General Information

There are some new rules for Rock Activities that people may not be familiar with:

The qualifications that you can get for abseiling now include the following:

  1. Scout Abseil Proficiency Badge. This qualification is just for Scouts (not Cubs or Venturers). The requirements for this qualification include 5 abseils entailing a total of 50 m of abseiling. If you qualify you get a great badge, but you aren't allowed to train anybody in abseiling.

  2. Scout Top-Rope Climbing Proficiency Badge. This qualification is just for Scouts (not Cubs or Venturers). The requirements for this qualification include 5 rock-climbs. The practical day is normally done at Wahroonga Rocks (Cliff Ave.) or Lindfield Rocks.

  3. Basic Rock Skills qualification. This qualification is a pre-requisite for all Rock qualifications except Scout Proficiency Badges. The requirements can normally be covered by a theory night and include knowledge of basic precautions, standard communications, knots, care of equipment, the Australian Scout Environment Charter (which means not making a mess in the bush), setting up an abseil, setting up a safe belay and belaying.

  4. Abseiler qualification. The requirements for this qualification include 20 abseils entailing 400 m of abseiling. This qualification allows you to:
    - Abseil under the guidance of an Abseil Leader on single-pitch descents
    - Attend Regional courses such as Canyoning, Caving or Rockclimbing courses.
    Scouts (as distinct from Venturers) are advised to do the Abseil Proficiency Badge before they attempt the Abseiler course. Scouts less than 14 years old are not normally awarded the Abseiler qualification because usually they need more experience and proficiency.

  5. Abseil Leader. This qualification is normally awarded to Venturers, Rovers or Leaders who have been abseiling for quite a while and who have shown they are capable to teach beginners. [The requirements for this qualification include satisfactory attendance at a Rescue Day (also known as a "Recovery" Day)] Other requirements include a Senior First Aid qualification. An Abseil Leader is allowed to instruct people who have the Abseiler qualification on single-pitch descents.

  6. Abseil Instructor. This qualification is normally awarded to Rovers or Leaders who have a lot of experience in abseiling. It allows them to instuct beginners in abseiling - for example if the beginners want to get the Scout Abseil Badge or the Abseiler qualification, or if they just want to go abseiling.

Note: Scout Abseil Proficiency Badges and Scout Top-Rope Climbing Proficiency Badges can be awarded by Abseil Instructors at Regional courses or on special courses organised by individual Scout Troops. If you want to organise a course, contact an Abseil Instructor by looking at the "Rock Contacts" section of this web-site. A Scout Abseil Badge course nomally takes one night in the scout-hall on theory plus one day practical at a place such as West Pennant Hills, Bowen Mountain, Blaxland or Springwood. A Scout Top-Rope Climbing Course normally takes one night in the scout hall on theory plus one day practical either at Wahroonga Rocks or Lindfield Rocks.

Scout proficiency badge courses are normally limited to about 20 participants.

Caving, Canyoning and Rockclimbing qualifications:

There are three levels for these qualifications: Basic, Leader and Guide. These qualifications are awarded at Regional courses. But in order to go on a Basic-level course for these activities, you need to have the Abseiler qualification.

Venturer Units and Rover Crews can also organise their own courses by contacting a Guide or Leader or else the Region Rock Activities co-ordinator, Stuart Cohen.

Starting Out

Scouts (as distinct from Venturers) are advised to get their Scout Abseil Proficiency Badge as the first step.

Otherwise they could do a Top-Rope Climbing Proficiency Badge.

Otherwise they could attend a Canyon Trip day which does not involve abseiling. The region normally runs a number of these trips each year to canyons suchs as River Caves canyon, Deep Pass canyon or others.

Inexperienced Scouts may also take part in a "familiarisation" caving activity that does not involve abseiling. Such an activity would need to have one or more Caving Instructors present.

NSW Rock Policy

The NSW Rock Related Activities Policy can be found on the internet. Go to and then at the bottom right-hand corner click on "Resources and Policies". Then go to "Organisation and Information Handbook" and then to "Rock Activities".


Prices vary according to the nature of the trip and equipment required. Prices are detailed on each A1 Notification or negotiated directly with the Guide or Leader.

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