Unit of competency details

SISOCLA201A - Demonstrate top rope climbing skills on artificial surfaces (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISOCLM001 - Top rope climb single pitches, artificial surfacesNot equivalent. Title changed. Unit recategorised to Climbing. Two units merged: SISOCLA201A Demonstrate top rope climbing skills on artificial surfaces and SISOCLA302A Apply top rope climbing skills on artificial surfaces. Unit now focuses on activity skills rather than planning; planning removed (Was in SISOCLA302A) Planning skills for leaders covered in SISOPLN001, SISOPLN002, SISOPLN004 & SISOPLN005. Significant changes to performance criteria and knowledge evidence. 10/Sep/2019
Supersedes and is equivalent to SROCLA001A - Demonstrate simple climbing skills on artificial surfacesE Updated and equivalent to SROCLA001A Demonstrate simple climbing skills on artificial surfaces 06/Jun/2011

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 28/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) 07/Jun/2011

Training packages that include this unit

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092101 Sport And Recreation Activities  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 092101 Sport And Recreation Activities  18/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to climb and belay under supervision, using a top-rope set up, on artificial surfaces. This unit focuses on the demonstration of simple climbing skills and techniques.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to those working as assistant climbing wall leaders under supervision in a range of controlled conditions, such as a climbing centre.

This unit also applies to outdoor recreation leaders working for outdoor education or adventure providers; volunteer groups; not-for-profit organisations or government agencies.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.



Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Plan for climbing activity.

1.1. Select a suitable route for the climb, and provide a route description.

1.2. Evaluate the position of features  on the artificial surface , which will enable the climb to be completed.

1.3. Identify hazards  associated with the activity and apply procedures to minimise risks , as advised by the supervisor.

1.4. Apply safety procedures  at the climbing site.

1.5. Comply with organisational policies and procedures .

2. Select and utilise appropriate equipment.

2.1. Identify, select and use equipment  in a safe and efficient manner, after consideration of contextual issues .

2.2. Adjust and fit equipment to ensure personal comfort and safety.

2.3. Complete all necessary personal and equipment safety checks , prior to commencing ascent.

2.4. Demonstrate attachment to a suitable belay system according to supervisor's instructions.

3. Demonstrate climbing techniques.

3.1. Locate and evaluate the main features of the climb, whilst climbing.

3.2. Apply safe climbing techniques  to minimise injury in the event of a fall.

3.3. Locate and utilise rest positions to reduce fatigue.

3.4. Establish and maintain effective communication  between climber and belayer using standard calls and procedures.

4. Demonstrate belaying technique.

4.1. Establish a suitable communication system with the climber and perform personal safety checks before climbing.

4.2. Establish belaying position  in relation to belay device  and belay system  to ensure belayer and climber safety.

4.3. Maintain rope tension to minimise fall distance whilst not restricting climber movement.

4.4. Monitor climber progress constantly and respond appropriately to climber calls.

4.5. Arrest falls promptly and uses techniques according to the belay device.

5. Evaluate the climbing activity.

5.1. Evaluate relevant aspects  of the climb.

5.2. Identify improvements for future climbs.

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills to enable safe interaction with belayer during climb
  • problem-solving skills to determine appropriate route and techniques
  • rope handling skills to maintain adequate rope tension when belaying.

Required knowledge 

  • organisational policies and procedures to enable the safe participation in top rope climbing activities.
  • identification and use of personal climbing equipment care of climbing equipment to ensure prolonged life span and safety requirements
  • common communication methods and calls used between climbers and belayers
  • belay techniques and devices appropriate for top rope climbing on artificial surfaces
  • climbing techniques and procedures, such as selecting a climbing technique to suit the features of the wall.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • applies relevant processes to plan and select an appropriate route for the context and duration of the climb and provides a route description
  • selects and fits equipment, such as a harness, and carries out safety checks before demonstrating climbing and belaying techniques, such as maintaining appropriate rope tension when belaying
  • adapts quickly to problems or issues that may arise during climbing or belaying, such as movement restriction of the climber due to inappropriate rope tension, and makes appropriate adjustments to ensure safety of climber
  • evaluates and receives feedback and reflects on own climbing and belaying performance to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure participation in climbing and belaying, using a top - rope set up on an artificial surface, on multiple climbs, that are of a sufficient duration to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • resources and information, such as climbing and belaying techniques and feature description of the artificial climbing surface, to accurately plan the route for the climb
  • a suitable artificial single pitch climbing site for top- rope climbing, with features that allow participant to demonstrate simple climbing skills
  • a qualified leader
  • equipment such as a harness, helmet, climbing shoes, karabiners and belaying devices.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • oral and or written questioning to assess knowledge of organisational policies and procedures to enable the safe conduct of all activities
  • observation of safe participation and demonstration of skills and techniques, communicating, arresting a climbers fall belaying
  • observation of dealing with contingencies, such as equipment misuse or change of route
  • third-party reports from a leader detailing performance.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Features  may include:

  • aretes
  • chimneys
  • corners
  • cracks
  • edges
  • jugs
  • ledges
  • pockets
  • slabs.

Artificial surface  may include:

  • portable or fixed wall
  • fixed tower or bridge
  • indoor or outdoor
  • top-rope set up.

Hazards  may include:

  • temperature extremes
  • slippery or unstable terrain
  • dangerous animals and insects
  • group management hazards.

Risks  may include:

  • hypothermia
  • heat exhaustion
  • injuries
  • exhaustion
  • equipment failure.

Safety procedures  may include:

  • A - anchors - secure and suitable to application
  • B - buckles - locked as per manufacturers recommendations
  • C - connector - locked, secured and orientated
  • D - devices - threaded correctly and secured
  • E - organisation specific procedures including; end or rope knots, friction hitches, belayer ready, helmet chin strap, clothing, jewellery and hair secured.
  • F - friend - cross check.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • use and maintenance of equipment
  • communication protocols
  • emergency procedures
  • code of ethics.

Equipment  may include:

  • harness
  • helmet
  • climbing shoes
  • karabiners
  • belay devices
  • anchors
  • slings
  • rope
  • chalk bag and chalk.

Contextual issues  may include:

  • weather conditions, including times
  • season
  • transport
  • location
  • trip distance and duration
  • group objectives
  • group size.

Safety checks  may include:

  • A - anchors - secure and suitable to application
  • B - buckles - locked as per manufacturers recommendations
  • C - connectors - locked secured and oriented
  • D - devices - threaded correctly and secured
  • E - everything else including end of rope knots, belayer ready, helmet chin strap, clothing, jewellery and hair secured
  • F - friend - cross check.

Climbing techniques  may include:

  • bridging
  • layaways
  • pinch grips
  • smearing
  • underclings
  • layaways
  • side pulls.

Communication  may include:

  • climbing calls
  • radio
  • hand signals
  • whistles.

Belaying position  may include:

  • body position
  • stance.

Belay devices  may include:

  • plate device
  • tube device
  • auto locking device.

Belay system  may include:

  • top belay
  • bottom belay.

Relevant aspects  may include:

  • objectives
  • planning process
  • activity site
  • weather
  • equipment selection
  • clothing selection.

Unit Sector(s)

Outdoor Recreation

Competency Field

Climbing artificial surfaces