SNCS Syllabus for you.

I dunno leh…. Upload one and a half pages of documents got so difficult meh? Here are the SNCS Syllabus if you can’t get them from the SMF Website. Including my copy of the SNCS Level 3 syllabus.

I don’t even know when they are “CAA” from, all i know is i downloaded the Level 1, 2 and ASC (DO WE EVEN STILL CONDUCT THIS COURSE???) from the SMF Website and the SNCS Level 3 syllabus was the one sent to me from other SMF Instructors when i asked for it.

Again this is for sharing, go make your own conclusions from how long it takes for someone to update a webpage, especially the things that the whole world needs…. ’nuff said.

Sports Climbing Level 1
Course Code: SCCL1

Course Duration: 7 hours or 2 sessions of 3.5 hours

Prerequisite: At least 13 years of age


The purpose of this course is to give participants an enjoyable, safe and informative introduction to sport climbing. The course is designed for people with no prior knowledge of sport climbing. Participants will be introduced to: equipment, climbing techniques, checking procedures, belaying for top-roping and climbing calls.

Passing Standards

Trainees must demonstrate the following course requirements :

1. Correct harness usage

2. Correct tie-in technique using the figure-of-8 knot

3. Correct belay technique using a friction device

4. Correct use of climbing calls

5. Perform pre-climb checks


SNCS Sport Climbing Level One Certificate


1.     Introduction to the Sport of Climbing

·      Development of climbing in Singapore

·      Concept of climbing

·      Sport climbing /Traditional climbing;

·      Lead / Top-rope;

·      Bouldering

2.     Introduction of Climbing Equipment (usage, care, limitation)

·      Ropes (Dynamic & Static)

·      Harness

·      Karabiner

·      Friction devices – (Fig.8 and Tubular)

·      Climbing shoes

·      Helmet

·      Chalk (drying agent)

·      Others – Quickdraws (Runners), Sling/Tape

3.     Tie-in Knot (usage, limitation, dressing)

·      Figure of Eight thread-through

4.     Belaying Technique (5 steps belay) using friction devices

·      Belaying a climber

·      Lowering a climber

·      Belaying stance

·      Arresting a climber’s fall

·      Rope handling & management

5.     Basic Climbing Technique

·      Use of handholds – pinch, grip, underhand, side pull, sloper, pocket

·      Use of footholds – edging, smearing

·      Basic wall configuration – corners, overhangs, slabs, roof

6.     Top-rope Climbing

·      Pre-climb checks

·      Climbing commands

·      Spotting

·      Safety considerations – pendulums, falling on other people, rope placement, buddy check

7.     Course Review

·      Suggestions for further advancement

·      General discussion and feedback

Instructor Qualification

Sport Climbing Instructor Category 1 / 2

Instructor To Trainee Ratio

1 Instructor : 10 Trainees, OR

1 Instructor + 1 Climbing Assistant (or Trainee Instructor) : 16 Trainees

Sports Climbing Level 2
Course Code: SCCL2

Course Duration: 14 hours or 2 sessions of 7 hours

Prerequisite: At least 13 years of age, Sport Climbing Course Level One certified


This course is designed as a follow on from the Sport Climbing Course Level 1. This course builds on the top-rope skills acquired from Level One and teaches a progression into lead climbing on artificial climbing walls. Participants on this course should be confident in all the techniques covered at Level One before undertaking this more advanced level course.


Passing Standards

Trainees must demonstrate the following course requirements :

1. Confident with lead climbing on an easy route

2. Correct placement of protection points on a lead climb

3. Correct belaying of a lead climber using a friction device

4. Correct top-out technique on fixed anchor

5. Conduct proper pre-climb checks

6. Correct use of climbing calls

7. Safe equipment handling


SNCS Sport Climbing Level Two Certificate


1.     Introduction to Lead Climbing

·      Top-rope Climbing vs Lead Climbing

·      Placement of protection points

·      Understanding Fall Factor and Impact Force

·      Understanding the anchor system on artificial wall

2.     Equipment Required for Lead Climbing (usage, care, limitation)

·      Dynamic rope vs Static rope

·      Harness with gear loops

·      Quickdraws (Runners)

·      Slings / Tapes (safety slings, extension as Runners)

·      Friction devices – (Fig.8, Tubular)

·      Helmet

3.     Knots (usage, limitation, dressing)

·      Double Figure of 8 knot

·      Tape knot

4.     Belaying a Lead Climber using friction devices

·      Giving slack & taking-in

·      Belaying stance

·      Arresting a climber’s fall

·      Dynamic Belaying

·      Rope handling & management

5.     Lead Climbing & Techniques

·      Pre-climb checks

·      Clipping in techniques / prevention & undo “Z” clips

·      Runners’ placement/direction

·      Climbing on overhangs & roofs

·      Safe falling position

·      Climbing commands

·      Safety considerations – hand & foot placement to avoid nasty rope burns, skipping runners, falling on a lead, buddy check

6.     Top-out Technique

7.     Course Review

·      Suggestions for further advancement

·      General discussion and feedback

Instructor Qualification

Sport Climbing Instructor Category 1 / 2

Instructor To Trainee Ratio

1 Instructor : 10 Trainees, OR

1 Instructor + 1 Climbing Assistant (or Trainee Instructor) : 16 Trainees


Wearing of helmet is compulsory when engaging in a lead climbing session

Activity Supervisor Course (Sport Climbing)
Course Code: ASC

Course Duration: 21 hours or 3 sessions of 7 hours

Prerequisite: At least 18 years of age, Sport Climbing Course Level Two certified. Must be confident to lead a 5.7/5b route on an artificial climbing wall.


This is a course designed for teachers, physical training instructors, people in-charge of climbing gyms and anyone required to supervising group climbing activities on artificial climbing walls. The course equips participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely supervise top-rope climbing, lead climbing and bouldering sessions. The course emphasizes on safety and organization. The course does not qualify participants to conduct formal climbing certification courses.

Passing Standards

Participants must demonstrate the following course requirements :

1. Correct use of and the ability to discern any incorrect use of climbing equipment

2. Have knowledge on safety practices in supervising:

– Top-rope & lead climbing session including belayers;

– Bouldering session with spotters and crash mats

3. Have knowledge on managing groups, organizational and communication skills

4. Understanding of risks associated with climbing and have knowledge on strategy to minimize risks

5. Ability to set up anchor system for top-rope climbing

6. Have knowledge on wall maintenance and route setting

7. Safe equipment handling



Activity Supervisor Certificate valid for 3yrs; to be accompanied with a valid first aid (sic)


1.     Roles and Responsibilities of a Supervisor

2.     Revision of skills and knowledge on

·      Equipment (usage, care, maintenance, check)

·      Knots (Figure of 8: thread-through, double-bight)

·      Belaying technique (top-rope, lead)

·      Bouldering and Spotting

3.     Setting up activities for

·      Top-rope & Lead climbing

·      Bouldering

4.     Planning a session (top-rope, lead, boulder)

·      Objective of activities

·      Profile of participants

·      Site & equipment inspection

·      Level of challenges (structures, routes)

1.     (sic)Managing a session (top-rope, lead, boulder)

·      Group management (procedures, rules, processes, ratio)

·      Facilitating experiences (teaching methods, communication)

2.     Risk Analysis and Management

·      Understanding & Identifying Risks

·      Strategies to minimize risks

·      Risk assessment & management plan

·      Protocol, Guidelines, Wall Maintenance

3.     Discussion on

·      Common mistakes and incidents in climbing

·      Supervision of climbing, belayers

·      Route setting

4.     Theory Assessment

Instructor Qualification

Sport Climbing Instructor Category 2

Instructor To Trainee Ratio

1 Instructor : 8 Trainees, OR

1 Instructor + 1 Climbing Assistant (or Trainee Instructor) : 12 Trainees


Wearing of helmet is compulsory when engaging in a lead climbing session

Sport Climbing Course Level Three
Course Code


Course Duration

14hrs or 2 sessions of 7 hrs


 At least be 16yrs of age

 Sport Climbing Course Level Two certificate or equivalent; and Abseil Proficiency Course Level One certificate or equivalent*

*This course builds on the basic skills learned in these courses. Hence, trainees should be familiar and confident with these basic skills before undertaking this course.

Objective (s)

This course introduces the techniques of climbing bolted multi-pitch routes safely.

Passing Standards

Trainees must demonstrate the following course requirements :

1. Setup anchor system for multi-pitch climb

2. Belaying a climber, using both direct (from anchor) & redirect belay system

3. Lead climb and then abseil with backup

4. Ascending on ropes

5. Conduct proper pre-climb checks

6. Use of climbing calls throughout the climb

7. Handle equipment safely


SNCS Sport Climbing Level Three Certificate


1. Introduction to multi-pitch climbs

·      Compare man-made climbing walls with natural rock crags

·      Recognise common types of protection points used in climbing

·      Describe the concept of multi-pitch climbing

2. Introduction of Equipment for Multi-Pitch Climb

·      Revisit the use of quick-draws and dynamic ropes

·      Recognise the uses of single, half and twin ropes

·      Describe the uses of accessory cords of various diameters which include prusik knots and anchoring; and their limitations

·      Describe the uses of slings (sewn slings and tapes) which include safety slings, runners and anchoring; and their limitations

·      Recognise the range of descending/belay devices:

–       Circular descending devices (e.g. Figure-of-8, Harpoon)

–       Planular descending devices (e.g. Sticht Plate)

–       Tubular descending devices (e.g. ATC)

–       In-Line adjustable devices (e.g. Rack)

–       Auto-locking descending devices (e.g. Gri Gri, Cinch, Stop)

3. Knots & Hitches

·      Demonstrate and describe the uses and limitations of knots:

–       Double Figure of 8 knot on the bight

–       Prusik knots (Classic, Klemheist, French)

–       Overhand knot

–       Clove Hitch

–       Munter Hitch

4. Anchor System

·      Apply criteria for assessing sound anchoring systems, using EARNEST

·      Demonstrate setting up of static (isolated) and self-equalizing anchoring systems

·      Recognise setting up of anchoring system using various equipment such as ropes, slings and accessory cords.

5. Multi-Pitch Climb

·      Apply criteria for assessing sound anchoring systems using EARNEST@

·      Demonstrate setting up of static (isolated) and self-equalizing anchoring systems

·      Recognise setting up of anchoring system using various equipment such as ropes, slings and accessory cords

6. Abseiling and ascending

·      Demonstrate abseil with auto-block backup

·      Demonstrate ascending on fixed rope using prusik knots

·      Demonstrate counter-balance abseil in a single pitch

·      Demonstrate stack abseil in a single pitch

7. Understanding risk involving multi-pitch climbing

·       Recognise the hazards common to multi-pitch climbing

·       Describe the corresponding actions to avoid common hazards

·      Apply risk assessment and management framework of PEEP and 4Ts (Tolerate, Terminate, Treat, and Transfer) to address on-going risks

Instructor to Trainee Ratio

2 Instructors: 8 participants or 1 Instructor: 4 participants.


Wearing of helmet is recommended when engaging in a lead climbing session

Will find some time to look for the APC syllabus another day. It’s somewhere and i have my own copy somewhere also. So if you need a copy of the syllabus, please feel free to take.

SMF, are you doing your job?


The one about the Trango Cinch guinea pig…

So just a few weekends ago i was asked to conduct a class to introduce the Trango Cinch into the SNCS Level 1 syllabus. The gym manager did inform me that i would be the first instructor to introduce this and she would appreciate it if i could give her feedback about it. I had a good session with a good above average performing class of adults. Here’s my experience to share.


(Photo Source :  

I decided to introduce the cinch only after they have had a chance to practice belaying with the regular tubular device (in this case it was an ATC). By this time the participants had already belayed with the tubular device at least twice and they were starting to master the basics of handling it, namely :

  • How to rig?
  • How to check that it is rigged correctly? Right hander, left hander.
  • How to do the five step belay?
  • How to catch a fall?
  • How to lower a climber?

I decided to introduce it as a separate device because i have always believed in focusing on one skill set at a time. Introducing two different devices creates too much information for the learner to take note off and the information they are suppose to retain for the first device will be lost once i go into the second device. Hence i decided to introduce it only after they had spent some time working with the tubular devices first. Then came the break and that was where introduced the cinch (note that i have already briefly described how it works and its camming abilities in the morning “theory” session liaoz). So i went through the same list as above.

This time i added in one more safety check which i thought was very important to share here. Now the cinch and most (if all) assisted belay devices (ABD) are notoriously complicated to rig up. Rig the climber and brake ends wrongly only and it gets dangerous especially if the user has a tendancy to foolishly let go of the brake hand with a false confidence that the ABD will catch. So it is very important that the learners rig it correctly. Hence i introduced a “pull check” after the rigging the device coupled with the squeeze check on the carabiner. This involves just tugging on the guide end of the rope (the end leading to the climber) and to check that the device catches (“bites”). If you got it the wrong way round, the rope will simply run through the device and you’ll know you got it wrong. I thought this was a very important step to include. So please consider including it.

Belaying-wise it was a breeze for a climbing instructor because the assisted braking capabilities of the device puts our minds at ease. (In fact i am even toying around with the idea of introducing the cinch first followed by the ATC in future classes) I simply asked the class to belay as per normal but this time inform me and my assistant when they are about to lower so that we could come over and supervise the lowering part.

Now the thing i didn’t like about the cinch was that the lowering of a climber was totally counter-intuitive from what the learners have been conditioned to do all afternoon with the tubular device. You see when you lower with an ATC, one just has to concentrate on letting the rope slip pass both hands on the brake line. So the master hand is in control of the lowering of the climber. Now with the cinch, there is a need to pull open the lever with the non-master hand (in this case my left hand). The master hand remains on the brake hand but now the non-master hand is in control of the climber because you need to pull down (and sometimes you have to pull very hard!) to release the climber. Now, your master hand on the brake line becomes more of a support in case you release too fast. The focus will be purely on the lever, which is totally opposite of what we just spent the whole afternoon trying to learn. I asked a few of my pax what they thought of it, and they all said they didn’t like it coz the lever just did not feel safe enough to pull down on it. I am thinking it’s more because they were conditioned to control the lowering with their brake hand but now the device forces you to focus on the non-master hand which causes the discomfort.

So from this experience, i have two pieces of advice to give for instructors conducting with ABDs:

  1. Include the Pull Check coz the consequences of rigging the device wrongly can be fatal.
  2. Make sure you demarcate clearly when you are using the tubular (non-locking) devices and when you are using the ABD. My concern here is that some pax (being new) might forget or get confused which is the locking and which is the non-locking one. My worry is that they might accidentally take their hands off the brake line when they are using the non-lockers. So i guess instructors have to pay extra attention to them or keep reminding everyone which devices they are using and their characteristics.

Yeah, so this is my feedback. I am in two minds about introducing ABDs as i had shared previously in another post. But i guess we just got to work out the kinks in the first few sessions. I dunno if the Trango Cinch is the best ABD to introduce here as i would rather go for the Mammut SMART or the Elderid Mega Jul or the Clickup for example because these devices are really more similar to the tubular devices that we have to introduce for SNCS Level 1. Something for gym owners to consider perhaps?

Hope this helps. Belay safe!

PS. One more tip, you will find that it is easier to release a Cinch if you hold the lever with your thumb on the hole (the one without the carabiner) whilst forcing the lever down with the palm at the base of your fingers. I heard from some climbers that it is an ergonomic design feature of the cinch whereby you get the most efficiency when releasing the cam and yet at the same time it forces your hand to be at a safe angle when pulling on the lever. Anyone can verify this? It really doesn’t work well if you dun put your thumb there…

Introducing the ABD into our Level 1 courses…

PSA : Just a note for instructors intending to teach at Onsight and Climb Asia. They will be introducing assisted belay devices in their level 1 courses from Nov onwards. For more info, please contact the respective gym managers.

Dear Instructors,

Starting from this weekend, our SNCS Level 1 courses will include a new topic – the use of Assisted Breaking Devices. 
At Climb Asia, the TRANGO Cinch will be provided for use during the lessons. Although the proficient use of any ABDs is not part of the assessment/ passing requirement, do dedicate some time during the course to introduce the ABDs, and to allow the participants to try their hands on the Cinch. 
Please also refer to our attached info sheet for your reference. Should you require any clarification or assistance, please feel free to contact me or Syahirah.
Any feedback on the introduction of this topic is welcome too.
Thank you!
Best Regards,

Candy Wong
Programmes Manager
Tel : 62927701
Fax : 62922281
Climb Asia Pte Ltd
60 Tessensohn Road c/o Civil Service Club
Singapore 217664

Dear Instructors,

We hope you have familiarised yourself with the Mammut Smart, Assisted Braking Device (ABD for short). From November onwards, all SNCS 1 courses, will include the use of the Mammut Smart, together with the Petzl Verso.

Please note that our standard phrase for referring to such devices (Edelrid Megajul, CT Click Up, etc), is ASSISTED BRAKING DEVICE (ABD).

Please see our attached infographic that is designed to help with your MOI.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please email

We hope for your support, in making our climbing community safer for everyone.

Ben Toh
OS Manager

Dear Instructors.

Based on experience from the past few Level 1 courses, when teaching belaying, please teach both the tubular belay device and the Mammut SMART Assisted Braking Device AT THE SAME TIME.

We have enough SMART devices so u can let half practice with the tubular and the other half with the SMART and changeover on and off. Please ensure that participants are proficient with both devices at the end of the course.
As for passing, ONLY tubular is required.

Thank you and please do not hesitate to give feedback


From my own personal experience with the devices, it takes a bit getting used to. So kudos to the gyms for providing these devices for instructors to try out and familiarise themselves with it at the gyms. Rather than juz force feeding it, i was glad to see that there were resources created to help instructors include this in their lessons and to introduce a gradual roll out. At least there was an effort to inform everyone and get everyone prepared before taking the step. Considerate actions like that make a new policy much easier to bear. Please continue to feedback to the gym managers on your experiences teaching ABD to level 1 pax so that we can help improve the system.