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Certification

USA Climbing provides instruction, training, and certification to routesetters at various levels of competition. Since 2006, the USA Climbing Routesetting Committee has developed and administered the clinic instructional programs and certification system that USA Climbing now uses for sanctioned competition climbing. The USA Climbing Routesetting Committee is constantly working to further professionalize and standardize competition routesetting with an overall goal of increasing the quality and consistency of competition events and support the work of routesetters.

The USA Climbing Routesetting Committee oversees the USA Climbing Routesetting Clinic and Certification Program (USAC RCCP) and managed by a the RCCP Program Administrator.  Levels of certification are achieved through the successful completion of Level 1 and 2 Clinics, and practical competition routesetting experiences, via Internship (Level 3), Apprenticeship (Level 4), and finally, a National Chief Practical (Level 5).  Click on the level of certification for more detailed information on each level of USA Climbing Routesetting Certification. See below for other USA Climbing Routesetting Clinic and Certification Program information and resource documents. 

To maintain certification as a routesetter with USAC and be listed on the ‘Certified Routesetter List’ online, a routesetter must have the following:

  • Current USAC Routesetter Membership
  • Current SafeSport certification

In addition to the above, any routesetter assigned to work as the Chief Routesetter of a Championship level competition or contracted and paid directly by USA Climbing otherwise (for example as an Assistant/Apprentice at National events or as a Routesetting Instructor), will need to authorize USA Climbing to complete a background check.

Beginning September 1st, 2018, routesetters may participate in a Level 1 Clinic but will not receive USAC certification until completing the SafeSport training.  We recommend you complete the SafeSport training prior to a clinic you’re register for.  If you do not, you may still participate in the clinic but will have to complete the SafeSport training and provide documentation to USAC, before USAC certification will be confirmed. 

Any routesetters certified by USAC prior to Sept 1, 2018 who wish to maintain their USAC certification going into the new 2018-2019 season, must purchase their USAC Routesetter Membership for 2018-2019, also complete the SafeSport training, and provide documentation that it has been completed to USAC.  Through the 2018-2019 season, if you purchase a USAC Routesetter Membership but have not completed SafeSport training, your certification status will be listed as “pending.” Beginning Sept 1, 2019, only those who both have current Routesetter Memberships and SafeSport training completed will be included on the published list of USAC Certified Routesetters.

In addition to the above, any routesetter assigned to work as the Chief Routesetter of a Championship level competition or who is contracted and paid directly by USA Climbing otherwise in the 2018-2019 season (for example as an Assistant/Apprentice at National events or as a Routesetting Instructor), will need to authorize USA Climbing to complete a background check. USA Climbing staff will be in contact with you directly regarding the background check process, which you must authorize but will be paid for by USA Climbing.

To complete either SafeSport and/or a Background Screening, see below:

SafeSport Online Training Certificate. The U.S. Center for SafeSport has updated the online training program which is now broken into 3 modules/activities.  Routesetters that need to complete or renew their SafeSport certification will need to complete all three modules/activities before they are considered SafeSport certified by USA Climbing and the U.S Center for SafeSport.  A certificate is offered upon the completion of each of the three modules/activities, then, one final certificate is offered noting your completion of the entire course. *Note: USA Climbing only needs the final certification, stating 'SafeSport Trained is Issued'. Upon completion of the entire program, please save and submit the final certificate only, to documents@usaclimbing.org.  

SafeSport Certifications are valid for TWO (2) USA Climbing seasons. Completing the SafeSport Refresher course will not fulfill this requirement.  Click here to access the SafeSport onboarding link designated for members of USA Climbing.  Select USA Climbing as the Organization and enter Access Code: LDV5-MAI9-19TY-S19D.  If you experience any problems with the onboarding link, contact info@usaclimbing.org or call the office for assistance.  Please do not contact the U.S. Center for SafeSport- they are currently inundated with work and we can likely help!

Background Screening through the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI). Click here to download instructions to complete your background screening. All background screenings are valid for TWO (2) years from the time of submission. Background checks may take up to 10 days to process. As long as a routesetter submits his/her background check prior to the respective deadline, he/she will be listed as 'pending' until the background check has cleared. 


LEVEL 1:
Certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed a USA Climbing Level 1 Clinic and demonstrated proficiency of routesetting fundamentals and basic skills for USAC local competitions. Level 1 details.

LEVEL 2:
Certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed a Level 2 Clinic and demonstrated sufficient knowledge of on-sight routesetting and other skills necessary to set for USAC Championship level competitions. Level 2 details.

LEVEL 3:
Certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed an Internship at a USAC Divisional or National level competition and is qualified and eligible to apply for an Apprenticeship position at any National level competitions. Level 3 details.

LEVEL 4:
Certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed an Apprenticeship at a National level competition and is qualified and eligible to work as an Assistant Routesetter at any USAC National level competitions. Level 4 details

LEVEL 5:
Certifies that a routesetter has successfully completed a National Chief Routesetter Practical Review and is qualified to be a Chief Routesetter, in one or more disciplines, at USA Climbing National level competitions. Level 5 details.



Selection Process

USA Climbing does not currently organize or instruct Routesetting Clinics outside the United States.  Routesetters who have the requisite experience and are interested in USA Climbing’s RCCP but do not live permanently in the US are welcome to participate in a Level 1 Clinic, and may register in the same method as any other routesetters (on a first-come, first-served basis) pending clinic availability.  We do not offer higher levels of certification to any routesetter living outside the US.

The process of selection for Routesetters at Championship Bouldering and Sport Competitions is detailed below.
Please see the home page for more information about current announcements for Routesetter positions.

National Competitions: The Chief Routesetter is selected by USA Climbing Operations. An application process is then opened for Routesetters to apply for official Assistant, Apprentice, and Intern positions. The type and number of positions offered varies depending on the event. These Routesetter positions are determined by the Chief Routesetter in coordination with USAC Operations.

Divisional Competitions: The Chief Routesetter is selected by the host facility in coordination with USA Climbing Operations. The Chief Routesetter must be Level 4 Certified with an Endorsement in the competition discipline. If a Level 5 Routesetter is the Chief Routesetter of a Divisional event, USA Climbing may offer an official Divisional Internship. All other Routesetters are selected by the host facility.

Regional Competitions: The Chief Routesetter selected by the host facility in coordination with USA Climbing Operations. The Chief Rouetsetter must be Level 3 Certified with an Endorsement in the competition discipline. All other Routesetters are determined by the host facility.

Local Competitions: The Chief Routesetter and all other Routesetters are selected by the host facility.


International Routesetters

Routesetters not originally from but who are living permanently in the US and are interested in USAC routesetting certification, please contact the RCCP Administrator for more information.  USA Climbing typically expects all routesetters to complete Level 1 and Level 2 Clinics regardless of their experience level or international background, as USA Climbing rules, competition organization, and basic standard practices may be significantly different than in other countries.  However, interested routesetters living in the US who have clearly documented high level International or National certification (and accompanying resume/references from a National Federation other than USAC), and who have demonstrated experience at USAC Championship level competitions, may be considered via a petition process.

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