Mountain Bike Leader Qualifications

brian85
brian85 Posts: 2
edited January 2009 in MTB general
Hi everyone,
I've been thinking about doing the Mountain Bike leadership Award Scheme, and I've been informed the Award can only be done through registering with the Scotish Cycling Board as this Award is a Scotish Award and there is no english equivilant is this true? I Just want to know so I can get started, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Brian

Comments

  • Banned!
    Banned! Posts: 34
    firstly you'll have to apply for scottish citizenship, a long and laborious process that can take months.
  • i'm a level 1 mountain bike leader through the mountain bike instructors award scheme (MIAS). no idea how much it costs as it was provided by work, but it was a simple, relaxed, fun course done over 2 days. there is a little bit of theory, some very basic bike maintenance, your riding ability is assessed (if you can ride a bike over basic trails, thats fine) as is your leadership skills, nav skills, and first aid ability.
    to get your level 2 its simply a case of logging your rides for a few months, and getting some leading experience under your belt. then you'll be assessed leading a group.
  • There are various schemes, none are rubbish, but the SMBLA (Scottish one) is the original and is thought of as the national governing body. For some reason the Scottish branch of British Cycling took up the MTB stuff. The others, like OTC & MIAS are commercial organisations. The law doesn't require you to be qualified to teach outdoor instruction, but you won't get insurance without it, and in practice if something went wrong you'd be in trouble if you aren't qualified. Don't know about the other bodies, but one of the great things about the SMBLA scheme is that as you need to be a member of British Cycling to keep it current, go for the silver membership for £36 per year and you get FREE insurance - which would cost a lot more to get elsewhere. Also, the SMBLA awards are definitely stand alone, whereas I think for some of the others you have to already have a Mountain Leader award (for hillwalking) first, if you read the small print.
    i'm a level 1 mountain bike leader through the mountain bike instructors award scheme (MIAS). no idea how much it costs as it was provided by work, but it was a simple, relaxed, fun course done over 2 days. there is a little bit of theory, some very basic bike maintenance, your riding ability is assessed (if you can ride a bike over basic trails, thats fine) as is your leadership skills, nav skills, and first aid ability.
    to get your level 2 its simply a case of logging your rides for a few months, and getting some leading experience under your belt. then you'll be assessed leading a group.

    I did the Trail Cycle Leader (level 1) and then the Mountain Bike Leader (Level 2) with SMBLA and have no complaints, it was very comprehensive - much more so than the above description of the MIAS scheme. The SMBLA level 2 (Mountain Bike Leader) is to a much higher standard. It's a bit confusing that some of the others have copied the names and used them for lower levels.
    It cost me about £360 for the whole lot - that was 2 days training & 1 day assessment for each of them.
    1st off, start logging rides - they want to see this to get an idea of your experience.
    And yes, it is valid anywhere in the UK, even Europe, sort of (pesky French!)
    Lastly (and most importantly!) you don't have to go to Scotland! Cyclewise in the Lakes and Plas y Brenin in N Wales do the qualifications.
  • The only additional qualification you need to go with the MIAS is a First Aid qualification.
  • The only additional qualification you need to go with the MIAS is a First Aid qualification.

    Yeh, that's what I forgot to say about the SMBLA - you need a current 1st Aid. Check their site for what kind of course. I think it was one of the others that is like a top-up, or maybe was. I'm sure someone will correct as to the current situation. I just remember reading a comparison a while back that listed all the providers. But I guess they're all looking to get to the same kind of standards in the end.

    The level 2 of the SMBLA does provide a higher level of skills training amongst other things. It lets you guide anywhere there's a right of way in England/Wales, or anywhere there's a path in Scotland, whereas the level 1 is limited to below 600m and has to be within 30mins walk of shelter with communication, so a bit more limited.