How do I get Exemption from Training?

Mountain Training recommends that after registration candidates who have sufficient experience attend a training course. They then need to fulfil the minimum requirements, in terms of experience, before attending an assessment course.

There is no exemption from the assessment itself but in the case of exceptional candidates exemption from training is possible.

Exemption from Training

Training courses are designed for potential leaders and supervisors and will assume basic competence in the skills of a mountaineer, rock climber, hill walker or indoor climber.

In the light of this we will approve your exemption application only if the experience recorded in your Digital Log is sufficiently comprehensive to justify the claim that you need not attend a training course. No one wants you to be unsuccessful at assessment. When considering whether to apply, it is obviously important to consider all aspects of the syllabus, preferably discussing it with someone who has been through the scheme.

If you decide to apply for exemption please read the syllabus very carefully to make sure! Then enter enough relevant experience in your Digital Logbook (see minimum requirements below). Once all is complete on your DLog please contact us to pay the fee. The fee, which is non-refundable, is currently £50.

Please allow sufficient time for staff to consider your application. We aim to give you a decision within 10 working days.

The absolute minimum requirements for each scheme are listed below.

Please note that candidates who pass the assessment first time usually have well in excess of the bare minimum requirement in terms of experience.

Mountain Leader (ML)

  • 40 Quality Mountain Days
  • 8 nights camping (4 of which should be wild camping)
  • Experience in at least 3 different walking areas of the UK

Hill & Moorland Leader (HML)

  • 40 Quality Hill-walking days
  • Experience in at least 3 different walking areas of the UK

Lowland Leader (LL)

  • 20 Quality walking days
  • Experience in at least 3 different walking areas of the UK

Single Pitch Award (SPA)

  • Climbing experience in at least 3 areas of the UK
  • 40 routes that you have led, outdoors on leader placed protection
  • 20 sessions (a session is a half day or an evening) that you have assisted with the supervision of rock climbing groups

Climbing Wall Award (CWA)

  • 30 visits to 3 different public climbing walls
  • Assisted with the supervision of climbing for at least 15 sessions at a variety of facilities.

Climbing Wall Leading Award (CWLA)

  • 100 different lead climbs, at least half of which should be French 6a or above
  • Belayed a climber on a least 100 different routes.
  • Assisted or observed at least 5 teaching leading sessions delivered by a suitably qualified person.

International Mountain Leader (IML)

In exceptional cases Mountain Training UK will accept applications for exemption from elements of training from candidates who have attended appropriate courses and gained sufficient relevant experience - to be approved on a case-by-case basis. These are as follows:

1. Exemption from pre-requisite of Mountain Leader Award
  • UIAA-accredited summer walking qualification
  • IFMGA summer pass
2. Exemption from Winter IML Training
  • WML/MIC/IFMGA winter pass + 5 days’ snowshoe experience + Alpine snowpack training
  • UIAA-accredited Winter walking and snowshoeing qualification