CWA Work At Height (WAH) Certification Program

The Work at Height Certification Program

The Climbing Wall Association, Inc. (CWA) 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 consensus performance standards that can be easily integrated into existing staff training programs and adopted anywhere.

How does the Work at Height Certification Program Work?

Certification refers to the confirmation of certain characteristics, knowledge, and/or skills of a person at a particular place and time. This confirmation is often provided by some form of educational preparation, review, and assessment. Generally, professional certification must be maintained on an ongoing basis and renewed after a certain period of time. The CWA Work at Height Certification must be renewed every three years.

Levels of Training and Certification

The focus of the Climbing Wall Worker certification program is to train and assess the ability of the candidate to access elevated work positions and perform work-at-height operations in climbing facilities according to accepted industry practices and the CWA Work at Height Standard. The program also trains and assesses the candidate’s ability to perform a prompt and effective rescue at-height. The Work at Height Certification Program includes four levels of training and three levels of certification:

  1.  Work at Height Level 1 - qualified to work as an authorized worker
  2.  Work at Height Level 2 - qualified to work as a competent worker
  3.  Work at Height Level 3 - qualified to work as a qualified worker
  4. Work at Height Certification Program Provider (certification)

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 as defined by work at height regulatory bodies.
  6. To provide candidates with guidance for further professional development.

The priority of the CWA Work at Height Certification Program is to assess the ability of candidates to work as "Competent Persons" or "Qualified Persons" in a climbing facility. 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. If you have questions, contact

Resources For Certification Candidates

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