Frequently asked questions about CMS and Digital Logbook (DLOG)

1/ Candidate Management System

The candidate management system (CMS) was launched in 2012. It is a highly sophisticated database which has revolutionised the way Mountain Training connects with its participants, candidates,tutors and providers by streamlining the registration process, course reporting and general engagement with candidates.

The data held within the candidate management system also allows Mountain Training to draw out accurate statistical data to help with developments and reporting to government about participation and diversity. All Mountain Training course providers use the system to record training and assessment courses and all participants and candidates use the system to register for schemes.

The mountaineering associations are all part of the candidate management system and use the system to record CPD records and events. These include:
  • Mountain Training Association
  • Association of Mountaineering Instructors
  • British Association of International Mountain Leaders
  • British Mountain Guides

2/ Logging experience

All Mountain Training qualifications are assessed by a combination of practical observation, oral questioning and an analysis of a candidate’s logged experience. An individual’s record of their experience is a personalised list of the big and small adventures that have helped shape them as a candidate for one of our schemes and as someone who ultimately deserves to be assessed. Participants on Skills Scheme courses can also log their personal experience. For qualifications, logged experience is used in the following ways:
  • A personal record, particularly as you work between levels (registrant to trainee, trainee to assessee, award holder thinking about a further qualification)
  • A log that helps informal mentors and referees advise you on where to focus your attention in the coming months
  • A log that helps your Training Course provider give you guidance on how to create an effective action plan to get you from training to assessment
  • A log that helps employers be confident about your training and experience
  • A log that helps your Assessment Course provider ensure you meet the required minimums
  • A log that helps your Assessment Course provider understand your individual experiences in ways that will often mitigate specific errors observed during the assessment
  • A way of demonstrating that once you’ve passed you continue to develop, explore and lead

3/ What are 'personal reflective comments' and where do I record them?

Mountain Training presently requires assessment candidates to have reflective comments recorded in DLOG for the Rock Climbing Instructor, Climbing Wall Instructor and Climbing Wall Development Instructor. Reflecting on experience is an important part of an instructor’s development. Although feedback from others can be very useful it is important we can also independently consider our experiences in relation to the desired outcome.

The key aim of undertaking these reflective comments is to identify and reflect on areas of practice from the relevant Mountain Training qualification syllabus, and supporting guidance notes, where there is a desire or perceived need to reflect on one’s personal practice to develop fluency. Being able to effectively analyse experience can be challenging but a few critically analysed sessions are of great value in identifying potential improvements for the future. When making these comments candidates should ask themselves the following questions and outline their responses:
  • What are the desired aims and objectives of the session?
  • What were the actual outcomes of the session?
  • What was successful and less successful (reference the relevant Mountain Training syllabus) in your delivery of the session?
  • What you would change to improve the outcome?
Your responses can then be added into DLOG in the comments section of the relevant DLOG entry.

4/ Paper based logbooks

For 50 years Mountain Training used a paper based logbook system for award candidates to record their experience. Over time the paper based logbook started showing it’s limitations, some of which included:
  • Candidates loosing logbooks
  • Poor presentation of entries
  • Difficulty in sharing with providers in advance of courses
  • Limited amount of space to record entries
  • Errors and omissions with recording areas and locations
Mountain Training research showed that a significant number of candidates were creating their own systems for recording experience and that clearly the paper based system was not a reflection of the digital era. We started developing the concept of a digital logbook as part of the candidate management system.

5/ DLOG - Mountain Training's Digital Logbook

Mountain Training’s digital logbook (DLOG) went live at the start of 2014. Within the first 3 months of use over 50,000 records were added by candidates and participants. The popularity of DLOG grew with more and more candidates and participants engaging with the system everyday as their preferred method of recording experience.

Feedback has been crucial in shaping developments of the system to ensure that adding entries is simple, accurate and overall that the process is as straight forward as possible.

6/ Who gets access to DLOG?

Any candidate or participant that registers for an award or skills scheme with Mountain Training gets access to DLOG for life with no additional charge.

If you are considering attending one of Mountain Training’s courses in the future it’s a good idea to register early and start recording your experience.

7/ Historic data and paper logbooks

If you are new to DLOG and already have your experience recorded in a different format then it would be useful to upload it digitally to DLOG. The upload facility will recognise many different files types. For those award candidates who have a paper logbook then the pages can be scanned and then uploaded in the same way.

There is no need to re-write your experience into DLOG if you upload historic files. Once you have uploaded your past experience you should start fresh by adding any new entries directly into DLOG.

8/ Advantages of DLOG over paper based logbooks

  • Secure and backed up
  • No need for version control
  • Easily accessible from any online computer or mobile device
  • Ordered layout with simple filtering options for viewing entries
  • Can be easily shared with other people
  • Providers can view in advance of any courses (once booked onto their course)
  • Can be exported at anytime
  • Records can be edited or added to
  • Average input time of 70 seconds
  • Candidates’ training records are integrated
  • Association members’ CPD is integrated
  • References can be requested from other candidates and integrated
  • Ability to add GPX files for greater detail on walking entries
  • Ever growing database of mountain names, rock climbing routes, crags and climbing walls worldwide

9/ Certificates

All candidates and participants who pass an award or attend a Skills Scheme course will receive a printed, tamper-proof certificate which is sent out once the course report has been submitted by the provider and audited by Mountain Training.

10/ Verifying qualifications

The candidate management system is the definitive record of all candidates’ training and assessment records and allows the public to verify an individual’s qualification easily by contacting Mountain Training.

11/ Improvements and feedback

Mountain Training relies on feedback from candidates and participants to help shape the future developments within DLOG and the system as a whole. Should you have any suggestions or notice errors then please contact Mountain Training. Your feedback is always welcomed and will help us make the system easier and more convenient to use.

12/ What is 'tahdah'?

The candidate management system is powered by tahdah, a software company, which hosts the database and develops it on our behalf. The software has been created specifically for awarding organisations, training providers, candidates and participants to manage their training, qualifications and membership, among other things.

As tahdah expands the number of national governing bodies using their software will increase, so if you hold other qualifications you may be able to manage more of your training and assessment records through a single portal – your tahdah account. For example, if the British Knitting Federation started using tahdah’s software to manage their candidates and you are a Chief Knitter, your tahdah account would show all of your Mountain Training qualifications and your British Knitting Federation qualification within one account.*

You will always have a Mountain Training account which will be separate (but linked) to your tahdah account and Mountain Training and the associations will continue to develop the system for you. You will also benefit from developments that tahdah make to the system for the benefit of all its users.

*This example is fictitious and used to illustrate the possibilities without raising anyone’s hopes about specific NGBs.

13/ Premium accounts on tahdah

Mountain Training continues to invest in the candidate management system so that it works effectively for all candidates, participants, course directors, providers and tutors. The software has the potential to offer features above and beyond those considered essential by Mountain Training so tahdah have created a range of ‘premium features’ which allow you to do more with your account, for a fee. Upgrading to premium is a matter of personal preference and will never become a necessary part of becoming, being or remaining a Mountain Training candidate, participant or association member. Both the standard and premium accounts will develop over time as new features are added by either Mountain Training, tahdah or the associations.

14/ Payments through tahdah

If you pay for anything through the system, from scheme registration to shop items, your payment is facilitated by tahdah and will show on your statement as being to 'Tahdah Verified Ltd'. All payments are secure and your card details are not stored by tahdah or Mountain Training; they are encrypted and stored by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant payment gateway.

15/ How can I change my Direct Debit details through CMS?

You can’t do this in CMS – you need to go to and sign in there to change your Direct Debit details.

16/ Data Protection

Mountain Training own the data in the system and is ultimately responsible for the candidate management system. From a data protection point of view and with regard to Mountain Training candidates and participants, Mountain Training is the ‘data controller’ and tahdah is the ‘data processer’ and ‘data controller’.

17/ Email Preferences

You can manage your email preferences and opt in or out of various types of email. Some are essential and this is clearly explained on the new Email Subscriptions page. Click on your username (top right), then Settings, then Email Subscriptions.

18/ Is my data secure?

The database that holds all of our candidate and participant data (that sits behind the CMS) is hosted by Tahdah Verified Limited (tahdah) using Amazon Web Services. The data is owned by Mountain Training UK and both tahdah and Mountain Training UK are compliant with current data protection legislation. Additionally tahdah have recently invested in a penetration testing exercise with a highly regarded ethical hacker and they were unable to penetrate the system in any way.

We have a strong working relationship with tahdah and continue to support the development of the software and their expansion as a company.

We have a contract with tahdah which details our respective responsibilities and a service level agreement to support this on a day to day basis. In the event that either party terminates the contract or tahdah ceases to trade, there is a plan in place for extracting our data and continuing to use the database or recreating a new database, depending on the circumstances.

The database is backed up on a daily basis and Mountain Training encourage candidates that use DLOG, to download a csv of their entries regularly, appropriate to the level of new information being entered, as an additional back up option.