National Indoor Climbing Acheivement Scheme (NICAS) – Available Through CHMAS

Through our links with Arthog Outreach in Telford, CHMAS is now able to provide Part 1 of the National Indoor Climbing Achievement Award Scheme (NICAS). Part 1 consists of two levels as described below:

Level 1 – Foundation Climber


  • Awareness of safety rules and hazards, appropriate dress and behavior;
  • Putting on a harness and helmet correctly;
  • Participate in warm ups;
  • Connecting harness to rope with a retied figure of 8 knot with stopper knot;
  • Climbing a chosen route with confidence;
  • Safe belaying under supervision;
  • Correct method of descending by climber; and
  • Basic climbing moves.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Awareness of safety rules and hazards;
  • Put on harness and helmet correctly;
  • Tie a retied figure of eight knot with stopper knot;
  • Climb a chosen route with confidence;
  • Descend from a route correctly;
  • Belay safely under supervision;
  • Demonstrate consistent safe behaviour;
  • Complete 10 climbs of any grade (rainbow); and
  • Complete 10 belays.

Level 2 – Top Rope Climber


  • Connecting self and others to rope with a retied figure of eight knot and stopper knot;
  • Pre-climb checks;
  • Belaying and lowering using a suitable belay device;
  • Ground anchor systems;
  • Holding a fall in a bottom rope situation (belayer on ground with rope passing through top anchor);
  • Effective communication and teamwork with climbing partner;
  • Knowledge of indoor climbing (French sport) and bouldering grades;
  • Selection of appropriate routes;
  • Effective safe use of a bouldering/ traversing wall (if applicable); and
  • Simple climbing technique – the use of feet and legs, relaxed upright stance, confident approach, smooth movement and observation of holds.

Assessment Criteria: 

  • Connect rope to harness with retied figure 8 and stopper knot consistently;
  • Consistently performs pre-climb checks;
  • Belays consistently correctly;
  • Can safely hold a simple top rope fall;
  • Lowers a climber consistently correctly;
  • Communicates well with climber;
  • Understanding of French sport grades and selection of appropriate routes;
  • Safe and effective use of a bouldering/ traversing wall;
  • Complete 25 set climbs of any grade; and
  • Complete 25 belays.

Registration for Part 1, at the time of writing, costs £4 and includes a log book and all certificates. To find out more about the NICAS scheme then please click here.

If you would like to take part in this award then please take a look at our main site to find out more by clicking here.

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