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To pass your group day assessment I’d expect to see a well structured, challenging and safe trip all pitched at an appropriate level for your group, rigged as “user friendly” as possible, and providing appropriate coaching and supervision of your group on a range of vertical elements. You’ll be expected to provide your own group for the day (of at least 4, plus an assistant if you feel it necessary), technical equipment, and be assessed in the most challenging mine/cave on your proposed list. During your assessment you’ll be expected to demonstrate (including the full rigging of) at least 3* of the following

  • Abseil for group (not a lower)
  • Lower with a group
  • Ladder pitch with a group
  • Traverse with a group (in level 2 terrain)
  • Tyrolean with a group

*Please note that if you did not manage to have all of these looked at during your personal skills day you must demonstrate it during your group day. 

Before your assessment

All courses must now be notified to the BCA at least 7 days before the assessment. Please get in touch as soon as possible to arrange an assessment.

Before committing to an assessment I’ll need a copy of your S4B page from your previous (module 3, skills day) assessment as well as an overview of your personal exploration experience.

Make sure you’re thoroughly familiar with the caves or mines you’d like to lead groups in, and have recent logged experience of exploring mines or caves a little more challenging than those on your list.

Annotate a plan of each of the caves/mines you’d like on your list highlighting all

  • pitches, including the length of rope needed to rig the pitch as well as ladder length (as appropriate)
  • Highlight any significant considerations for your group management at each pitch
  • areas were a tyrolean could be rigged, including what rigging kit would be required

Click here for an example of what Im after

Make sure you get these plans back to me within 5 days of your assessment. 

During your assessment

Bring your logbook! I’ll need to see your log book before the assessment so please have it with you.

I’ll need to see you kit up the group as well as see/discuss any paperwork you required from your clients before the session (I don’t need to see the personal details of your group). I’ll then need to observe the session and have some time to discuss the day and your list of venues at the end of the day. It may also be necessary to demonstrate a key skill highlighted from or missed out during your module 3 (skills day) assessment however this would normally be pointed out to you before the assessment.

Make sure you’ve packed the appropriate kit for yourself and your group, you’ll need to justify your kit choice so don’t just rely on using “the same kit as every other instructor” if you’re working at a Centre, this also goes for your ropes!

Use your second/visiting staff effectively.

Classic hiccups during assessments include not checking bolts and fixed equipment, clearing pitch heads and rope care so watch out for these!

My focus is likely to be less on you, and more on the group. Do they look engaged & safe? Try to relax!