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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 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 Rockcraft (or "Abseiler") qualification. Please note the NSW Branch Rock Related Activities policy has changed regarding the requirements for this qualification:

1.1 Basic Rock Skills

1.1.1 General
a) Satisfactory completion of Basic Rock Skills Level is a prerequisite for all rock qualifications.
b) Participants in the Basic Rock Skills Level of instruction must be under the direct supervision of an Instructor who shall ensure that all theoretical knowledge has been understood by the participant prior to any activity at or near the rock face being affected.

1.1.2 Requirements
a) Know and understand the basic precautions applicable to rock-related activities.
b) Be fully conversant with the standard communication terms and procedures.
c) Tie without error and demonstrate the uses of the following knots:

  • Figure Eight Loops
  • Double Fisherman's
  • Prussick
  • Tape
  • Alpine Butterfly
  • Plus any other knots specified by the BAC (Rock) from time to time.

1.1.3 Know how to take care of equipment used in rock-related activities. Understand the inherent damage caused to synthetic rope by fast abseiling, lack of care on rocks and prolonged exposure to strong sunlight, chemicals, etc. Demonstrate how to examine a rope for damage and how to coil it.

1.1.5 Show application of the Australian Scout Environment Charter in the care of all sites where activities are conducted.

1.1.6 Demonstrate how to set up an abseil rope and explain the necessary precautions taken in doing so. Know the dangers inherent in using trees and vegetation as anchor and belay points.

1.1.7 Establish a safe belay and be able to competently belay an abseiler.

1.2 Abseiling

1.2.1 Abseiler
a) Have successfully completed Basic Rock Skills.
b) Demonstrate how to abseil by three methods.
c) Have logged at least 20 abseils totalling a minimum of 400 metres under varying conditions.
d) Demonstrate ability to Prussick.
e) Is restricted to single 50m pitches unless under direct control of an Abseil Instructor.

4. Abseil Leader. This qualification is normally awarded to Venturers, Rovers or Leaders who have been abseiling for quite a while. The requirements for this qualification include satisfactory attendance at a Rescue Day (also known as a "Recovery" Day), plus a Senior First Aid qualification. An Abseil Leader is allowed to lead people who have the Abseiler (or "Basic Rockcraft" qualification) on single-pitch descents. An Abseil Leader can not TEACH beginners nor INSTRUCT. They are able to lead persons with the Abseiler qualification on single pitch descents of up to 50 metres.

5. 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 they want to get the Scout Abseil Badge or the Abseiler ("Basic Rockcraft") 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 or Springwood. A Scout Top-Rope Climbing Course normally takes one night in the scout hall on theory plus one day practcal either at Wahroonga Rocks or Lindfield Rocks.

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