The Climbing Wall Association is the standard-setting organization for the indoor climbing industry.

The CWA develops standards in four key areas:

Standards Committees

CWA standards committees address important issues regarding the design, use and safety of products, facilities, and services related to the indoor climbing industry. Membership on CWA standards committees is open to those interested in, or affected by, the standards. The CWA sponsors three standards committees:

  • Engineering standards committee
  • Operations standards committee
  • Certification standards committee

For more information about our standards committees or membership, please contact the CWA office or visit the committees page on this site.

Standards Process

Climbing Wall Association standards programs provide consensus-based forums for the development of sound standards. The CWA maintains standard-setting policies and procedures, designed to reflect model standard-setting practices, which must be met in the development and approval of any CWA standard. These policies were drafted to incorporate best practices for standards development and maintenance including requirements for due process, openness, lack of dominance, balance, fair notice, consideration of various points of view, objections, and appeals. The CWA has adopted policy governing the activities of all standards initiatives within the association. The policy document can be viewed here:

Policy for the Development and Maintenance of Climbing Wall Association Standards

Purpose of Standards

CWA standards are intended to be developed and maintained in the best interests, mutually, of consumers who use climbing specialty products, manufacturers of these products, and other properly interested parties such as commercial climbing gyms and other climbing wall operators. Standards are intended to promote industry self-regulation, and to provide useful information to government, consumers, manufacturers, and owner/operators of climbing walls. The use or observance of any CWA standard is strictly voluntary.