The National Indoor Climbing Award
Scheme (NICAS) is a UK wide scheme designed to promote climbing development and accredit individual achievement on artificial climbing structures. It can be used as a starting point for people
wishing to take up climbing and mountaineering. It is open to all candidates aged 7 and upwards.
The scheme is administered by the
Association of British Climbing Walls Training Trust (ABCTT) and is recognised by the British Mountaineering Council, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the Mountaineering
Council of Ireland.
Aims Of The Scheme
- 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.
Structure Of The
The Scheme comprises five levels of award aimed at complete novices to expert climbers. The scheme is split into two parts and takes a minimum of one year to complete in its
entirety. Part 1 contains Levels 1 to 3 and Part 2 contains Levels 4 and 5. Upon registering with an Awarding Centre candidates receive a log booklet for Levels 1 to 3, with the option to buy a
binder. There is a separate booklet for Levels 4 and 5. After achieving each level they are awarded with a certificate on behalf of the ABCTT.
The five levels
- New Climber
An entry level aimed at novices that recognises their ability to climb safely under
- Foundation Climber
Aimed at promoting good practice in climbing and bouldering unsupervised on an artificial wall.
- Technical Climber
A more advanced top roping and bouldering level that focuses on developing technique and movement
- Lead Climber
Concentrates on the skills required to both lead climb and belay a lead climber.
- Advanced Climber
The top level that focuses on improving performance, a deeper understanding of climbing systems and the wider
world of climbing.