Canyoning (or ‘canyoneering’ as it is known overseas) has been a very popular offshoot of bushwalking for many years, but has recently experienced a major boost in general interest as a result of media attention and the ready availability of guidebooks and guided adventure tours. Unlike rock-climbing, which has a higher level of perceived complexity (generally), canyoning in it’s simplest form is very easy for many outdoor enthusiasts to ‘get into’ with little equipment or associated expense. It is because of this easy ‘entry level’, and the catastrophic results of seemingly small errors in judgment associated with canyon operations, that the Canyon Leader program was developed.




About the Canyon Leader qualification course

Canyon Leader is a four to five day program of instruction that is assessed at Certificate 4 level. Much of the course format and instructional resources have been adopted by Blue Mountains College of TAFE as the Certificate IV Advanced Canyoning program, and as the 'Fast Track' Certificate IV for current guides and instructors. The CL program is designed to be the most comprehensive of it's type in Australia and covers canyon anchors & rigging, belaying & retrieval systems, self and team rescue, single & multi pitch abseiling, risk management, accident response, navigation and weather interpretation. The CL program is designed for recreational abseilers & canyoners, volunteer & professional rescue personnel, outdoor education leaders, professional guides etc. We have endeavored to put together a program which both addresses national training package competencies as well as current best practice both here and in the US, France and New Zealand. Prior abseiling experience is required. Candidates will be sent pre course learning material upon booking either in hard copy, word.doc or Adobe PDF format. During the course we look at the following areas in detail:


Risk analysis, weather interpretation, emergency management plans (EMPs), planning for minimal impact, equipment selection, cleaning drying & servicing of equipment

Advanced and Canyon Specific Rigging

Single point anchors, belay systems, rope management & improvised descent methods

Group Management

General management, abseils - single & multi pitch, jumps, swims, transition areas, over-nighting, environmental concerns


Vertical rescue systems in a canyon context, swift-water rescue procedures

Accident Management

Responding to emergencies, steps in accident management, immersion hypothermia, improvised carrying methods, shelters and flotation aids, the leaders first aid kit, working around helicopters.



The course runs over four or five days (32 - 40 contact hours) depending on the range of endorsements sought and the canyons available to conduct training.


The course identifies the following units:

Implement & monitor risk management policies & procedures for working at height

Train Small Groups

Implement & monitor minimum impact work practices

Plan & lead an activity involving work at height

Coordinate emergency response in situations that involve exposure to falls from height


SRXEMR001A Respond to emergency situations

SRXFAD001A Provide first aid

SRXGRO001A Facilitate a group

SRXGRO002A Deal with conflict

SRXINU002A Apply sport and recreation law

SRXOHS001B Follow defined OH&S policy and procedures

SRXRIK001A Undertake risk analysis of activities

SROABN003A Apply single pitch abseiling skills on natural surfaces

SROABN004A Establish ropes for single pitch abseiling on natural surfaces

SROABN007A Guide abseiling on natural surfaces (single pitch)

SROCYG002A Apply vertical canyoning skills

SROCYG003A Apply advanced vertical canyoning skills

SROODR002A Plan outdoor recreation activities

SROODR005A Guide outdoor recreation sessions

SROOPS002B Plan for minimal environmental impact

SROOPS003B Apply weather information

SROVTR001A Perform vertical rescues


Endorsements may include:

Horizontal canyons

Vertical canyons

Dry and / or wet canyons


If you have done little or no abseiling before then Abseil 1 is the course you need to get you started. More in depth training is available on the three day Advanced Abseil program.

If you are looking at this type of training for competitive pursuits, check out our Adventure Racing Rope Skills Course


Pre requisites & result

Advanced Abseil (see below) or equivalent plus significant canyoning experience.

SROABS003A Apply abseiling skills in a broad range of contexts

SROROP001A Safeguard a person using a single rope belay system

SROROP002A Use belay systems to safeguard self and others

SROROP003A Select suitable natural and/or fixed anchors for roping activities

SROROP004A Establish belay systems using natural and/or fixed anchors for roping activities

SROROP005A Rig a rope pitch

SROROP006A Perform vertical rescues of self and others

SROROP007A Select an extensive range of suitable anchors for roping activities

SROROP008A Establish belay systems for a broad range of contexts

SROROP009A Use a broad range of techniques to rig rope pitches


A Leadership Qualification (Canyon Context) will be awarded on successful completion of the assessment criteria.


Cost & inclusions

See our program info for details.


All equipment

course training resources

the new revised Abseiling Training Handbook

7mm Prusik set.


Instructor to student ratio



Further training:


Canyon Self Rescue


Canyon Instructor


Canyon Rescue


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The Outdoor Safety Training Consultants

+61 2 47827722 | FX +61 2 47824664

ABN 45 768 683 693

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