Unit of competency details

SISOCLN410A - Guide lead climbing activities on multi pitch natural surfaces (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by SISOCLM011 - Lead multi pitch climbing activities on natural surfaces, lead climbingNot equivalent. Title changed. Two units merged: SISOCLN410A Guide lead climbing activities on multi pitch natural surfaces and SISOCLN512A Instruct lead climbing on multi pitch natural surfaces Unit focuses on leadership skills at time of delivery; planning removed. 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 SROCLN010A - Guide lead climbing activities on natural surfaces (multi pitch)E Updated and equivalent to SROCLN0010A Guide lead climbing activities on natural surfaces (multi pitch) 06/Jun/2011

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


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 guide lead climbing activities on a multi pitch natural surface. This includes establishing anchors using a combination of fixed, natural and or artificial protection. This unit focuses on the application of planning skills to make suitable arrangements to guide a group through a lead climbing activity.

Application of the Unit

This unit applies to those working as climbing guides or assistant guides who guide lead climbs in a range of natural multi pitch conditions.

This unit may also apply to 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 a lead climbing activity.

1.1. Conduct relevant assessments to determine the condition of participants .

1.2. Develop an activity plan , according to relevant legislation  and organisational policies and procedures , to meet participant's needs.

1.3. Select an appropriate activity site that is suitable for participants and meets session's aims and objectives , relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

1.4. Identify hazards  associated with lead climbing on natural surfaces  and minimise risks  to ensure personal safety of participants.

1.5. Access relevant sources  to interpret detailed weather and environmental information  to determine activity plan.

1.6. Determine food and water requirements  according to principles of nutrition  and contextual issues  of the activity.

1.7. Inform appropriate authorities  before commencing the climbing activity.

2. Select equipment for the group.

2.1. Select equipment  according to contextual issues and organisational policies and procedures, and check serviceability.

2.2. Assess equipment for safety and suitability, and adjust and fit to ensure personal comfort.

2.3. Check safety and rescue equipment to ensure suitability to the group and the climb.

2.4. Establish anchors and belay types , ensuring they are in correct position for the activity.

2.5. Identify suitable access to and egress from the climbing site according to organisation policies and procedures, and establish hand lines and safety lines where appropriate.

3. Brief participants.

3.1. Communicate instructions and relevant information  about the climbing activity in a manner suitable to the participants.

3.2. Demonstrate correct climbing, belaying, back-up belaying techniques and removal of artificial protection.

3.3. Establish a suitable communication system  for participants to use while climbing and belaying.

3.4. Outline safety procedures  and safe areas and or boundaries for the activity.

3.5. Check and confirm participants are properly equipped for the climb.

4. Lead multi pitch climbing activity.

4.1. Provide clear and concise direction and advice to group during the activity.

4.2. Lead the climbing pitch and rig anchors for multi pitch guiding to belay clients.

4.3. Conduct change over of belay maintaining safety of guide and clients.

4.4. Monitor climbing, belaying and back-up belaying techniques to ensure a safe environment.

4.5. Monitor individual participant's performance  and provide appropriate feedback.

4.6. Implement appropriate modifications to activity in regard to all variable factors  that are monitored.

4.7. Use positive encouragement throughout activity, and encourage feedback and questioning from group members.

5. Complete post-activity responsibilities.

5.1. Retrieve, inspect, repair and store equipment according to organisational policies and procedures.

5.2. Evaluate relevant aspects  of climbing activity.

5.3. Identify potential areas of improvement for future lead climbing activities.

5.4. Review own performance and identify potential improvements.

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication skills to:
  • consult with participants to plan a climbing activity that meets their needs
  • convey information about the safety aspects of the activity
  • interact with participants to create a safe and positive climbing environment
  • problem-solving skills to:
  • plan a suitable climbing activity according to participant's needs and abilities
  • make decisions affecting activity
  • respond appropriately to non-routine situations
  • planning and organising skills to:
  • source, allocate and coordinate resources, equipment and natural multi pitch suitable for the participants
  • organise participants into manageable groups for lead climbing and belaying
  • language, literacy and numeracy skills to:
  • produce an activity plan for the climbing activity
  • perform basic calculations to determine equipment needs based on height of pitch
  • complete post activity participant and self evaluations
  • apply for permission or permits to use natural climbing pitch to guide lead a group
  • effective and efficient personal lead climbing skills to demonstrate and explain lead climbing and belaying techniques to participants
  • emergency response skills appropriate to the location to enable initial response to emergencies and personal health care.

Required knowledge 

  • relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of climbing activities
  • minimal impact climbing codes to enable protection of the environment
  • information about local area to assist in the planning process and enable management of potential climbing hazards, and any special restrictions applying to the area
  • equipment types, characteristics and technology used for lead climbing on multi pitch natural surfaces, the advantages and disadvantages of the range of equipment and factors affecting appropriate selection of equipment
  • clothing and footwear requirements for climbing activities to ensure comfort and safety
  • care and maintenance of climbing equipment to ensure prolonged life span and safety requirements
  • nutritional requirements when climbing to maintain wellbeing
  • lead climbing techniques and common communication methods and calls used between climbers and belayers to reduce risk during multi pitch climbing on natural surfaces
  • belay systems, devices and anchors appropriate for multi pitch natural surfaces
  • technical lead climbing knowledge, such as protection placement techniques and procedures to suit the features of the surface
  • weather and environmental information to ascertain possible conditions and their affect on the activity
  • hazards that may be experienced in a natural climbing environment
  • emergency procedures, potential hazards and obstacles relevant to the location to ensure safety of self and others.

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:

  • plans within activity constraints and guides and monitors the group in a safe and professional manner
  • applies effective contingency management techniques to deal with a range of problems and issues that arise during the lead climbing activity
  • encourages and responds to feedback from participants and evaluates and reflects on own guiding performance to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure leading climbing activities that reflect the needs of a range of participants and are of sufficient duration to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must also ensure access to:

  • resources and information regarding participants and location to accurately plan, guide and document lead climbing activities for a variety of participants
  • a natural multi pitch lead climbing site suitable for the participants
  • a group of participants to take part in the lead climbing activity
  • equipment such as harnesses, helmets, belay devices, ropes, gloves, karabiners, artificial protection, climbing shoes, food and water, and safety and first aid equipment.

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:

  • observation of interaction with a group of participants, including conveying information for safe participation
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of all lead climbing activities
  • observation of dealing with contingencies such as changing weather conditions and equipment failure
  • review of lead climbing activity plans
  • third-party reports from a supervisor detailing performance.

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

  • SISOCLN306A Apply multi pitch lead climbing skills on natural surfaces
  • SISOCLN407A Establish belays for multi pitch climbing on natural surfaces
  • SISOVTR402A Perform complex vertical rescue.

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.

Condition of participants  may include:

  • skill level
  • previous experience
  • physical capabilities
  • fitness level
  • age
  • injuries and illnesses.

Plan  may include:

  • activity aims and objectives
  • date, time and duration
  • location or site
  • guide and participant ratios
  • resources
  • equipment
  • food and water
  • weather details
  • participant information:
  • safety requirements
  • risk management plan
  • relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures.

Relevant legislation  may include:

  • occupational health and safety
  • permits or permission for access
  • environmental regulations.

Organisational policies and procedures  may include:

  • risk management procedures
  • occupational health and safety
  • time and budget constraints
  • use and maintenance of equipment
  • communication protocols
  • confidentiality of participant information
  • guide and participant ratios
  • emergency and safety procedures
  • code of ethics.

Session's aims and objectives  may include:

  • developing climbing on natural surface skills
  • education
  • development
  • therapy
  • fitness targets
  • recreation.

Hazards  may include:

  • temperature extremes
  • slippery or unstable terrain
  • dangerous animals and insects
  • stinging trees and nettles
  • dense vegetation
  • group management hazards.

Natural surfaces  may include:

  • cliffs
  • boulders.

Risks  may include:

  • hypothermia
  • heat exhaustion
  • injuries
  • exhaustion
  • lost party or party member
  • equipment failure.

Relevant sources  may include:

  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • media
  • land managers or agencies
  • local knowledge.

Weather and environmental information  may include:

  • satellite images
  • daily and weekly forecasts
  • maximum and minimum temperatures
  • weather warnings
  • event warnings
  • river levels
  • synoptic charts
  • high and low tide predictions.

Food and water requirements  may include:

  • range of foods:
  • perishability
  • packaging
  • storage.

Principles of nutrition  may include:

  • food groups
  • dietary guidelines.

Contextual issues  may include:

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

Appropriate authorities  may include:

  • waterways departments
  • surf rescue
  • authorities
  • supervisors.

Equipment  may include:

  • climbing equipment
  • safety equipment
  • rescue equipment
  • artificial protection
  • appropriate clothing and footwear.

Belay types  may include:

  • single rope
  • double rope
  • top belay
  • bottom belay.

Relevant information  may include:

  • personal equipment requirements:
  • safety procedures
  • route description
  • preventative measures for risks
  • possible hazards
  • environmental impact minimisation
  • climbing and belaying techniques
  • objectives
  • rules and codes
  • responsible and safe behaviour.

Communication system  may include:

  • calls
  • radio
  • hand signals
  • whistles.

Safety checks  may include:

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

Participant's performance  may include:

  • use of appropriate communication system
  • climbing technique
  • lead climbing technique
  • second climbing technique
  • belaying technique
  • attitude
  • negotiation of hazards
  • use of equipment.

Variable factors  may include:

  • change of weather
  • equipment failure
  • participant's needs
  • climbing conditions.

Relevant aspects  may include:

  • objectives
  • planning process
  • activity site
  • weather
  • equipment selection
  • clothing selection
  • food selection
  • instructional content
  • instructional technique
  • assessment technique
  • group feedback
  • directing techniques
  • rescue techniques employed.

Unit Sector(s)

Outdoor Recreation

Competency Field

Climbing natural surfaces