The Climbing Wall Award Assessment
18th April 2012
On Climbing Wall Award (CWA) training courses I always try to give delegates a feel for how the assessment will be. I always suggest that they look at the syllabus in their log books and if they can tick all the points they should be ready. My other bit of advice is to visit a variety of centres both as a helper and for their own climbing. But to give you an idea of how I run an assessment, read on.
I start with introductions and this helps relax most delegates and also helps me get to know them a bit better. We then go into the main climbing area and do some easy climbing and bottom rope belaying. As people relax I can start asking a few questions. This gentle start moves nicely into a lead climbing session and then it's time for tea. Depending on whats going on at the climbing centre I start to put assessee's with actual groups under the supervision of the instructor that is taking the group. The groups can vary, birthday parties, taster sessions, NICAS students. I don't usually know untill the day. Whilst some delegates are involved in groups I get the others to demonstrate techniques to improve climbing, warm ups, types of holds etc. These are good sessions and I always pick up a few tips that I can pass on at future courses.
Sometime during the afternoon we get to problem solving and most candidates seem to do very well at this. This session is both practical and questions & answers. For example I may ask what would you do if a student from the group you were running found themselves halfway up the wall detached from the rope ? Or, demonstrate going up the wall to help a stuck climber to get down. In training this is often the most popular part of the course.
Almost over, now back to the classroom where delegates give a 5 minute talk. Hopefully during the day I will have checked that the log books have the required amount of climbing and group experience and a current first aid certificate. A final, individual debrief where the CWA trainees find out if they are CWA holders.
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