About Mountain Training Scotland

Approach to Northern Corries
Since 1964 Mountain Training Scotland has overseen the provision of consistently high quality training and assessment of in the skills required for the safe leadership and instruction of climbing and hillwalking in Scotland through the provision of Mountain Training UK-wide qualification schemes.

Mountain Training Scotland (originally called Scottish Mountain Leader Training Board or SMLTB), as one of five national Mountain Training boards, works closely with Mountain Training United Kingdom, to develop and manage a portfolio of qualification schemes. This ensures parity in the qualifications syllabi, and consistency of delivery across all the national Mountain Training boards throughout the UK and Ireland.

Mountain Training Scotland is managed by an executive board of four volunteer directors. A full-time executive officer is responsible for the operational management of Mountain Training Scotland, including its interaction with Mountain Training UK. The executive board reports to the members of Mountain Training Scotland, who are nominated representatives of Scottish-based organisations with a strategic interest in and commitment to the Mountain Training qualification schemes.


A community of world-class outdoor leaders, instructors and coaches, representative of a diverse, fit and active society, supported by innovative and sustainable mountain-related training qualification schemes.


Mountain Training Scotland provides innovative leadership and ensures consistent quality in mountain-related skills training and coaching in Scotland.


“Mountain Training Scotland’s purpose is the advancement, for public benefit, of education and training (in conjunction where appropriate with other bodies or persons) in the skills required for the leadership and instruction of safe hill, mountain and moorland walking, mountaineering, rock and ice climbing and other associated activities practised in cliff and mountain environments, and to offer advice on matters of training and safety.” Excerpt from Mountain Training Scotland’s Articles of Constitution and our charitable aims.

Guiding Principles

  • Mountain Training Scotland is open, welcoming, and accessible to all with a shared interest in mountain-related activities.
  • We encourage diversity and seek to remove barriers to individuals’ and others’ involvement and participation as leaders and instructors of mountain-related activities.
  • We support and encourage sustainable and sympathetic use of the outdoors by all users.
  • Mountain Training Scotland is innovative in the development of our work practices and creation of development projects.
  • Mountain Training Scotland is outward thinking and seeks to work in collaboration with key partners and relevant organisations to fulfil our strategic aims.

Mountain Training Scotland is a Company Limited by Guarantee (Company No.215532) and registered as a Scottish Charity (SC031047).

OSCR logo small

Mountain Training Scotland in Scotland and the UK

Mountain Training Scotland works with, and its qualification schemes are used by, diverse organisations. These broadly fit within three categories:

1. Mountain Training Partners

Mountain Training Partners are those organisations within the UK-wide Mountain Training network that Mountain Training Scotland works with closely.

Mountain Training United Kingdom

Mountain Training United Kingdom co-ordinates the development and management of the Mountain Training qualification schemes by the national Mountain Training boards in the United Kingdom and Ireland. A key aim is to ensure parity in the Mountain Training qualifications syllabi across the UK and Ireland by agreeing a range of nationally-recognised hill, mountain and climbing leadership, instruction and coaching awards.

Mountain Training United Kingdom also coordinates activity on joint initiatives (known as global projects) to support and further develop the Mountain Training qualification schemes.

National Mountain Training boards

There are five national Mountain Training boards, all of which are members of Mountain Training United Kingdom (commonly referred to as MTUK). Each national Mountain Training board is directly responsible for overseeing and managing the provision of the Mountain Training qualification schemes in their country.

2. Strategic partners in Scotland

Strategic partners have significant operational and/or financial relationships with Mountain Training Scotland.


sportscotland, the national agency for sport, works with partners (including Mountain Training Scotland and Mountaineering Scotland) to build a world-class sporting system for everyone in Scotland. sportscotland supports the development of outdoor and adventure sports through its range of national centres, which of specific relevance includes Glenmore Lodge. sportscotland’s key outcomes include increased participation and progression in sport. In relation to these outcomes sportscotland invests in Mountain Training Scotland to support its development and implementation of new initiatives and projects. Crucially, this investment enables Mountain Training Scotland to operate beyond basic provision of its core business.

Mountaineering Scotland

Mountaineering Scotland aims to inspire and encourage people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to enjoy mountaineering activities responsibly, through its educational programmes and provision of relevant information concerning mountain safety, access and conservation. Many (but by no means all) Mountain Training qualification candidates are drawn from this community of active hillwalkers, mountaineers and climbers. The profile of Mountain Training qualification candidates reflects the demographic of this community. A common aim of both organisations is to work together to broaden the diversity of this community, both by ethnicity and gender.

The provision of educational programmes and safety training significantly relies on qualified leaders, instructors and coaches, whether as volunteers or as professionals. Mountain Training Scotland supports the mountain safety, access and conservation aims of Mountaineering Scotland by providing trained and qualified leaders, instructors and coaches through the Mountain Training qualification schemes. Mountain Training Scotland is also uniquely placed, with its wider links to UK-wide and Ireland-wide organisations through Mountain Training UK, to provide support and advice relating to matters of mountain safety and training.

Glenmore Lodge

Glenmore Lodge, Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre, operates within the sportscotland family of national centres. Glenmore Lodge defines its leading core function as supporting and developing leaders, coaches, guides and instructors. Glenmore lodge recognises governing body qualification pathways as a key enabler for quality participation in outdoor sport. Its position in terms of staff skills and experience (both personal and of working on a variety of National Governing Body qualification schemes), and resources, makes Glenmore Lodge uniquely equipped to support the core work of Mountain Training Scotland.

3. Mountain Training Scotland Members

These are stakeholder organisations that have a significant interest in the Mountain Training qualifications managed by Mountain Training Scotland. They are all Members of Mountain Training Scotland and contribute actively to the management of Mountain Training Scotland by monitoring its activity and giving guidance to the organisation. This includes, collectively, helping to set overall policy, defining and setting targets, and evaluating performance against agreed targets via thrice-yearly Business Meetings. There are currently twelve Members of Mountain Training Scotland:
  • Mountaineering Scotland;
  • Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC);
  • Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education (SAPOE);
  • Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI);
  • British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML);
  • The Duke of Edinburgh's Award;
  • British Mountain Guides;
  • Ramblers Scotland;
  • Girlguiding Scotland;
  • Glenmore Lodge National Centre;
  • Joint Services Mountain Training Wing Ballachulish;
  • sportscotland.

Strategic Aims

In collaboration with our Mountain Training partners, strategic partners in Scotland and the members of Mountain Training Scotland, we have identified the following three key strategic aims and associated priority areas:

Key Aim 1

Provision of Mountain Training Qualification Schemes in Scotland
  • Coordination
  • Development
  • Consistency
  • Community of Practice
  • Pathways
  • Sustainability

Key Aim 2

Ensure continued, equitable and inclusive access to Mountain Training Qualifications in Scotland
  • Diversity
  • Connect with new and returning leaders
  • Profile

Key Aim 3

Ensure financial security
  • Secure income

Monitoring Success

Detailed actions and success measures are identified in an annual Operational Plan.

Our Annual Report will reference these priorities as well as other important aspects of our work and achievements. Our priorities collectively help to deliver our mission.

Becoming a Mountain Training Scotland provider, course director or tutor

Information and guidance about how to become a Mountain Training Scotland provider or gain course director or tutor approval can be found here.

Contact us

For further information about Mountain Training Scotland please find us at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MountainTrainingScotland/

Twitter: @MtnTrngScotland

Email: Scotland@mountain-training.org