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 2 of the following
- Abseil for group (not a lower)
- Lower with a group
- Ladder pitch with a group
- Traverse with a group
Before your assessment
All courses need to be registered with the BCAs Qualification Management System. To do this I’ll need your membership (ME) number, first and last name (as you’ve entered it into the system) and date of birth. Alternatively I can send you a link once you’ve booked onto the assessment to register yourself. If reregistering yourself please do so as soon as possible having received the link.
You’ll also need to have satisfied the pre-requisite experience required to attend the assessment, as well has being familiar with the syllabus. You can find all that information by clicking the Course Description button below;
If you attended your Core Skills Assessment before the 7th of September 2020 I’ll need a copy of your S4B page from the assessment as well as a copy of your current qualification certificate (if applicable). In addition I’ll need to see 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
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 Core Skills 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 anchors 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!