About Accreditation

Get your skills recognised with Contour

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If you to acquire the skills to be a confident walker or climber along with formal recognition, but don't want to enter into the world of National Governing Body Awards, then the Mountain Training Associations's recently introduced accreditation programme could be what you've been searching for.  Run by Contour's Andi Turner, the programme allows you to obtain formal recognition for your skills and experience.  All you have to do is register with the MTA, then attend the appropriate course. The packages, run on behalf of the MTA, by Andi aren't a formal qualification in their own right, but do show that the holder has undergone instruction by an approved instructor, and serve as proof of having attended a structured training package, accredited by the MTA, and run by an experienced and qualified instructor

So get the skills you need to become a confident, independent climber on one of the four Mountain Training courses:

1  Rock Skills Introduction 

2  Rock skills Intermediate 

3  Rock Skills Learn to Lead Sport Climbs 

4  Rock Skills Learn to Lead Trad Climbs

Registration is free for U18s and £20 for adults


As for packages designed for the person looking to become an independent walker on one of these Mountain Training courses. The minimum age for attendance is 12 and there are 2 formats to suit the novice and experienced and are delivered over a mininmum of two days:

1 Hill Skills | For new hill walkers and those who want to learn some basic skills

2 Mountain Skills | Ideal for walkers who want to learn how to look after themselves in the mountains

Registration is free for U18s and £20 for adults

What to Expect


Rock Skills courses require a moderatelevel of fitness. They are all practicalcourses where you will be climbing outside for a good part of each day and learning asyou go. To get the most out of the course you will need to be reasonably fit, able towalk for half an hour at a time carrying a day pack plus climbing gear (approx. 7 kg) and able to cope with the demands of a day’s climbing. If you are unsure about your fitness or experience, then speak to Contour, we're only too happy to advise.  Rock Skills courses are designed as a clear progression from Introduction level through to Learning to Lead Trad Climbs.  Outdoor venues will normally be crags that require between 10-30 minutes approach
time on foot. Appropriate consideration can be made to accommodate the needs of individual par-ticipants. Be assured that any concerns can and should be talked through with Contour prior to booking onto the course.

1  Rock Skills Introduction | 1 day course, minimum age 12, no previous experience required

2  Rock skills Intermediate | 2 day course, min age 13.  You need to have completed the Rock Skills introduction course or have logged 10 routes on a wall or outside crag and 10 belays of a fellow climber

3  Rock Skills Learn to Lead Sport Climbs | 2 day course, min age 14.  You need to have logged 20 indoor or outdoor route and have belayed on at least 20 occasions.  Ideally you'll have completed your Rock Skills Intermediate course 

4  Rock Skills Learn to Lead Trad Climbs | 2 day course, min age 14. Belayed on at least 20 occasions, seconded 20 rock climbs of Very Difficult Standard (V. Diff) or above, 20 sports climbs in or outdoors, have completed the Intermediate and Rock Skills Learn to Lead Sport courses



Hill Skills | The Hill Skills course requires a moderate level of fitness. It is a practical course where you will be walking for a good part of each day, and learning along the way. Any health issues should be talked through with Contour prior to the start of the course

Mountain Skills | The Mountain Skills course is a clear progression from the Hill Skills course. The main difference being that it’s run in the highmountain areas of the UK. As such there is a requirement that you have some experience of hill walking prior to attending the course and also have a reasonable level of fitness. An example of reasonable fitness might be someone who actively participates in sporting activities on a regular basis such as jogging or cycling. If you are unsure about your fitness or experience then ring or email Contour, and if in doubt over which course to attend, the Hill Skills course maybe a more appropriate choice

Equipment List


The right clothing and equipment is an important element of walking and rock climbing. Once you have registered for the scheme and booked onto a course, we'll send you an equipment list of the items you will need for the course in question.  Please note that comprehensive kits lists can be accessed on our home page.  If you need to borrow an item then for the Hills Skills courses we can provide some items of clothing and equipment on loan for a small fee.  As for climbing equipment, key items such as helmets and harness, along with ropes, are built into the course fee.  If in doubt then just ask us what we can supply from our stores, we're only too happy to help