nicas | level 3

Technical Climber

National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme

The National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) is a UK wide scheme designed to promote climbing development and accredit individual achievement on artificial climbing structures.

It can be used as a starting point for people wishing to take up climbing and mountaineering. It is open to young climbers aged 8 and upwards.

This level concentrates on climbing technique and movement with some additional knowledge of equipment.

Bouldering is a key component of this level and a suitable venue that provides a wide range of bouldering challenges is essential to deliver both training and assessment.

Completion of this level corresponds with a good pass at GCSE PE (Indoor Climbing).

Minimum hours of coaching: 16 hours

Expected additional minimum time commitment by candidate: 12 hours of un-coached climbing

There are 16 sessions (a full term) and an assessment at the end to obtain the NICAS Level 3 certificate.

NICAS logbook are required for this course and are included in the course fee.

Students must bring their own climbing shoes and harness

Level 3: Technical climber


At Level 3, young climbers will learn:


  • Knowledge of different harness types, helmets, rock shoes and belay devices – including the ability to evaluate their condition and ensure appropriate care and maintenance.

  • Knots – figure of eight on the bight, clove hitch, overhand.

  • Belaying using a variety of devices and choice of appropriate device.

  • Knowledge of a wide range of appropriate climbing techniques

  • Principles of good climbing movement

  • The structure of a climbing session – warming up exercises, stretching, gentle climbing, peaking, warming down, rest

  • Climbing websites, literature, magazines and films

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