Getting started
To get started on the Development Coach qualification you need to meet the following prerequisites:
  • Be at least 18 years old with at least 12 months personal climbing experience.
  • Have completed a Foundation Coach training course or been granted direct entry to Development Coach through the Accredited Prior Learning (APL) process with Mountain Training.
If you can meet all of the above requirements, here's what to do next:
  • Log in to the Candidate Management System (Tahdah).
  • Register for the Development Coach scheme (this costs £65).

Coaching Scheme candidate handbook

The Coaching Scheme handbook has full details about the Development Coach qualification including the syllabus and supporting guidance notes. Click the picture to view or download the handbook, or click the link below it for a digitally accessible version.

Coaching Scheme Handbook
(Handbook updated 08/04/19)

Do you have additional needs?

Do you have a physical or mental impairment or disability which may require a provider to make reasonable adjustments so that you can take part in a training or assessment course? Find out more.

Not quite right?

If this doesn't sound like the right qualification for you, consider the following: You could also read through our 'Which scheme is right for me?' page.
Development Coach training lasts for 2 days and will be run by one of our approved providers.

Before you book onto a Development Coach training course, make sure you meet the prerequisites as follows:
  • You must be at least 18 years old with at least 12 months personal climbing experience.
  • You must have attended a Foundation Coach training couse (or have your prior learning accredited by Mountain Training UK).
  • You must have attended the FUNdamentals of Climbing 1 and 2 workshops. Many people find attendance on the Physical Training for Climbing and the FUNdamentals of Climbing 3 workshops help them get more from the course.
  • Be appropriately experienced and qualified to supervise safe sessions in the environment in which you choose to coach. E.g. a site specific sign-off by a Technical Advisor for bouldering; a Climbing Wall Instructor for roped climbing; Climbing Wall Development Instructor for coaching lead climbing and Rock Climbing Instructor to coach on single pitch crags etc.
A variety of cost packages are available depending on what's included; food, accommodation etc. so you can choose one that's right for you.

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The Syllabus

The Development Coach syllabus focuses on three key areas:

What to coach

This is largely based on the FUNdamentals of Climbing 1+2 workshops run by the mountaineering councils. A solid technical understanding of these skills will allow you to deliver sessions, at any level, that are appropriate to the group or individual. You will also be expected to demonstrate technical competence through your own personal climbing ability.

How to coach

This element of the scheme will focus on delivery of the skills mentioned above. Key areas at Development Coach level include: coaching behaviours, planning, preparing and concluding, managing, sporting values, movement skills, physiology, psychology, tactical, motor learning, long term climber development, giving feedback and evaluating.

Safe supervision

The safe supervision of climbers at all levels is an integral part of being a good coach. Coaches are also required to attend a Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sport module.

Detailed information on the syllabus for each level can be found in the Coaching Scheme Handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment.
The period between training and assessment (often referred to as the consolidation period) varies in length for each person and is an opportunity to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training course. You are expected to gain extensive personal climbing as well as coaching experience during this period.

  • Variety really is the spice of life when it comes to developing coaching skills. Every opportunity should be taken to encourage exploration and ideally practise, the skills learned during training as soon after the training course as possible.
  • The standard at assessment is high and coaches need plenty of targeted experience to consolidate their learning.
  • The provider who delivered your training will be able to give you feedback and a personalised action plan for your consolidation period.
  • There is currently no time limit on the validity of a training course and some candidates may take several years to complete the qualification.

The Mountain Training Association

Join the Mountain Training Association and be part of a community of like-minded people on our schemes. The Association offers a range of workshops for trainee and qualified leaders and coaches across the disciplines, as well as a quarterly magazine, gear deals/discounts, a monthly newsletter and an insurance deal. You can join the Association at any point after you have registered on one of Mountain Training's leadership/coaching schemes.

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Join now
Before you book onto a Development Coach assessment course, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have completed a Development Coach training course (or have Accredited Prior Learning approved by Mountain Training).
  • You must have completed DLOG with your climbing coaching experience to include a minimum of 40 coaching sessions since attending training.
  • You must have added reflective observations for at least 10 of these coaching sessions in the ‘description’ tab.
  • You must have prepared a series of progressive lesson plans for your long term students which can be reviewed.
  • You must have completed a home paper.
Assessment will involve a minimum of four hours contact time and will include two coaching sessions; one with your own long term climbers and one with unknown climbers.

Assessments are usually bespoke and you should contact a provider about arranging your assessment. As a result there may not be many assessment courses listed on the course finder.

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"As a Development Coach I feel much more confident with what and how I coach, I've learned a lot of new coaching skills going through the process and it's great to be able to put it all into practice with my climbers."

Michelle Forrest - August 2016
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"The climbing industry offers so many pathways and different options for professionals that it is nearly impossible to get bored by doing a ‘routine job’ throughout your career."

Juan Carlos Avendano - August 2017
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"I like getting to help kids and see them improve with my help. It feels good to pass on knowledge that I feel I missed out on to try and make kids that are confident happy climbers."

Rachel Carr - June 2016

Support & Development

Join the Mountain Training Association and be part of a community of like-minded people on our schemes.

MTA offers a range of workshops for trainee and qualified leaders and coaches across the disciplines, as well as great deals and discounts

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