Singapore National Climbing Standards (SNCS)

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SNCS Climbing Instructor Training Scheme

Introductions & Definitions

The SNCS Climbing Instructor Scheme defines the professional training and competence requirements leading to the SNCS Climbing Instructor certifications and is concerned with good practice and high standard of instruction leading to safe enjoyment of the sport of climbing. It is the only national climbing instructor training scheme in Singapore that is endorsed and recognized by the South East Asia Climbing Federation (SEACF). Singapore Mountaineering Federation and the Singapore Sports Council.

The scope of the scheme does not cover:

  • General mountaineering skills, such as those needed to approach and retreat from mountain.
  • Access to tidal sea cliffs, underground caves, or any location where escape is not easily possible from the base.

Definitions:

  • Sport Climbing is the practice of top-rope/lead climbing or bouldering on any artificial climbing structure, wall or facility, which is specifically designed and constructed for the sport of climbing and has incorporated the necessary safety features such as belay and top anchors, and lead protections.
  • Rock Climbing is the practice of top-rope/lead climbing or bouldering on natural rock cliffs in which techniques and skills in natural protection and anchor set up are essential. While technically speaking, a bolted rock route is termed as a sport route, the SMF regards all forms of climbing on natural rock as Rock Climbing. This is necessary as most rock routes require the full spectrum of rock climbing techniques and skills to ensure safety during climbing and retreating.

Climbing Instructor Qualifications

There are 4 classes of instructor qualifications:

QualificationQualified to conduct
Sport Climbing Instructor Cat 1
  • Sport Climbing Course Level 1 and 2
Sport Climbing Instructor Cat 2
  • Sport Climbing Course Level 1 and 2
  • Sport Climbing Activity Supervisor Course
  • Sport Climbing Instructor Training Course
Rock Climbing Instructor Cat 1
  • Rock Climbing Course Level 1
Rock Climbing Instructor Cat 2
  • Rock Climbing Course Level 1
  • Rock Climbing Instructor Training Course

Essentially, Cat 1 instructors are qualified to conduct only courses stipulated in the Climbing Course Spectrum less the Sport Climbing Activity Supervisor Course. Cat 2 instructors, on the other hand, are more senior instructors who are qualified to conduct instructor training courses, i.e. they can be trainers for instructors. Promotion for an instructor from Cat 1 to 2 will be by appointment by the SMF but the following pre-qualifying conditions must be met:

  • The instructor must have been in Cat 1 for at least 2 years
  • The instructor must have conducted at least 10 courses. Only courses that are registered with the SMF with the submission of end-of-course reports are considered valid
  • Be a member of a SMF-affiliated club/association/organisation
  • The instructor must not have record of bad disciplinary or conduct professionally as a climbing instructor
  • The instructor has shown maturity, good knowledge and competency, and positive attitude and willingness towards mentoring and nurturing potential instructors

Stages In The Scheme

Stage 1 : Registration With The Scheme
Anyone who is keen to become an SNCS Climbing Instructor must first register with the SNCS Climbing Instructor Scheme. To be eligible for the registration, he/she must:
  • Be a member of a SMF-affiliated club/association/organisation.
  • Have a genuine interest in the sport, and the instruction and supervision of groups for sport and/or rock climbing.
  • Have at least 12 months’ experience of sport and/or rock climbing and meet the necessary pre-requisite qualifications.
  • Have attained 18 years of age or older at the date of registration.
Stage 2 : Instructor Training
The Trainee may now enroll to attend one of the following instructor training courses provided he/she meets the pre-requisite qualifications:

Training CoursePre-requisite
Sport Climbing Instructor Training Course
  • Sport Climbing Level 2 Certificate or equivalent
Rock Climbing Instructor Training Course
  • Rock Climbing Level 1 Certificate or equivalent

Stage 3 : Consolidation Period
The Trainee Instructor will generally learn many new ideas and techniques during the training course and will therefore need some time to practice and evaluate these before taking the certification assessment. During this period of consolidation, a Trainee Instructor is required to practise his/her instructional skills and techniques through on-the-job training by serving as an Assistant to any qualified climbing instructor during the conduct of climbing courses. It is a mandatory requirement for a Trainee Instructor to have at least 3 practices as an assistant to Instructor for climbing courses . The instructor to whom the Trainee Instructor is apprenticed to will need to endorse and report on the Trainee Instructor’s performance and highlight his/her areas of improvement in the Training Progress Log Sheet.

First Aid Requirement The Trainee Instructor must hold an approved, currently valid First Aid qualification before he/she may apply for the certification assessment. A list of first aid qualifications that are recognised by the SMF is shown below. Approval may be sought with the SMF to substitute with other first aid qualifications provided the request is accompanied by proof that their scope of coverage is equal or more advanced than those listed below.

Recognised First Aid Qualifications:

  • Standard First Aid Course from the Singapore Red Cross Society
  • Adult First Aid Course from the St. John Ambulance Association
  • Wilderness First Aid Course
  • SAF Military Medic Course