NIBAS: National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme

The National Indoor Bouldering Award Scheme is a programme of structured progression which provides boulderers with a way to develop their skills, from absolute first timers (level one) through to advanced climbing skills (level five).

Here at the Hangar we are accredited to award Levels 1-3. You can find full details of the scheme on the official NIBAS website.

42434 Nibas Awarding Logo

What age groups is NIBAS suitable for?

Climbers can’t enrol on a NIBAS award until they are seven years old. However, we believe if you’re good enough, you’re old enough, and plenty of our young climbers have the skills to attain level one.

To get our youngest climbers off to a flying start we’ve created a Hangar award that covers much of NIBAS Level 1. Once they’ve completed the course they can choose to be assessed for NIBAS after their 7th birthday.

For now, we're only offering NIBAS to U18's, but we hope to have adult sessions available in the coming months.

How does it work?

All levels require a combination of instructor-led coaching and instructor-assessed completion of a set number of problems showing clear progress, as follows:

  • Level 1: New Boulderer - 3 hours coaching, and 20 problems. Total time commitment expected: 6 hours
  • Level 2: Foundation Boulderer - 6 hours coaching, and 30 problems. Total time commitment expected: 12 hours
  • Level 3: Competent Boulderer - 6 hours coaching, and 50 problems. Total time commitment expected: 20 hours

For level one, both coaching and completion of the problems are carried out in dedicated scheduled sessions on the weekends.

For levels two and three, the coaching takes place in the dedicated scheduled weekend sessions, and participants can choose to complete the required number of problems either at further weekend sessions or during after school club on Mondays and Thursdays. 

You can book NIBAS sessions directly online. 

What does it cost?

The pre-NIBAS and NIBAS courses are paid for upfront and the price is based on participants achieving the qualification, rather than the time it takes. 

All levels include six sessions of coach-led instruction, with increasing numbers of problems (and therefore more time allowed) to complete the assessed climbs.

Pricing is as follows:

  • Pre-NIBAS (the Hangar's internal award) - £50
  • NIBAS Level 1: £70 + £6 for the NIBAS log book 
  • NIBAS Level 2: £70
  • NIBAS Level 3: £70

Intake run roughly every two months. We also offer assessment sessions for £15 where your junior climber will either be signed off at a specific NIBAS level, or we will provide guidance on what they need to do to qualify and move into the next stage.

Courses are available to book directly online, or via reception at The Climbing Hangar. If you have any questions, please get in touch letting us know which level you think your junior climber would be ready for and we'll drop you a line with information on assessment.

Who teaches the awards?

The awards are taught by our qualified instructors. Wherever possible each level will be taught by the same coach throughout, so your kids get to know them. Meet the team and learn about their skills and experience.

What happens if my junior climber misses sessions?

Kids can miss one coached session with no problem. If they miss a second session the instructor might, at their discretion, request that they restart the level with the next intake. There won’t be any additional charge for this.

Assessed-climb sessions don’t need to be attended consecutively, although we wouldn’t recommend missing more than two in a row as it can affect your confidence! We will send reminders to complete your climbs if you miss four or more weeks in a row

What happens if my junior climber is already pretty good?

If your junior climber already has quite a bit of experience, there’s no need for them to go through all the coaching required for the lower levels.

They can attend one of our assessment sessions where we’ll check off their skills. Once we’ve figured out which level they should be assessed at, we’ll either provide feedback on what they need to work on and the time required, or invite them to complete the required number of bouldering problems to achieve the award.

Assessment sessions are priced at £15. If the candidate needs a little bit of extra tuition to reach the required standard we will discuss costs of additional sessions with you before you commit.

What if my junior climber doesn’t like NIBAS; can I cancel?

Cancellations made more than 14 days before the course start date will receive a full refund. 

Cancellations made 14 days or fewer before the course start date, or within 24 hours of the first session will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be available after this point.

How do I book?

Booking is available directly online or via reception at The Climbing Hangar. Payment is required at the time of booking, and be sure to check the cancellation policy. Please get in touch letting us know which level you're interested in and we'll answer any questions you may have.