Frequently Asked Questions
Identify the core competencies and critical thinking needed in vertical caving
- Generate educational materials that meet modern teaching standards with skills-based assessments, including problem solving scenarios
- Bring together the best teaching practices for vertical caving
- Create competent and active vertical trainers within the US
- Focus on creating an accessible program that is attainable and understandable to people of diverse knowledge sets and backgrounds, while maintaining minimal costs and bureaucratic processes
- Resist any efforts to develop vertical certifications as a mechanism to limit or restrict cave access in the US
Over the past few years, NSS members have raised concerns over vertical safety in the US caving community, an issue that is often emphasized when the American Caving Accidents (ACA) is published. In April 2021, a questionnaire was conducted asking US cavers about their learning preferences. This questionnaire, which was completed by over 1,000 cavers, suggested there were real concerns about the quality and availability of vertical training in the US. To address all these issues, the NSS created an ad hoc committee to examine how they could be addressed within the NSS. This ad hoc committee, consisting of 13 cavers with diverse backgrounds in vertical training, rigging, NCRC experience, with a variety of regional affiliations. It was the recommendation of this committee that the VTC is structured as a national commission within the NSS, tasked with overseeing vertical training of interested cavers within the US through grottos, regional and national events.
The goal of the VTC is to increase vertical safety within the US. It is within the charter of the VTC to resist any efforts to make our classes a prerequisite to caving.