Anyone who has done an ACIA training or assessment course is probably pretty aware that courses are actually provided through an external provider (The Climbing Company in Vic, ASM in NSW, Adventure Training Consultants in WA, hopefully you would have noticed this when reading and signing the acknowledgment of risks forms at the start of the course!)

This was previously a bit of a grey area, with the Association taking bookings and payments etc. but the providers being the ones who were running the courses and paying the staff. We have decided to tidy this process up a bit to make it clearer for everyone, and to also use the structure to make ACIA course more readily available to those who want to participate in them.

So, we are moving towards the proper application of the “approved course provider” structure. This will mean that organisations who are “approved course providers” will programme, advertise, staff and run courses. There are a range of benefits to the association with this, including,

  • Increased availability of courses
  • Increased options for course participants around which providers they would like to train with.
  • Decreased administrative requirements for the association, meaning the association can focus on higher association level activities and representing the members.
  • More ability for ACIA courses to be offered across a wider geographical area (both within states that it currently operates and in other states).
  • Easier expansion and roll out of different qualifications and levels, as providers could deliver based on their location and expertise.

In its initial phase the organisations that have historically and do currently provide courses will continue to do so, as we bring this structure in fully, it is then expected that other organisations will apply to be approved courses providers and will start to deliver courses. Ideally there will be a couple of providers in each area / state.

The aim of moving to this structure, is to improve the availability and options around course delivery, whilst still maintaining high level standards, and actively increasing moderation between ITA’s.

Appointment of course providers will be based around what will most benefit the climbing community, industry and association.

Our newest qualification is now being rolled out and will be offered across the country.

The SCI (Sport Climbing Instructor) qualification is the appropriate qualification level for those who supervise, lead and teach sport climbing activities at single pitch sport climbing venues, this includes teaching people all the required skills to independently lead climb on bolted routes.

Like all ACIA qualifications, it has required prerequisites and involves a training course, followed by a consolidation period, then an assessment course. The training covers a wide range of important aspects and is strongly focused around instructional and coaching processes, to ensure potential instructors develop good strategies and abilities to help people progress and develop in a safe, productive and enjoyable way.

This course was developed and implemented after many enquires and a demand from climbing coaches and guides, who were looking for a pathway to gain a qualification to teach lead climbing in an environment that is less complex (single pitch sport climbing) than the requirements of the full CI qualification (which covers trad, multi pitch etc.)

Given the amount of people coming to climbing with indoor experience, who then wish to transition their skills to lead climbing outside at Sport climbing crags, I expect that many guides get requests to teach lead climbing in these venues. This new qualification will help you develop the skills and knowledge to ensure that you can do that in a highly productive way that maximises safety throughout.

Full details of this course will be included on the website soon, in the meantime, if you are keen to know more or to complete the SCI training course, then get in touch to express your interest.



The ACIA is in the process of creating a Sport Climbing Instructor (SCI) qualification. A PILOT training course for the SCI will be conducted later in 2023 in Western Australia.

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