Assessor Resource

Apply top rope climbing skills on artificial surfaces

Assessment tool

Version 1.0
Issue Date: June 2019

This unit applies to those working as climbing guides or assistant guides in a range of controlled artificial conditions.

This unit may also apply to outdoor recreation leaders working for outdoor education or adventure providers; volunteer groups; not-for-profit organisations or government agencies.

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to apply climbing and belaying skills to single pitch top rope situations on artificial surfaces. This unit relates to independent participation as part of a climbing party. It does not include the competencies required to instruct or guide others or establish belay systems.

You may want to include more information here about the target group and the purpose of the assessments (eg formative, summative, recognition)



Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Evidence Required

List the assessment methods to be used and the context and resources required for assessment. Copy and paste the relevant sections from the evidence guide below and then re-write these in plain English.

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the following is essential:

applies relevant processes to plan for climbing activity, and describes suitable route to take

selects and fits equipment independently and carries out safety checks to ensure effective working order

arranges a suitable communication system with climber, when belaying, to monitor progress

negotiates obstacles and hazards during climbing, and adapts quickly to problems or issues that may arise to ensure safety of self and other participants

evaluates and reflects on own climbing and belaying performance to identify strengths, weaknesses and areas that need improvement.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure participation in multiple climbing and belaying activities on single pitch artificial surfaces to demonstrate competency and consistency of performance.

Assessment must ensure access to:

resources and information regarding climbing and belaying, to accurately plan for the activity

suitable artificial single pitch climbing site with simple obstacles and features that allow participant to demonstrate climbing skills

other climbing participants to assist with belaying

equipment such as harnesses, helmets, belay devices, ropes, gloves, karabiners, climbing shoes and first aid equipment.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

oral and or written questioning to assess knowledge of relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures to enable safe conduct of all climbing activities

observation of safe participation and demonstration of climbing and belaying skills, such as communicating with climber or belayer to inform of progress

observation of dealing with contingencies, such as equipment failure or change in weather

third-party reports from a supervisor detailing performance.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

SISOCLA303A Establish belays for climbing on artificial surfaces.

Submission Requirements

List each assessment task's title, type (eg project, observation/demonstration, essay, assingnment, checklist) and due date here

Assessment task 1: [title]      Due date:

(add new lines for each of the assessment tasks)

Assessment Tasks

Copy and paste from the following data to produce each assessment task. Write these in plain English and spell out how, when and where the task is to be carried out, under what conditions, and what resources are needed. Include guidelines about how well the candidate has to perform a task for it to be judged satisfactory.

Required skills

communication skills to:

inform progress

interact with climber and or belayer during activity

problem-solving skills to:

negotiate obstacles and hazards when climbing

assess application of rope tension when belaying

rope handling skills to maintain adequate rope tension when belaying

first aid and emergency response skills appropriate to the location to enable initial response to emergencies and personal health care.

Required knowledge

relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures to ensure safe conduct of all activities

equipment types, characteristics and technology used for climbing on artificial surfaces, the advantages and disadvantages of the range of equipment, and factors affecting appropriate selection of equipment

care and maintenance of climbing equipment to ensure prolonged life span and safety requirements

climbing techniques and common communication methods and calls used between climbers and belayers to reduce risk during climbing on artificial surfaces

belay techniques and devices appropriate for single pitch surfaces

technical climbing knowledge, such as selection and description of suitable route to take

basic weather and environmental information to ascertain possible conditions and their affect on the activity

hazards that may be experienced in an artificial climbing environment

emergency procedures, potential hazards and obstacles relevant to the location to ensure safety of self and others.

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Relevant legislation may include:

occupational health and safety

permits or permission for access

environmental regulations.

Organisational policies and procedures may include:

occupational health and safety

use and maintenance of equipment

communication protocols

emergency procedures

code of ethics.

Hazards may include:

temperature extremes

slippery or unstable terrain

dangerous animals and insects

group management hazards.

Risks may include:

falls and slips

injuries and illnesses

height phobia

rope burn

equipment failure.

Artificial surfaces may include:

portable or fixed walls

fixed towers or bridges

indoor or outdoor.

Relevant sources may include:

Bureau of Meteorology


land managers or agencies

coastal patrol or coastguard

local knowledge.

Weather and environmental information may include:

satellite images

daily and weekly forecasts

maximum and minimum temperatures

weather warnings

event warnings

river levels

synoptic charts

high and low tide predictions.

Communication system may include:

climbing calls


hand signals


Equipment may include:





belay device




chalk bag and chalk.

Contextual issues may include:

weather conditions, including times




trip distance and duration

group objectives

group size.

Safety checks may include:

A - anchors - secure and suitable to application

B - buckles - locked as per manufacturers recommendations

C- connector - locked, secured and orientated

D - devices - threaded correctly and secured

E- everything else including end of rope knots, belayer ready, helmet chin strap, clothing, jewellery and hair secured.

F- friend - cross check.

Belay system may include:

top belay

bottom belay.

Knot tying may include:

alpine butterfly

end of line loop

mid line loop

stopper knot

rethreaded figure 8

figure 8 on bight

friction hitches.

Features may include:












Climbing techniques may include:


dynamic movement,

dead pointing

heel hooks


lay backing

layaways and side pulls

mantle shelving

pinch grips



Simple obstacles may include:





Belay device may include:

plate device

tube device

auto locking device.

Relevant aspects may include:


planning process

activity site


equipment selection

clothing selection.

Copy and paste from the following performance criteria to create an observation checklist for each task. When you have finished writing your assessment tool every one of these must have been addressed, preferably several times in a variety of contexts. To ensure this occurs download the assessment matrix for the unit; enter each assessment task as a column header and place check marks against each performance criteria that task addresses.

Observation Checklist

Tasks to be observed according to workplace/college/TAFE policy and procedures, relevant legislation and Codes of Practice Yes No Comments/feedback
Identify and select an appropriate activity site after consideration of relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures. 
Identify associated hazards and procedures to minimise risks to climber and belayer on artificial surfaces. 
Access relevant sources to interpret detailed weather and environmental information to determine activity plan, where applicable. 
Establish a suitable communication system to use while climbing and belaying with other participants. 
Select and use equipment according to manufacturer's specifications, after consideration of contextual issues. 
Adjust and fit equipment to ensure personal comfort and safety. 
Complete all necessary personal safety checks prior to commencing climbing and or belaying. 
Demonstrate attachment to a suitable belay system in accordance with manufacturer's specifications, and apply correct rope handling and knot tying techniques. 
Select a suitable route for the climb, inspect the position and quality of features, and provide an accurate route description. 
Display correct posture and fluent climbing techniques suitable to features and possible holds. 
Maintain effective communication between climber and belayer throughout climb. 
Locate and evaluate the main features of the climb, while climbing. 
Locate and utilise rest positions to reduce fatigue. 
Negotiate simple obstacles and a climb in a controlled manner. 
Demonstrate suitable posture for lowering purposes. 
Establish belaying position by moving body in relation to belay device that allows effective use of belay system. 
Demonstrate attachment of belayer to an anchor to minimise movement during a fall. 
Maintain rope tension to ensure fall distance is minimised while not restricting climber movement. 
Monitor climber progress constantly and respond appropriately to climber calls. 
Arrest falls promptly using technique suitable to the belaying device and or situation. 
Evaluate relevant aspects of climbing and belaying. 
Identify improvements for future climbing activities. 


Assessment Cover Sheet

SISOCLA302A - Apply top rope climbing skills on artificial surfaces
Assessment task 1: [title]

Student name:

Student ID:

I declare that the assessment tasks submitted for this unit are my own work.

Student signature:

Result: Competent Not yet competent

Feedback to student









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Assessment Record Sheet

SISOCLA302A - Apply top rope climbing skills on artificial surfaces

Student name:

Student ID:

Assessment task 1: [title] Result: Competent Not yet competent

(add lines for each task)

Feedback to student:









Overall assessment result: Competent Not yet competent

Assessor name:



Student signature: