Wall Climbing Supervisor Award

The ideal course for teachers and supervisors who need to safely manage groups of young climbers.

The Wall Climbing Supervisor Award or WCSA is a qualification offered by The Mountain Development Trust (MDT) presented by Vertigo Adventures, an approved provider of all MDT courses and assessments. The award is primarily for people who supervise individuals or groups in Sport climbing, Bouldering, Indoor Wall climbing and competitions.

The award consists of 3 distinct parts.

  1. Attending the 2-day training course with an approved training provider.
  2. Gaining of further experience for at least 3 months.
  3. Attending a 1-day practical assessment.

The course has to be attended by all candidates. Registration with the MDT usually takes place at the start of the course and is handled by Vertigo Adventures. It is possible to attend the course and not register with the MDT, however attendance of the course alone, with no registration or assessment, is not a qualification in itself.

The course is mostly practical in nature and covers a broad spectrum. It includes rope and equipment care, the use of natural protection points, bolts, rope management, belaying, personal abseiling and easy leading on bolted climbs and group safety and management.

In all of these areas candidates are specifically shown methods of good and safe practice when dealing with beginners and groups, as this is in essence what a Wall Climbing Supervisor will be required to do.


After the course, candidates are given a logbook to record their experience before assessment takes place. This consolidation period takes place over a minimum of 3 months before assessment will be considered (there is no maximum time limit).

During this time candidates are expected to gain a wide experience of supervising individuals and groups, at various venues. The MDT assessment officer will be looking to see a good balance of activities, with a bias toward supervising and personal climbing.

When the logbook has been completed according to the requirements, it is handed to the MDT and an assessment can take place with an approved provider. Assessment takes place over one day and all aspects of the syllabus are covered. “Dummy” clients are also usually on the assessment. The candidate passes, is deferred or fails the assessment.


There is an exemption clause that states that candidates who can show exceptional prior experience can be exempt from attending the course. However there is no exemption from the logbook and the practical assessment. The application for exemption has to be made in writing directly to the MDT. However, it must be stated that attending the course is highly recommended, as candidates will be expected to perform tasks and show skills learned on the course. 

If the candidate passes this assessment and also has a valid Level One First Aid certificate then the WCSA certificate is given.

The MDT does not have to be paid an annual fee.


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