/ CWLA as a means of getting experience

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ScaredOheights - on 21 Mar 2013
Hi guys looking for a little advice here. I'm currently working toward my MIA (by working towards I mean I am trying to get my grade up and get the multi pitch climbs in). In the interim I have been looking at the CWLA as a means of getting experience with working with clients, youth groups and overall broadening my overall experience as a leader.

I am from a trad background and although I aspire to be an MIA I am wondering if getting the CWLA would be a sensible thing to do either as a fallback plan or as a stepping stone.

Any advice you have on this would be greatly appreciated.

Ta!
Jamie B - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to ScaredOheights:

It's not going to do you any harm, and some of the more generalised coaching and leadership skills are transferable, but it's not going to be central to your MIA progression. Where are you with the pre-requisites - have you completed your ML?
ScaredOheights - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B: Yeah I'm already ML Qualified. I was thinking more along the lines of do I go for it in case I can't get my MIA so that I've got something that I can use for work or do I keep focused on MIA?

Also does anyone know what most climbing walls stances are on MIA's instructing clients on their walls? I only ask as I've had to jump through massive hoops to climb at certain walls before despite being a full time MRT guy rocking up in the big shiny wagon with the big blue lights!
dale1968 - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to ScaredOheights: gather you already hold SPA/CWA? As its a prerequisite for cwla
Jamie B - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to ScaredOheights:

If you've already got CWA/SPA the Leading module won't take a great deal of extra work, but it probably won't get you much extra employment to be honest.
AlH - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Jamie B:
> (In reply to ScaredOheights)
>
> If you've already got CWA/SPA the Leading module won't take a great deal of extra work,
That may not be quite as easy as you make it sound Jamie, it depends on the person. The level of personal climbing is very different for CWLA from CWA/SPA.
" For the CWLA the requirements are that candidates must have logged at least 100 different lead climbs, at least half of which should be French 6a or above and have belayed a climber on a least 100 different routes."
Not hard to achieve but there are many CWA/SPA who would have a long way to go to achieve this.

Also "Candidates must also have assisted or observed at least 5 teaching leading sessions delivered by a suitably qualified person." This can be hard/time consuming to achieve if you don't live near one or more large commercial walls/organisations running lots of these types of courses.

In general the level of experience and judgement required of a CWLA is much higher than a CWA/SPA. As Jamie says the experience and knowledge gained would be useful support to your journey through the MIA.

Jamie B - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to AlH:

I stand corrected - one or two MIAs might struggle with those pre-requisites!
ScaredOheights - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to dale1968: yeah that's where I'm at a crossroads. I'm registered for SPA and have enough for the training however, although I am not registered for CWA I have enough experience and climbs to do the training straight away and then do the assessment a month or so later.

I'm coming round to the idea that it's only going to set me back a couple of hundred of pounds and will bridge the gap in ability (from a qualification point of view) between ML and MIA
JIMBO on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to ScaredOheights: I've done exactly this. I'm aiming for MIA and took the CWLA as a stepping stone. It was a good course and covered coaching which SPA didn't when I did it. The assessment was also with real people as guinea pigs which is more like the MIA assessment, taking a client from where they are forward. If money is no problem (work paid for mine) I would recommend it.
SCC Changed - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to ScaredOheights: if you are MIA qualified, it shouldn't be a problem instructing at most climbing walls. Some places have their own induction schemes which even Ueli Steck etc would have to go through, but otherwise you should be fine. In common with a lot of walls, we need to see proof of qualification and insurance, not too massive a hoop to jump through.
As regards the OP, it just depends what type of MIA work you end up doing. If you do lots of group work rather than more glamorous single client work, then the soft skills of group management are really important and CWLA work will help build this.
Good luck with working towards your quals.
JIMBO on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to Shropshire Climbing Centre: CWLA work would not be large group work and would focus on a pair or trio at most.
ScaredOheights - on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to ScaredOheights: thanks for all the advice and replies guys and gals. I think I'll take the plunge and get this tick as a stepping stone to bigger things. At the end of the day if I can't get my MIA for whatever reason then at least I have something that allows me to work.
Scott_vzr on 21 Mar 2013
In reply to ScaredOheights: Get the SPA, wider remit and experience required, compared to the CWLA, which is indoor only.

If you combine your ML with SPA, you are much more employable at a Wall or Outdoor Provider or as a Freelancer, than without. Build experience, get some observation of MIAs/MICs then progress.

bpmclimb - on 22 Mar 2013
In reply to JIMBO:
> (In reply to ScaredOheights) It was a good course and covered coaching which SPA didn't when I did it. The assessment was also with real people as guinea pigs which is more like the MIA assessment, taking a client from where they are forward.

FWIW, my SPA assessment course (8 years ago) used real people for the whole of the second day.


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