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Coaching Levels

Having specific Coaching Levels for each of our coaches gives clearer guidance to our students as to which coach would be an appropriate choice for them, as well as giving clear structure for progression to our coaching team.


Our team have thought hard on how the levels of coaches are calculated, and this calculation has gone through several iterations before reaching this final version: whilst there are clear benefits for our coaches and our students in introducing these Coaching Levels, it is tremendously important to us that this change gives equal opportunities for all coaches (I.e. if the calculation was entirely based on their climbing grade, this would be very unfair towards anyone who only gained access to climbing recently, or to paraclimbers.)


The Coaching Levels of our team is calculated as a combination of their number of years climbing, their number of years coaching, their climbing grade, and (most importantly) an assessment by our Head Coach to determine their additional experience in teaching/ communication/ presentation skills, whether they have completed other self-directed learning and what their level of experience is in various disciplines of climbing.


ALL of our coaches, regardless of level, are highly competent coaches - passing our coaching assessment requires that coaches show outstanding levels of communication skills, group management and understanding of all the content they learned during their training course. Earning a higher level comes primarily from further climbing and coaching experience!


You can find out a coach's level by looking out for the badge on their image on the 'Our Coaches' page.


Level Badges and Descriptions

Level 1

A Level 1 coach will have completed our basic training, have climbed for a few years and be very competent in their coaching skills, but has not yet gained much additional experience.


They may have attended local competitions.

Level 2

A Level 2 coach is an experienced coach. They have been climbing and coaching for several years, with a wealth of knowledge of various disciplines of climbing and levels of performance.


They may have achieved podiums at local competitions and attended regional or national events.

Level 3

A Level 3 coach is a master of their craft: they have coached for many years, have climbed for many years more, and have likely climbed to a very high level.


In addition to this, they are likely to have a wealth of experience in teaching and presentation skills.

They may have gained podium positions in national and international events.

Head Coach

The Head Coach Level is reserved for Captain Cutloose himself, Louis Parkinson.Louis has been climbing for 20 years, competing for 15 of these, and coaching for the past 10 years.


Being the founder of Catalyst and the creator of our training methods, as well as bringing heaps of passion and enthusiasm, he's definitely earnt himself his own custom level badge!