Make sure your log book is full, varied and well itemised
By this I mean, get as much breadth of experience as possible. It’s taken for granted that you will log days at a variety of venues from across the UK and you will have gone out with groups as an assistant leader. But have you worked with adults as well as minors? Have you ever run a bouldering session? Have you ever tried running through a session with a group of novices at the local climbing wall? Have you practised and rehearsed a variety of rescues with a mate? These sorts of experiences you will find invaluable when faced with scenarios on your SPA assessment.
Personally I found that running a weekend of introductory rock climbing for four non-climbing mates the week before my assessment proved invaluable. As well as the feedback from my four ‘clients’ I was able to reflect on my practice in real time and that meant that I could be a lot slicker on my actual assessment.
Get 100% on the pre-assessment paper
Ok – maybe nobody has ever scored 100% but there is no reason not to aspire to do so. In this day and age with a bit of application and the internet at our fingertips there is no reason not to score highly on this paper. But that is the whole point – it’s not just set to assess your ability but it is also there to prompt you to think about wider issues, demonstrate your willingness to do a bit of research and to get your head into gear. Doing well in this paper means you will have done your homework, it will give your confidence a boost and it will reflect well on you as a first impression for the assessor marking your paper. Don’t stint on this.