Vertical Training Commission

Over the past few years, there have been vertical caving accidents published in American Caving Accidents (ACA) that could have been avoided with better training. To address this lack of training, in 2020 the National Speleological Society (NSS) created an ad hoc committee to examine the problem, which reported that the current structure of vertical training in the US is not sufficiently effective. Nonetheless, there are examples of effective training by other organizations within the NSS, including the National Cave Rescue Commission (NCRC) and Cave Diving Section (CDS), which have safely carried out advanced cave training for decades. Following this report, in 2021 the NSS chartered the Vertical Training Commission (VTC) tasked with training interested cavers in safe vertical caving training throughout the United States.

VTC is based on a train-the-trainers model, where competent and active vertical cavers are trained to safely teach vertical caving. To do this, VTC is creating a training curriculum to help interested individuals obtain the appropriate and sufficient competencies, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills needed to be safe while vertical caving. To help teach interested individuals, VTC is developing a vertical training program that provides hands-on experience through vertical training courses that are accessible, attainable, and understandable to a diverse range of interested people.

VTC Documents

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