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To pass your core skills assessment I’d expect to see efficient safe user friendly rigging, with a candidate looking after themselves appropriately, checking any fixed aids before use and looking after their ropes. During your assessment you’ll be asked to rig and manage an abseil for group, ladder for group and a tyrolean traverse as well as problem solve some realistic scenarios with each of these. Note: SRT for leader (module 5) is not mandatory for North Wales candidates, however if you wish to complete this module please let me know and we can include it in the assessment.

Up to 2 candidates can be assessed for this module at the same time.

A checklist of the syllabus is available on pages 67-68 of the LCMLA handbook (click here to visit the BCA website). I would strongly recommend familiarising yourself with the syllabus.

Before your assessment

All assessments must now be notified to the BCA at least 7 days prior to the assessment date. If you would like an assessment please get in touch as soon as possible so I can register the assessment.

Please note that you must have completed your Level 1 assessment before commenting to you Level 2, unless you’ve had written permission from the BCA training officer which you’ll need to present prior to the assessment.

Before committing to an assessment I’ll need to see evidence that you have the pre-requsit experience (see page 24-25 of the handbook). They are to have logged an additional 30 vertical trips and have clearly nominated 5 of those trips as “quality days” as defined in the BCA handbook (see below).

Spoiler title

2.6.6 Quality Day

A quality day should satisfy at least 4 of the following criteria:

  • Exploration of a new route or cave (new to the candidate that is)
  • Incorporates at least 4 to 5 hours of underground exploration
  • An experience that develops an individuals caving knowledge, skills and awareness
  • Incorporates caving skills above the level of the candidate’s qualification
  • Of the candidates own making i.e. the candidate is to lead the trip, or it is one done with peers 
and not led by an external source
  • For level 1, involves the application of vertical skills, digging or exploration
  • For level 2 an extension of vertical skills, digging or exploration
  • Exploration of caves with a streamway that responds to rainfall

Candidates are to nominate 5 of their logged trips as quality days and justify this selection to the 
Trainer/Assessor using the above criteria.

I’ll also need to see your S4B training page from your Level 2 training, please note that I cannot assess you for your module 3 if you completed your training with me. I’ll then send you a question paper which I’ll need returned at least 5 days before the assessment. Your answers to the paper may have bearing on the choice of venues used for the assessment, so the sooner I get the paper back the sooner I may be able to tell you where we’re going!

If you would rather answer the paper verbally we can arrange a telephone call prior to the assessment.

Around 3 days before the assessment I’ll let you know where we’re going. I’ll normally provide a plan/survey for the mine/cave we are using.

During your assessment


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

Make sure you’ve packed the appropriate kit for yourself, suitable for heading out with a group of capable peers. 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. For most assessments 2 x 30m ropes, 1 x ladder, plus 12 krabs should be appropriate for the session. You’ll also need any any personal rigging and rescue equipment.

Expect to be underground for at least 5 hours, probably more. You’ll be asked to rig a variety of pitches for group use, including a pull-through, a ladder pitch which you’ll be asked to both ascend and descend appropriately, abseil for group, traverse and a tyrolean.

You’ll also be asked to solve some realistic scenarios throughout the assessment.

Following your assessment

Once we’ve completed the trip I’ll let you know how you got on as soon as possible. The outcomes of the day may be a Pass, Fail or Defer. Following a verbal de-brief I’ll email you a copy of your S4B form together with any comments from the day. You’ll then have 12 months to complete your group day