AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

SPI Assesment Overview

The SPI Assessment is two days in length (minimum of 16 hours assessment time) and will take place at a single pitch climbing area where there are a selection traditional lead routes in the 5.6 range and top roping routes in the 5.8 range. The assessment will examine all aspects of institutional single pitch climbing that the Single Pitch Instructor may encounter. Day one will look at climbing movement and all aspects of technical systems from anchoring to assistance skills and general climbing competence. On day two the examiner may arrange for volunteer novice clients (non-paying) for the candidates to instruct in a group setting. This is not required but is a great benefit to the assessment process as the examiner can see candidates interact with real novice climbers and the examinees do not have to ‘pretend’ to teach novice climbers who are actually other examines on the assessment.

The examiners job is to bring out the best in the candidate, and give the candidate a comfortable and stress-free assessment. 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 as explained below.

Assessment Categories
  • Risk Management
  • Client Care
  • Technical Systems
  • Application
  • Terrain Assessment
  • Movement Skills
  • Mountain Sense
  • Professionalism
  • Instructional Technique
In the AMGA SPI Program the same nine categories are used as for the rest of the AMGA assessments in the guide programs. This is for uniformity throughout the AMGA programs as they are all applicable to single pitch instruction and will help the candidate as they move onto higher level assessments.

Pre-Requisites for SPI Assessment The SPI Assessment can be taken directly following the SPI Course if the candidate successfully completed the course and meets the Assessment pre-requisites. However, it is highly recommended that the SPI Course candidate takes time practicing and consolidating the skills learned on the course before assessment (6-12 months).

You meet the SPI Assessment Pre-requisites if:

  • You have successfully completed an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course or AMGA Top Rope Site Manager Course.
  • You have trad lead climbed a minimum of 40 rock climbing routes. A large number of these should be at 5.6 grade and hopefully on a variety of rock types.
  • You are capable of comfortably lead climbing 5.6 traditional routes (leader placing protection). You will demonstrate your leading ability on a variety of routes on the assessment.
  • You are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.
Gaining SPI Certification To gain SPI Certification candidates must:

  • Successfully pass the SPI Assessment
  • Hold current AMGA Membership at Associate level or higher
  • Hold current First Aid Certification (see SPI Certification First Aid Requirements)
SPI Certification Upkeep and Recertification SPI Certification is only valid with current AMGA Membership and valid current First Aid Certification. If you let your either of these lapse your SPI Certification is invalid until you rectify this by updating your AMGA Membership or First Aid Certification. It is your professional responsibility to ensure you have current AMGA Membership and First Aid Certification.

SPI Certification lasts for three years from the date of assessment. There are two options for renewal:

  1. . Certified Single Pitch Instructors can take the two day SPI Assessment to renew their certification.
  2. . Certified Single Pitch Instructors who successfully complete any higher level AMGA course is granted SPI certification for three years from the course end date. After completing a course please contact the AMGA so they can update your records.
To keep SPI Certification current SPI’s should seek out recertification before the expiration date of their certification. Candidates that let their certification lapse can take part in the SPI Assessment but they will not hold any certification between their SPI expiration date and successfully passing an SPI Assessment. From a professional standpoint this is not advisable.

SPI Certification First Aid Requirements First aid training is not required to take the course or assessment. For the Single Pitch Instructor certification to be valid the AMGA requires you hold appropriate medical certification for the location that you are working in. If you let your medical certification lapse, your AMGA SPI Certification is invalid. It is the responsibility of the individual to maintain appropriate medical certification.