The Quay’s Youth Policy


We welcome younger climbers into the centre and have a host of climbing sessions and activities that are suitable for youngsters.  If you are under 18 years of age you can access climbing at the centre through one of three routes:

  1. under the supervision of a qualified instructor – if you are aged 7 or above you could join an instructed session for example a Taster Session, one of our Youth Climbing Clubs or a session with your school/youth club
  2. under the supervision of one of our registered climbers – if you are age 5 or above a registered climber who is over the age of 18 can supervise you climbing.  They need to sign you in as a novice at reception. Novices under supervision must be supervised at all times and are not permitted to belay the supervisor.
  3. without supervision (unsupervised under 18s) if you are part of our Purple or Green Card Schemes which exist to enable competent climbers aged 14 and above to train and climb independently in the centre once they are signed off by a Quay Climbing Centre Instructor (more information below).

Parental Consent

All young climbers aged 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult when using the centre.  A parent or legal guardian must complete the registration form and sign on behalf of the young climber.  The adult does not need to climb with the young person if the young person is attending an instructed session or is a Purple/Green Card holder but must remain in the building.   If the adult is supervising the young person climbing they must remain with the young climber at all times.

Unsupervised Under 18’s – The Purple & Green Card Scheme

Under 18 year old competent climbers may only climbing unsupervised following an assessment by a Quay Instructor. Unsupervised under 18’s assessments are open for competent climbers aged 14 – 17.  Climbers must attend an assessment and demonstrate that they have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant technical skills and in-depth experience for the activity they are undertaking. These activities are:

Bouldering – Red Card holders are only permitted to use the bouldering facilities following a successful assessment.

Top Roping – Purple Card holders are only permitted to use the top rope climbs and bouldering facilities following a successful assessment. (**minimum participants required)

Lead Climbing – Green Card holders are permitted to use the lead climbs, top ropes and bouldering facilities following a successful assessment. (**minimum participants required)

The assessment will take between 15mins – 60mins depending on experience and competency and must be booked in advance. Under 18 unsupervised assessments cost £7.50 (non-refundable pass or defer), but includes 1 years free registration if passed (value £7.50).

The parent or legal guardian must attend the assessment to ensure that they fully understand the activities, risks and procedures for which the young person will be undertaking. In the case of a failed assessment, the assessing instructor’s judgement is final and they will give you action points to work on before reassessing. We may attach conditions to a passed assessment, for example limits on whether you can belay adults, if appropriate.

** We require a minimum of two participants on the assessment session. This could be another climber being assessed or a friend willing to help out. It’s important that the size/ weight of the climbers match on the session!