Southern Sandstone Leader Award - 2-Day Training Course

Acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to safely run climbing and boldering sessions on the Sandstone rocks of Sussex and Kent. Our 2 day training course caters for those with no previous experience experience in leading or coaching climbing sessions but wish to share thier passion for climbing with others. If you already teach climbing indoors, then why not try the 1 day fast track course.

What is the SOuthern Sandstone Leaders Award?

The Southern Sandstone Leader Award (previously known as the Southern Sandstone Supervissors Award) award was set up in the 80's by the Outdoor Education Departments of the Local Education Authorities in the South East. The aim of the award was to offer quality training for their teachers and youth workers.

In 2008 the award was these departments have decided they can no longer administer the award, and it was in danger of disappearing altogether, and a group of local outdoor centres met to discuss the award and find a way of ensuring it would survive for future generations. The award was renamed (Southern Sandstone Leaders Award) and has been revised a number of times over the years with the latest version being 2024.


Before attending a training course, you must have:

  • Personal experience of climbing on at least 3 Sandstone Outcrops.
  • Climbed a minimum of 20 routes and confidently be able to climb 4a.
  • Be familiar with, and able to competently use, the following: helmet, harness, belay plate, suitable climbing ropes, knots such as figure of 8, bowline, clove hitch, Italian hitch, stopper knot overhand knot etc.
  • You should be interested in teaching and supervising groups on the Sandstone crags.
  • It is recommended that before attending training, you should have observed on at least 1 supervised session.

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


Our SSLA training courses are run by experienced assessors who specialise in the Sandstone rocks and crags of Sussex and Kent.



Available all year round for groups of 4 or more


2 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 for the award, or reference books related to the course.
  • Climbing venue entry fees.
  • Transport / Accommodation / Catering.
  • Provision of any personal equipment.


  • Be 18yrs old
  • Have a genuine interest in rock climbing and group supervision.
  • You have met the minimum requirements for attending.

Group Price

Group bookings only:

£660 for up to 4 people.

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Day 1

  • Personal climbing day
  • Group management

Day 2

  • Group management
  • Emergencies and problem solving

Various southern sandstone climbing venues in Sussex and Kent


Equipment supplied

Group rock climbing and safety equipment is supplied.

Equipment needed

You will need your own personal climbing kit including harness, helmet, rope and rigging kit.

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.

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

Take a look at our online shop for any equipment you might want 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.