on their skills prior to completing an SPA assessment. This course is also suitable for former instructors returning to the industry.

Candidates should have already attended an SPA training course or assessment.


SPA Assessment

The SPA assessment covers all aspects and skills expected of a competent climbing instructor, including; personal lead-climbing, group supervision and rope rescue.

To attend this course, candidates must:

  • Have completed an SPA training course, or have gained exemption.
  • Hold a valid first aid certificate (minimum of 16hrs)
  • Have a logbook that has been kept up to date.
  • Have completed at least 40 routes, climbed in a traditional manner (leader placed protection) some of which must be at severe grade.

Other experience such as sports climbing, abseiling and bouldering should be logged if relevant.

The SPA assessment takes two days, or 20 hours.


Hill and Moorland Leader Training

The Hill and Moorland Leader training course is designed for people who want to lead groups in non-mountainous, remote terrain in the UK. This course is a wonderful opportunity to learn both technical and leadership skills required to feel confident about taking people out walking.

During this course, you will cover the following:

  • Navigation in times of poor visibility and darkness
  • Route planning and avoiding natural hazards
  • Dealing with accidents and emergencies
  • Leadership skills and group dynamics
  • Environment and weather

Course Requisites:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You should have at least a year’s worth of hill walking experience
  • You should have an interest in leading groups in the hills

This training course takes place on Bodmin Moor.  We will be based at South Penquite Farm, where accommodation is available at additional cost, if required.


Hill and Moorland Leader Assessment

The Hill and Moorland Leader Award (HMLA) assessment covers all aspects and skills expected of a competent HMLA leader.

To attend this course, candidates must:

  • Have completed an minimum of 40 hill walking days
  • Hold a valid First Aid qualification
  • Have completed a HMLA training course, or successfully gained exemption from training

Candidates who have completed their ML training may also take their HMLA assessment as a stepping stone to their ML assessment.

The HMLA assessment takes three days, or 30 hours.