Program Overview


The SPI Course is an instructor training course for current, proficient and active rock climbers and for climbing instructors who currently teach rock climbing that wish to gain the SPI Certification. The SPI is the first stage of the AMGA's Rock Discipline guide training and certification program and will significantly help candidates that wish to work towards the next stage in the program, the AMGA Rock Instructor Course.

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.

SPI Terrain Guidelines

The SPI will be able to proficiently facilitate and instruct the sport of rock climbing in a single pitch setting. Single Pitch Instructors supervise and teach climbing at any single pitch cliff, working at the base or from the top. They can work at sites where the anchors are accessed by non technical terrain and also by leading. For the purpose of the SPI Program a single pitch climb is one which:

Is climbed without intermediate belays

Presents no difficulties on approach or retreat, such as route finding, scrambling or navigating

The SPI Program does not cover multipitch guiding. These skills are taught in the AMGA Rock Instructor Course. SPI's that guide clients in multipitch terrain would be guiding outside of their terrain guidelines.

SPI Course Candidate Pre-Requisites

You meet the pre-requisites for the SPI course if you:

Have a genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags

Are at least 18 years old at the time of the course.

Have at least 12 months prior climbing experience.

Are an active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro)

Have trad lead climbed a minimum of 15 graded rock climbing routes (any grade).

Are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.

The above pre-requisites are absolute minimums and most candidates have way in 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 best use of the training. If you are unsure of your skill levels we suggest hiring an AMGA/IFMGA certified guide to evaluate and enhance your skills and experience prior to SPI Program enrollment.

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:

Certified Single Pitch Instructors can take the two day SPI Assessment to renew their certification.

Certified Single Pitch Instructors who successfully complete one of the following AMGA Courses: Rock Instructor Course, Advanced Rock Guides Course, Alpine Guides Course, or an Advanced Alpine Guides 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 expiry 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 expiry date and successfully passing an SPI Assessment. From a professional standpoint this is not advisable.

SPI Program Hours and Ratios

A minimum of 27 hours, normally run as three consecutive nine hour days or day classes with evening sessions.

SPI Courses will not exceed a ratio of six students to one current SPI Program Provider. 

The maximum number of students on any SPI Program will be twelve.




603 662 6306        Box 883 N.Conway N.H. 03860       arc@fairpoint.net