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National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme

National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS)

Indoor climbing award programme for ages 7 and above

If you, your child or your students are looking to progress into climbing then The National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme NICAS is the right place to start. The scheme is a structured development programme that gives those new to climbing the tools needed to develop and then thrive in this exciting sport.

NICAS courses at Cornwall Outdoors

Each of our three main activity Centres can provide NICAS courses up to Level 2 with Level 3 in the pipeline. Follow below for further details about each of our activity Centres NICAS programmes. 

Learn to climb the NICAS way

More about NICAS

NICAS is the only nationally recognised award scheme that introduces new climbers to climbing on indoor walls. For full details on the NICAS scheme, visit: It's aims are;

  • to develop climbing movement skills and improve levels of ability.
  • to learn climbing rope-work and how to use equipment appropriately.
  • to develop risk assessment and risk management skills in the sport.
  • to work as a team, communicate with, and trust a climbing partner.
  • to provide a structure for development, motivation and improved performance.
  • to develop an understanding of the sport, it’s history and future challenges.
  • to provide a record of personal achievement.
  • to point the way to further disciplines and challenges in climbing beyond the scheme.

NICAS Structure

The NICAS Scheme comprises five levels of award aimed at complete novices to expert climbers.

  • Level 1: Foundation Climber - This is the entry level aimed at novices that on completion recognises their ability to climb safely under supervision.
  • Level 2: Top Rope Climber - This second level promotes good practice in climbing and bouldering. Completion recognises candidates ability to climb unsupervised on an artificial wall.
  • Level 3: Technical Climber - A more advanced top roping and bouldering level that focuses on developing technique and movement skills. We aim to be delivering these sessions later this year.
  • Level 4 & 5: Lead Climber & Advanced Climber provide a deeper understanding of the sport. These awards can be developed further at dedicated climbing centres throughout the country. The benefit of NICAS as a national award is that once registered onto the scheme you can take your award with you, wherever you go.

On completion of each level candidates are awarded with a certificate on behalf of the Association of British Climbing Walls Training Trust ABCTT.


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