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CWA Work-at-Height Certification Program
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The Work-at-Height Certification Program


Climbing Wall Association, Inc. (CWA), a non-profit corporation, sponsors the “Work-at-Height Certification Program” (WaH). The purpose of the certification program is to establish a voluntary certification for climbing wall workers and a uniform set of performance standards that can be easily assessed and adopted worldwide.



Certification programs

Certification refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics and/or skills of a person at a particular time. This confirmation is often provided or confirmed by some form of educational preparation, review, and assessment. One of the most common types of certification is professional certification, where a person is certified as able to competently conduct a job or task, usually by passing an examination. The focus of the Work-at-Height Certification Program is to assess the ability of the candidate to work as a Competent Person or Qualified Person in a climbing facility.


There are two general types of professional certification: one is valid for life once the exam is passed; the other must be renewed after a certain period of time on an ongoing basis. The WaH certification must be renewed every three years. Also, certifications can differ within a profession by level or specific area of expertise. The Work-at-Height Certification Program includes three levels of certification:

  1. Competent Climbing Wall Worker
  2. Qualified Climbing Wall Worker
  3. CWA Work-at-Height Certification Program Provider

Certification is a voluntary process of training and evaluation that credits an individual with conforming to a prescribed set of certification standards that existed at the time of the evaluation or examination.



Goals of the Work-at-Height Certification Program


The primary goals of the Work-at-Height Certification Program are:

  1. To establish acceptable criteria for an employer’s managed work-at-height program for recreational climbing facilities.
  2. To assist employers in proactively identifying, evaluating, eliminating or controlling risks and hazards related to work-at-height in a climbing facility to the extent possible.
  3. To improve the level of compliance, consistency and competency in workplace practices for work-at-height in recreational climbing facilities.
  4. To define a training pathway for climbing wall workers.
  5. To define a certification standard for Competent and Qualified Climbing Wall Workers.
  6. To provide candidates with guidance for further professional development.

The Work-at-Height Certification Program focuses on education, review and skills evaluation of individual candidates using consensus performance standards developed by leading professionals in the field of recreational climbing sports which have been subjected to public review. Certification standards are intended to address the minimum criteria a candidate should meet to be certified as a Competent Climbing Wall Worker, Qualified Climbing Wall Worker or Work-at-Height Certification Program Provider. Compliance with the certification standards is determined by Work-at-Height Certification Program Providers, who work in the field and maintain their provider status.


For eligibility and program pre-requisites, please review the CWA Work-at-Height Policy Manual below.



Resources For Certification Candidates:


Please review the relevant documents below and then contact us with any questions or for further information.



For CWA Work-at-Height Qualified Certification Applicants:


For CWA Work-at-Height Competent Certification Applicants:


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