How to work on Mountain Training courses


If you are interested in working on any of our courses, either now or in the future, here’s a brief guide to the various roles and how to get started.

Teaching navigation cKarlMidlane

Our courses are delivered by experienced leaders, instructors and coaches in one of three possible roles:

Hill & Mountain Skills

1. Course tutor - an individual approved by one of the national Mountain Training organisations. Tutors have substantial experience in leading walking groups and have teaching experience behind them, all of which contributed to them being approved as a tutor.

Qualification courses

2. Course director – an individual approved by one of the national Mountain Training organisations. The course director’s role is to manage the effective facilitation and delivery of the qualification syllabus during the provision of a course. This is achieved by overseeing and coordinating the input of all staff involved, while shaping the course to adapt to individual candidates’ abilities and experience, taking into account the prevailing environmental conditions.

3. Course staff – an individual employed by the provider to work on a training or assessment course. It is the responsibility of the course director to ensure that all staff have appropriate levels of skill and experience, in line with Mountain Training’s requirements.

Providers
All of our courses are offered by a network of approved providers. A provider can be an individual or an organisation and with each course offering will need to appoint an approved tutor or course director to run the actual course. All providers are managed by their national Mountain Training organisation (Mountain Training England, Wales, Scotland, UK).

Hill & Mountain Skills

The Hill & Mountain Skills scheme was introduced in 2014 to provide accredited skills training for people keen to go hill or mountain walking.

Hill Skills and Mountain Skills courses are always delivered by approved tutors. These tutors all work for an approved Hill & Mountain Skills provider.

How to become a Hill & Mountain Skills tutor

The minimum requirements for someone who wants to be a tutor are as follows:
  • be a qualified Mountain Leader (or higher)
  • have a minimum of 20 quality days sole leadership post Mountain Leader assessment
  • have evidence of continued personal development
  • have a genuine enthusiasm for hill and mountain walking
In addition to the above, the more relevant and current experience you have the better. The following is a list of desirable criteria:
  • vast experience as a Mountain Leader in a variety of locations
  • vast experience of personal mountain walking in a variety of UK and worldwide locations
  • evidence of working on introductory mountain walking courses or schemes
  • have attended a Mountain Training Train the Trainers workshop
  • have attended a Mountain Training Course Director and Staff workshop
  • be a member of an association (MTA, AMI, BAIML, BMG)
  • be a member of a mountaineering council
If you are confident that the above applies to you, talk to a Hill & Mountain Skills provider about applying to be a tutor.

How to become a Hill & Mountain Skills provider

Course provision is a delicate balance for each national Mountain Training organisation; too many providers offering too many course dates means that some courses won’t run, whereas too few providers offering too few courses is frustrating for candidates whose choice is then limited. Providers are at the heart of this balancing act and they play a crucial role in recruiting candidates as well as overseeing the delivery of courses.

Becoming a provider is akin to setting up a business and new providers must be able to prove to one of the national Mountain Training organisations that they are suitably experienced, and have a viable business case to run courses in areas not already well covered.

New providers are approved on a probationary basis and will be required to run a minimum number of courses during their first year.

Mountain Training Qualifications (click to expand)

Our qualifications are highly regarded in the outdoor sector thanks to the knowledge and experience we used to create them and our quality assurance process. We recognise that the quality of the staff is fundamental to the success of our courses which is why there are some essential and desirable criteria for individuals who want to get involved.

How to work on courses as staff

Mountain Training recognises the value of course directors mentoring aspiring staff through an induction period involving observing courses, followed by significant ‘hands on’ delivery such as working on courses as staff. Staff working on Mountain Training courses should be mature individuals with good all-round experience of hillwalking/climbing and mountaineering as well as a considerable involvement in the teaching and leadership of others. Specifically they would possess essential and desirable criteria as defined by Mountain Training.

Before approaching a provider about working on Mountain Training courses you must:
  • have held the relevant (or higher) qualification for at least 12 months;
  • have worked using the qualification on 20 sessions within the scope of the scheme, within the previous three years;
  • have diverse personal hill walking and mountaineering experiences to draw from;
  • have an interest in the implementation and development of Mountain Training’s schemes.
In addition to the above, the more relevant and current experience you have the better. The following is a list of desirable criteria:
  • have attended a Mountain Training Train the Trainers workshop
  • have attended a Mountain Training Course Director and Staff workshop
  • be a member of an appropriate (to the award being delivered) professional association (MTA, AMI, BAIML, BMG)
  • have diverse CPD experiences to draw from
  • have experience working for a variety of appropriate organisations and with diverse groups including working on other nationally accredited schemes.
All of the above criteria are designed to help you in your role as a staff member on courses. Candidates will be looking to you for guidance and support and we want you to be able to draw on your own experience in order to play a constructive role in their development.

How to become a course director

New course directors are approved on an annual basis for Mountain Training England and Mountain Training Cymru and three times a year for Mountain Training Scotland. It is up to each organisation to decide whether they are accepting applications for some, all, or none of the schemes they administer.

Each Mountain Training organisation has slightly different prerequisites but broadly speaking, before applying to be a course director you must:
  • Hold the relevant level of qualification required to course direct the scheme.
  • Have gained experience of working as a staff member on a number of training and assessment courses for a few different providers, for the scheme you wish to course direct.
  • Meet any other requirements set by the relevant national Mountain Training organisation.
Course directors are approved on a probationary basis and will be moderated at some point during their first year.

The minimum level of qualification required to work as staff or to become a course director for each scheme is listed below. Higher levels of qualification are entirely appropriate.

Lowland Leader (& Expedition Skills Module)
Minimum qualification for director approval: Mountain Leader
Minimum qualification for staff member: Hill and Moorland Leader

Hill and Moorland Leader (& Expedition Skills Module)
Minimum qualification for director approval: MIA or IML
Minimum qualification for staff member: Mountain Leader

Mountain Leader
Minimum qualification for director approval: MIA & MLW or IML & MLW
Minimum qualification for staff member: Mountain Leader

Winter Mountain Leader
Minimum qualification for director approval: MIC, BMG or BMG Aspirant
Minimum qualification for staff member: Winter ML for training (if exceptionally experienced and approved by Mountain Training Scotland Executive Officer, otherwise staff must be MIC); MIC for assessment

Climbing Wall Award (& Abseil Module)
Minimum qualification for director approval: MIA
Minimum qualification for staff member: CWA or SPA for training; MIA for assessment

Single Pitch Award
Minimum qualification for director approval: MIA
Minimum qualification for staff member: SPA

Climbing Wall Leading Award
Minimum qualification for director approval: MIA
Minimum qualification for staff member: CWLA or MIA

How to become a provider

Course provision is a delicate balance for each national Mountain Training organisation; too many providers offering too many course dates means that some courses won’t run, whereas too few providers offering too few courses is frustrating for candidates whose choice is then limited. Providers are at the heart of this balancing act and they play a crucial role in recruiting candidates as well as overseeing the provision of the training and assessment courses by approved course directors.

Becoming a provider is akin to setting up a business and new providers must be able to prove to one of the national Mountain Training organisations that they are suitably experienced, have a viable business case and wish to run courses in areas not already well covered.

New providers are approved on a probationary basis and will be required to run a minimum number of courses during their first year.

Provider applications are managed by each national Mountain Training organisation and typically applicants will apply to the nation where they reside or will be running the majority of their planned courses. If in doubt, contact a technical officer from one of the Mountain Training organisations for further guidance.