Your FAQs...and the answers!

From: Darren S.
Sent on: Friday, October 4, 2013 12:57 AM

Dear SMC Members and Meetup folks,

Many folks have had similar questions regarding the new training courses, qualification and signing off. Perhaps the most important things to realize are that members can sign off skills and knowledge at all club events. The more events you attend, the faster you'll get signed off and the faster you'll qualify for more technical events. Taking the training is the best way to fast track this process. Lastly, evolving into this system will take some time, so there will be at least a year of transition.

For the answers to your FAQs, read on!

Q: Club events are rated with using the SMC training levels, such as “MTN 2” or “SIG 1”. What does that mean?

A: All club events that require a certain level of proficiency at technical climbing have a rating like this. Members can attend events with a training rating when they are 1). “qualified” or 2). by demonstrating “proficiency” at that level. The SMC Training Logbook and curriculum for the training courses lists the specific skills and knowledge at each of the nine levels of training.

Q: How do I qualify for club events with a rating?

A: You must be at (or above) the minimum performance standard for the skillset at that level. If the event is rated at RCK 2 for example, you must have 1). qualified either by taking the RCK 2 training course, or 2). you must have demonstrated proficiency by “signing off” both Level 1 and Level 2 skillsets. Here's another way to explain it -


Minimum requirements to attend club events with a technical skills rating:

  • Events rated Level 1 - take the Level 1 training course, OR sign off the Level 1 skillset
  • Events rated Level 2 -  take the Level 2 training course, OR sign off Level 1 and Level 2 skillsets
  • Events rated Level 3 - take the Level 3 training course, OR sign off Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 skillsets


Q: So when can I take the training courses?

A: In each of the three disciplines (RCK, SIG and MTN), a Level 1 training course can be taken immediately. The Level 2 training course can be taken as soon as the Level 1 skillset is signed off, and the Level 3 training course can be taken as soon as the Level 1 and Level 2 skillsets are signed off.

Q: How does the club take into account existing skills, knowledge and experience?

A: The club recognizes these as far as it translates into what a member can actually do within a defined skillset (such as the RCK Level 1 skillset for example). Achieving proficiency, or getting “signed off”, is the result of accurately and independently performing a defined skill or mastering a body of knowledge. When a member has demonstrated proficiency in all the items in a given skillset, they are then “signed off” at that level.

Q: I already know the stuff in Level 1. Can I just take the Level 2, or Level 3 training course?

A: You can take the Level 2 training course as soon as you have signed off the Level 1 skillset. You can take the Level 3 training course as soon as you have signed off both the Level 1 and Level 2 skillsets. How fast you get signed off depends upon how often you attend club events and demonstrate proficiency to the event leader, who can then sign you off. Documented proficiency is the best indicator that you truly do know your stuff.


Hope that helps!

- D

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