Candidates often complete a training course showing a good understanding of the skills required and then are asked to observe and assist with other instructors during the consolidation phase. This is a dangerous time in learning, sometimes things go wrong and the “weird stuff” creeps into their repertoire.
When the assessment comes round, the assessor is looking for a simple and effective solutions. They are not impressed by complicated and convoluted stuff that you were shown by a mate of a mate who once did a climbing course in 1963 (or any other year)
How to avoid the “weird stuff” getting into your tool box
Remember what you were taught on training. The trainer will have shown you a simple and effective method that will be appropriate for the majority of situations.
If you see an instructor doing things differently then ask them why. Make sure you get a proper answer. Be polite but push for an explanation. It may not be appropriate to do at the time (or in front of the clients) but make time after the session. If they say “I always do it like this” or “This is what I was told to do” then these are not satisfactory explanations.
If you really must do something outside of the simple option, make sure that you have tried it in numerous locations, that it actually works and you have an explanation as to why you have done it.
Time is important! The simple solutions are often the quickest and take less time to sort out and think through! No one is impressed if your super complicated and highly adjustable awesome mega knot takes longer to tie and adjust than a simple clove hitch.
Assessors will often spot a problem with your impressively complicated approach and will then cause it to happen so you have to solve it. Have you considered this? Can you deal with it?
If you were given advice about unsuitable equipment on training then make sure you have changed it for assessment (age of harness as one example)
Gwilym is a Rock Climbing Instructor Course Director