Guidelines

Current Associate and Approved members have access to our guidelines and associated documentation.

The documents outlined below aim to help operators run a climbing centre to a nationally benchmarked standard of safety, rooted in best practice. The emphasis is on the management of a climbing centre and not the construction – although it is recognised that the design does have an impact on the ability to operate the facility safely. The documentation reflects the experiences of indoor climbing professionals who hold the responsibility for managing climbing centres and the inherent experience that comes from executing this responsibility.
The documentation recognises that owners and managers have a legal responsibility to ensure common sense is applied to the safe operation of an artificial climbing environment but seeks to not be overly restrictive in allowing climbers to participate in their activities.

Ultimately, ‘climbing’ remains an activity that is dangerous and carries the risk of injury; participants must take responsibility for their own involvement.

1. Guidelines for the Management and Use of Artificial Climbing Wall Structures

The most recent version of the guidelines received input and review by legal counsel, the British Mountaineering Council, the Health and Safety Executive, an Environmental Health Authority and the leading insurance providers to the indoor climbing industry.
The document covers the following aspects of climbing wall operation;

  • Design & Construction
  • Maintenance & Inspection
  • Access, Groups & Supervision
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Staffing & Staff Qualifications
  • General Conditions
  • Route Setting

2. Aide MemoirE for Operating Climbing Centres

This document underpins the guidelines by providing a structured list of questions, which a centre manager can use to check that they have addressed many of the day-to-day issues they face in operating a centre.
Sections include: –

  • Facilities
  • Maintenance & Inspection
  • Operating & Management Procedures
  • Personnel & Training of Centre employees
  • Emergency Procedures
  • General Conditions

The document includes a star rating system that identifies legal requirements and those items that could be construed as
negligent if not applied.

3. Standard Registration Form

The BMC and ABC have developed a standard climbing wall registration form for unsupervised climbing. A copy of this and the guidance notes are available from the member’s section of this site or from the BMC. Whilst the form has been standardised it should not be used without giving further consideration to all the other issues relevant to the operation of your centre.

4. Operating Managers Handbook

The ‘Managers Handbook’ provides a means of ensuring ready access to information that people need to do their job effectively and professionally. It is primarily intended for use in a paper environment where it┬áreferences a range of material including: personal; safety; environmental and regulatory information.