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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.

The National Indoor Climbing Award (NICAS) Scheme will provide the structure and motivation for new climbers to develop their skills in order that they may gain the most out of their climbing as well as having their achievements recognised.

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




Aims Of The Scheme

  • 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. Belfast Activity Centre is a NICAS approved Climbing Centre to deliver and accredit Part 1 L1 and L2 courses (see below for details).

Level 1 - Foundation Climber
An entry level aimed at novices that recognises their ability to climb safely under supervision.


Level 2 - Top Rope Climber
Aimed at promoting good practice in climbing and bouldering unsupervised on an artificial wall.

Level 3 - Technical Climber
A more advanced top roping and bouldering level that focuses on developing technique and movement skills.

Level 4 - Lead Climber
Concentrates on the skills required to both lead climb and belay a lead climber.

Level 5 - Advanced Climber
The top level that focuses on improving performance, a deeper understanding of climbing systems and the wider world of climbing.


BAC training and assessment and accreditation for:

PART 1 Level 1

Delivered over 8 weekly 3 hour sessions for 8 - 12 participants per course - £150 per participant (including NACAS Level 1 book £4)

Part 1 Level 2

Delivered over 8 weekly 3 hour sessions for 8 - 12 participants per course - £150 per participant (including NACAS Level 2 book £7.50). Participants must have completed Level 1 before commencing Level 2.

Course dates arranged subject to demand.

Further Information or to express an interest to become NICAS trained and qualified please contact BAC. Tel. 02890600132 or email: officeadmin@belfastactivitycentre.com


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