top of page

I asked those interested in the RCDI qualification what they most need support with....

The Rock Climbing Development Instructor qualification is a pretty high level award.

It's ace! You gain a whole lot of input on teaching and developing other climbers on both trad and sport crags, and the process of training, consolidation period and assessment is designed to help people become excellent teachers, provide individualised learning, and adapt their sessions to different crags, weather and clients.

The award is perfect for those that are passionate about climbing, love helping others to develop, and want to expand what they can deliver on single pitch crags.

The RCDI can also be quite a daunting qualification with a lot of hurdles to get through. I asked a bunch of questions to those working towards, or considering the award, so that we can better support their journey towards RCDI.

Here's what came up.

Question 1: Why are you interested in the RCDI award?

In no particular order, the key themes were:

  • I love teaching climbing and want to teach leading outdoors

  • It feels like the next step for my qualifications

  • I see it as a great stepping stone towards MCI

  • It's a personal goal for me

Everyone has slightly different reasons, but the themes above summarise most people's motivations. The RCDI requires a lot of commitment, and so I think it's crucial to a) have a real personal passion for climbing, and b) love teaching climbing. It can also be a great way of building up to the MCI, and can really help with those movement, coaching and teaching progression skills that the MCI training breezes over quite quickly!

Question 2: Where are you based?

We had responses UK wide, from Cornwall all the way to Inverness, and everywhere in between! It's great that the RCDI appeals to people from all over, but perhaps that makes it hard for people to connect and meet with others going through the same process, and to travel to training and workshop opportunities.

Question 3: What aspects of the prerequisites for RCDI training do you most struggle with?

Way out there in front were meeting the requirements of 60 trad leads at VS 4c, and 60 sport leads at 6a.

For some people, they can easily fulfil one of these categories but really struggle to meet the standard in the other. Perhaps they live much closer to trad crags but haven't done much sport climbing, or perhaps their climbing partners only want to climb in a certain area. Often it's time, confidence, skills or partners that hold people back from logging enough routes, which is why I want to make sure we are supporting people to build up their experience, gain skills and find communities to climb with.

I'll write another article soon on why there are these grade prerequisites for RCDI, so keep an eye out.

Question 4: What workshops, training or support would you most value?

Showing the most popular first:

  1. Help to improve my personal trad climbing

  2. Regular support or mentoring from an RCDI provider

  3. Meeting others that are working towards the same goals

  4. Help to improve my personal sport climbing

Following on from this survey I have set up a Facebook group called 'RCDI - aspirants and trainees' where people can connect with others, ask questions, and hear about training opportunities and shadowing.

I'll be sharing regular top tips on there for people working towards RCDI, and arranging CPD workshops on some of the key areas identified above.

If you would like to join the group, click here.

If you would like to be added to my RCDI mailing list and kept up to date with top tips, workshops and training opportunities, then send me your email address.


bottom of page