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 all candidates aged 7 and upwards.

The scheme is administered by the Association of British Climbing Walls Training Trust (ABCTT) and is recognised by the British Mountaineering Council, the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the Mountaineering Council of Ireland.

Whilst other smaller facilities also offer the NICAS programme, Creation is the Primary centre for NICAS in the Midlands, and is a full member of The Association of British Climbing Walls.

We have a dedicated Course Director, Adrian Allsopp, with a wealth of climbing knowledge and experience. Adrian is responsible for overseeing the implementation and smooth running of the NICAS programme.

We have integrated NICAS in to our school climbing programme and this is available upon request.

NICAS scheme aims:

  • to develop climbing movement skills and improve levels of ability.
  • to learn climbing rope-work and how to use equipment appropriately.
  • to develop risk assessment and risk management skills in the sport.
  • to work as a team, communicate with, and trust a climbing partner.
  • to provide a structure for development, motivation and improved performance.
  • to develop an understanding of the sport, it’s history and future challenges.
  • to provide a record of personal achievement.
  • to point the way to further disciplines and challenges in climbing beyond the scheme.


Structure Of The Scheme



The scheme comprises five levels of award aimed at complete novices to expert climbers. The scheme is split into two parts and takes a minimum of 100 hours to complete in its entirety. Part 1 contains levels 1 and 2 and Part 2 contains Levels 3 to 5. Upon registering with an Awarding Centre candidates receive a log booklet for Part 1 and a log folder for Part 2. After achieving each level they are awarded with a certificate on behalf of the ABCTT.

Watch a short video about NICAS, what it offers and the benefits that the scheme has to offer by following this link

The five levels are:

1. Foundation Climber

An entry level aimed at novices that recognises their ability to climb safely under supervision.

2. Top Rope Climber

Aimed at promoting good practice in climbing and bouldering unsupervised on an artificial wall.

3. Technical Climber

A more advanced top roping and bouldering level that focuses on developing technique and movement skills.

4. Lead Climber

Concentrates on the skills required to both lead climb and belay a lead climber.

5. Advanced Climber

The top level that focuses on improving performance, a deeper understanding of climbing systems and the wider world of climbing.

If you are interested in the NICAS scheme for yourself or your school/college please contact us on (0121) 449 8000. Our reception staff will guide you through the neccessary steps to get started, alternatively ask to speak directly to our Course Director Adrian Allsopp, or email him directly at