Certifications > Climbing

The American Mountain Guide’s Association (AMGA) is the premier source for training, credentials, and services for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States.

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) Certification:

The AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program is the only nationally and internationally recognized single pitch climbing instructor certification program. In 2009, the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program was recognized for meeting the “training standards” of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) and was granted the prestigious title of “Approved Association.” No other organization in the United States offering training in single pitch terrain can make that claim. Also, the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program is recognized by many land managers, insurance companies, other associations and of course the general public. The AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program has been created to fit in the AMGA Rock Discipline training program, taking off from the AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Program and greatly improving the instructor’s skill sets and integrating into the next level of training, the AMGA Rock Instructor Course. The SPI Program curriculum has been designed with this in mind and many of the SPI Program Providers work teaching higher level courses for the AMGA and serve on the AMGA’s Technical Committee so they are actively involved in all levels of instructor and guide training in the AMGA
The SPI program is for active climbers that have a real desire to teach rock climbing to novices in a single pitch setting. Candidates should be passionate climbers with their own equipment (SPI Equipment List), regularly climb and have been rock climbing outdoors for at least 12 months.

SPI Course Length

The SPI Program is a three-day (27 hour) training course and separate two day (16 hour) assessment. Certification lasts for three years as long as the candidate keeps current AMGA Membership and First Aid Certification. After three years current SPI’s can re-take the SPI Assessment to re-gain the SPI certification. Taking any higher level AMGA Course also re-certifies the SPI certification for another three years.

SPI Course Prerequisites

You meet the prerequisites for the SPI course if you:

The above prerequisites are absolute minimums and most candidates have excess of the above. Without having at least this amount experience you are unlikely to play a constructive part on the course or be able to make the best use of the training. If you are unsure of your skill level or your readiness to take the SPI course, please contact the WLI office with your questions.

SPI Course Schedule (sample)

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

SPI Assessment Prerequisites

The SPI Assessment can be taken directly following the SPI Course if the candidate successfully completed the course and meets the Assessment prerequisites. However, it is highly recommended that the SPI Course candidate takes time practicing and consolidating the skills learned on the course before assessment.
You meet the SPI Assessment Prerequisites if you:

SPI Assessment Schedule

Day 1
Day one will look at climbing movement and all aspects of technical systems from anchoring to assistance skills and general climbing competence.

Day 2
On day two the Exam Director or SPI candidate will arrange for volunteer (non-paying) novice climbers to act as clients for the candidates to instruct in a group setting. The candidates will facilitate a complete guided day of climbing for the volunteers.
The candidate must show the examiner they have the technical and instructional skills to pass the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Assessment. The SPI Assessment is broken down into four distinct evaluation sessions; climbing movement, technical skills, teaching ability and group management skills and candidate are evaluated by the AMGA marking system categories.

Assessment Categories: