We're building a wall at school and currently planning how to run sessions on it. I am SPA but am the only person in the school who climbs. The organization building the wall have offered a day of site-specific training to other staff who would like to run climbing. Does anyone have any experience of this? I can't quite believe that one day of instruction would be enough to safely run a climbing session? Would it stand up in court if there were an accident?
Having worked at a climbing centre for a while, we started running sessions (bottom rope parties, boulder inductions, teaching beginners how to bottom rope and belay etc) with in house training, shadowing, and assessment.
I would suggest having a technical advisor will help - giving a 'syllabus' for what staff need to be taught (including rescue techniques), equipment they must have on them when running a session (and how to use it!). I'd be surprised if after a day, all the staff would be competent to run a safe session. I would suggest a day of training, plus several sessions shadowing, some consolidation/practice sessions (a couple of hours going over rescue techniques, group control), an assessment, and then running a couple of sessions being observed would be more appropriate.
This will depend upon the risk management policies you have in place, and whether follow an incident you can evidence that you took appropriate actions to prevent it (which may include but won't be limited to staff training and assessments).
Most walls (and particularly organisations that have walls, but are not exclusively climbing wall businesses) will engage the services of a Technical Advisor to support their safe operations and help them choose appropriate mechanisms that are in line with current good practice.
Check out the AMI link below re what its members can do. Many of us work as Technical Advisors for commercial and private venues.
There may be a LEA process already in place that your school is using, which provides Technical Advice for adventurous activity provision for lots of schools in that area.