Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI) Training Course - 3 Day Course

Previously known as the Single Pitch Award (SPA) the Rock Climbing Instructor award got a facelift and re-naming in April 2018.

Learn to teach rock climbing and abseiling on real rock in the outdoor environment. Whether you're an experienced outdoor instructor, sports coach or health and fitness professional this is the place to start.

What is the RCI?

The Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI) award is designed and administered by Mountain Training who is the National Governing Body for rock climbing, hill walking and mountaineering in the UK. They set the training syllabus and assessment standards. You can find out more here.

Before attending a training course, you must be an experienced climber and be able to lead climbs outdoors, on real rock and using traditionally placed protection.

You must have:

  • 15 led routes which must be graded rock climbs with traditional protection.
  • 15 led routes at a climbing wall.
  • 5 led routes which must be outdoor bolt protected sport climbs.
  • Registered for the award with one of the Mountain Training Home Nations.

For information about RCI training and assessments criteria please click here.

About Our Training Courses

We have teamed up with Keith Fleming (MIC) who has been running the RCI for over 20 years, and is a British Mountaineering Council approved expert witness for outdoor court cases. Des Barlow (MIA) is also a course director (10yrs+) and has extensive experience of rock leader training for the British armed forces. RCI training courses are assisted by Tom Hatt (SPA) who has over 18 years of outdoor industry experience and joined the British Stunt Register in 2015.

British Stunt Register Trainees

As well as aspirant instructors who want to work in the outdoor industry we specialise in training those that are training for the British Stunt Register, and where relevant we will include our experience of the stunt industry.

We also run Part 2 of the BSR Climbing criteria the British Stunt Register - Climbing Assessment.



Available all year round for groups of 4 or more


3 days

Group Size



Minimum age: 18 Max weight: 18 stone (115kg).

Included in the Course Fees

  • All course tutoring and administration.

Not Included in the Course Fees

  • Registration with MTE, or reference books related to the course.
  • Climbing wall entry fees.
  • Transport / Accommodation / Catering.
  • Provision of any personal equipment.


  • Be 18yrs old
  • Have a genuine interest in rock climbing and group supervision.
  • Met the minimum requirements of MTE for attending.
  • 15 led routes which must be graded rock climbs with traditional protection.
  • 15 led routes at a climbing wall.
  • 5 led routes which must be outdoor bolt protected sport climbs.
  • Registered for the award with one of the Mountain Training Home Nations.

Accepting Risk

By its very nature lead climbing increases the risk of serious personal injury in the event of a fall. By booking this course you accept this risk.

YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO LEAD ROCK CLIMBS USING LEADER PLACED PROTECTION, AND SECOND OTHERS, AT UP TO SEVERE GRADE. This is, potentially, a dangerous activity with the risk of serious injury or death. You may take falls onto equipment placed by you but not checked by us. It is impossible for us to guarantee your safety at all times, as sometimes you may be out of our direct control. If you feel unhappy about any of this, please DO NOT join the course. More information is available if you require it. Hatt Adventures & Mountain Activities will not accept liability for accidents/injuries in such cases unless CLEARLY due to their negligence.

For more info. please see our Terms & Conditions.


Day 1

  • Personal climbing day
  • Personal abseiling
  • Indoor climbing / group management

Day 2

  • Group climbing
  • Group abseiling
  • Emergencies and problem solving

Day 3

  • Planning
  • Management / decision making
  • Managing other staff

Peak District


Equipment supplied

Group rock climbing and safety equipment is supplied.

Equipment needed

You will need your own personal climbing kit including harness, helmet and lead rack.

For all outdoor climbing courses you must have extra warm clothes and waterproofs, we will provide you with a full kit list upon booking.

  • Comfortable clothing, suitable for the time of year*
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Approach shoes / trainers**
  • Climbing shoes
  • Harness
  • Rucksack (approx. 40-50ltr)
  • Packed lunch and plenty of water
  • Medication / Tablets / Inhaler etc.

The above list is just a guide and appropriate clothing for the time of year should be worn.

*Clothing should comprise of several layers to trap the warmth. Please do not wear denim as it restricts movement, is cold when wet and is slow to dry.

**For the walk-ins we’d recommend sturdy approach shoes or trainers with a substantial tread should be worn. Walking boots can be a good option but if we’re attempting long routes and climbing with kit they’ll be very heavy to carry.

Please remember the crags can be a fair walk or scramble from the car park, so it's important to put all of your kit in a suitable size rucksack leaving space for climbing equipment.

Equipment shop

When you book onto our RCI 3 Day Training Course, you'll get 15% off your first order in our online shop, so you can stock up kit for your outdoor adventures!

We stock a variety of equipment and can give expert advice if you have any queries. Choose to collect your order on a course (free of charge) and your instructor will have it ready and waiting for you when you arrive.