The Development of a Training Program and StandardsThe implementation of climbing training courses can create job opportunities for Gozo’s community. Locals could become climbing instructors and open climbing schools. However at present there is no climbing body that can validate a training program on the Maltese Islands.
Generally climbing around the world has no regulations ensuring that you are qualified before you climb. This is based on the idea that anyone can go climbing. It is also very hard to regulate as climbing has many different grades from scrambling to mountaineering. The distinction is Sports Climbing, Traditional Climbing and other aspects of the sport, which use specific equipment that assists in the safety of climbing. Training programs are developed around climbing equipment and the techniques to use it.
Experienced climbers who have local knowledge of the area, a good grasp of equipment and are able to climb safely can take non-climbers or experienced climbers climbing. However in today’s climate of lawsuits and Insurance policies climbers have to protect themselves from being accused of being negligent by receiving recognised training.
This means that the majority of local climbers cannot gain any qualifications to ensure the above. Foreign qualifications for example the UK based Single Pitch Award or Mountain Leader Award are useful but are not suited or designed for the local environment because they are based on conditions in their representative countries.
The GCA can develop a number of courses from beginner courses to instructor courses. These courses would have to be supported by training materials and log books, which will be developed by the GCA.
Instructors and climbing schools would have to affiliate themselves with the GCA, working to quality control guidelines, ensuring that the service provided would be safe and to a high standard.
The GCA AchievementsThe GCA has opened communications with the Mountain Leader UK Training Organisation (MLUK). We have been discussing the possibility of creating a training program based on the Single Pitch Award to be adapted to the Maltese Islands. They have agreed to assist us to get the course validated by the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA)
The GCA AimsDevelopment of Training Courses
One of the MLUK examiners has offered to come to Gozo to run a UK styled course for all climbers who are interested to attend. This will give us the opportunity to experience the course first hand and adapt it to the needs we face here.
Once a course has been developed, the MLUK organisation has offered to assist us in fine-tuning the course. The final draft will then be forwarded to the UIAA for its approval.
On Approval we will be able to offer a validated course to anyone who is interested in teaching climbing. This will create new jobs for the local community. At the same time the implementation of a set of standards and procedures will ensure that climbing will be conducted safely around the island. Climbing instructors and climbing schools will be required to follow these standards and procedures. Climbers who have qualifications from another country will be required to do a course to familiarise themselves with the local climbing environment. After a successful evaluation a qualification to teach climbing will be issued.
[unter|Regular Training Days
The GCA would like to offer GCA members regular weekly training days on the indoor climbing wall as well as on the outdoor crags. In addition to that, the GCA can also offer ‘discover climbing’ to attract new members to the sport.