NICAS Level 4


Book Now

nicas (the national indoor climbing award scheme) is a uk wide scheme designed to promote climbing development and accredit individual achievement on indoor climbing walls. 

The key aim is to provide a safe introduction to climbing, and helps to standardise the teaching and coaching of climbing in a structured manner whilst providing lots of fun too. Those who progress through to the higher levels also start to look wider and learn more about the history, ethics and styles of both indoor and outdoor climbing, and it can be used as a starting point for eventually taking up climbing and mountaineering! This level is open to young climbers aged 10 years and up.

Level 4: Lead Climber

This level is ONLY for kids who have a NICAS Level 3 certificate, and who have completed the Level 4 Prep course!

At Level 4, young climbers will learn:

  • The hazards of lead climbing
  • Climbing ropes – types, uses, construction, coiling and maintenance
  • Knowledge of quickdraws and racking on harness
  • Warming up – mentally and physically
  • Lead belaying with appropriate belay devices
  • Holding a leader fall
  • Correct use of the rope whilst clipping running belays (back clipping, z clipping etc)
  • Efficient movement and clipping from rest
  • Clipping in and lowering off
  • Effective communication with climbing partner

Assessment criteria:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of rope types, their care, coiling and maintenance.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the hazards and risks of lead climbing.
  • Lead belay proficiently with appropriate selection of belay device.
  • Safely hold a leader fall.
  • Lead climb fluidly clipping all quickdraws correctly.
  • Improve lead climbing ability by one grade.
  • Complete 30 lead climbs at F5a(5) or above.
  • Complete 30 lead belays.
  • Complete 10 top rope climbs at F5c(5+) or above.

Course Terms:

  • This course runs over school term time only, and takes a minimum of 2 terms to finish. As such, you must book a space on this award each term.
  • The cost of a NICAS course is £200 per term
  • This course is for candidates aged 10+ years old only
  • Please contact us for details on when the next courses / dates will be available from
  • All equipment is provided, and a NICAS logbook is included in price

See our NICAS FAQs here for more info.

Latest Reviews

It is a great experience that motivates the kids and promotes crucial life skills. Confidence, concentration and responsibility as well as strength and balance. The mile end course is friendly and personal, delivered by people who love what they are doing. I have recommended it to local friends.

All good. Nice sized group and clear instruction

great personalised approach to my son's progress and achievement

The instructors are all really nice and friendly and my daughter enjoys herself every week

My daughter has been climbing at mile end for years and never gets tired of it. She is really enjoying the level four course.

great teaching and helpful centre

My daughters are very happy with Carlos. He's a great instructor!

WWW:I really like the level layout and how the grades work EBI:What we do in the lesson and how it's set out on