Mountaineering Instructor Award

The Mountaineering Instructor Award trains and assesses candidates in the skills required for instructing mountaineering, including all aspects of summer rock climbing, including the coaching of lead climbing, and scrambling. It builds on the skills acquired in the Mountain Leader award, which candidates must hold. The Mountaineering Instructor Award is an extensively used professional award.

Is it for me?

Registration for the MIA is an application process and all candidates must satisfy the following conditions:
  • You must hold the Mountain Leader award
  • You must have gained 20 quality mountain days as a leader since becoming a Mountain Leader, and logged them in DLOG
  • You must have led 30 named multi-pitch rock climbs of minimum VS 4c standard in at least 3 main climbing areas of the UK, and logged them in DLOG
  • You must have led 10 sport climbs at or above French grade 6a
  • There should also be a reference in the Referee tab of your DLOG.
If you can tick all of the above boxes, here's what to do next:
  • Log in to the Candidate Management System
  • Register for the Mountaineering Instructor Award scheme (this costs £75)
  • Notify Mountain Training (via the SEND TO MT button in DLOG) that your DLOG is ready to be reviewed
Training course bookings must not be made until your Mountaineering Instructor Award registration application has been approved by Mountain Training.

You will be notified by email by Mountain Training with the result of your application. Applications with less than the minimum experience cannot be approved.

The registration fee is non-refundable. However, if your application is not successful, you will receive feedback on how best to fulfil the experience requirements and your registration application will be held open for six months, during which you can submit an updated record at no extra cost.

Register for Award

Mountaineering Instructor AwardFind a Course


Before you book onto an MIA training course your registration application must have been approved by Mountain Training.

There are three Providers of MIA training (Glenmore Lodge, Plas y Brenin and Tollymore). Courses are delivered in a continuous nine-day block. At the end of the training course feedback and advice on consolidation will be given individually. In order to assist this process candidates must present a completed logbook at the start of the course. The training course includes knowledge and skills not assessed on the final course. For this reason there is no exemption from training.

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Mountaineering Instructor Award Handbook

The Syllabus

Mountaineering Instructor Award holders should be competent in the following key areas.
  • Personal summer mountaineering
  • Summer mountaineering instruction
  • Rock climbing instruction
  • Problem solving and rescue skills
  • National awards and local accreditation schemes
  • The mountain environment
  • Development and history of mountaineering
  • Assessment of risk and its application
Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Mountaineering Instructor Handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment.

Lead Climbing cKMidlane and scrambling


The period between training and assessment varies in length for each person and it is recommended you allow a minimum of twelve months. Consolidation is an opportunity to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training course. You can use the excuse 'I'm preparing for assessment' to have as many mountain adventures as you like, so get out there and explore this beautiful country of ours!


Before you book onto a Mountaineering Instructor Award assessment, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have attended a Mountaineering Instructor Award training course
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have logged a minimum of 20 multi pitch climbs at VS 4c or above (since MIA training), a large proportion of which should be on mountain crags and major sea cliffs
  • You must have logged a minimum of 20 quality mountain days in sole charge of a group (since training)
  • You must have logged a minimum of 20 rock climbing teaching days with students (since training)
  • You must have a reference from a referee
  • You must have a valid first aid certificate.
The Mountaineering Instructor Award assessment is 5 days long.

Assessments are run by either Glenmore Lodge or Plas y Brenin.

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Mountaineering Instructor Award FAQsScrambling in the mountains

The Scope of the Scheme

The scheme provides training and assessment in the skills required to teach, train and assess general mountaineering, rock climbing and related activities. The Mountaineering Instructor Award (MIA) is for instructors working in summer conditions.

The syllabus includes multi-pitch rock climbing, scrambling and other mountaineering skills. Also included are elements of training and assessment that are necessary for those directing and working on Mountain Training climbing and walking leader schemes.

All of the courses that make up the Mountaineering Instructor scheme are designed specifically for conditions encountered within the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The Book - Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing has been written for people working their way through the climbing schemes and it's packed with colourful diagrams, photographs and simple language. It covers the full spectrum of modern climbing practice including movement skills, knots, bouldering, sport, trad and indoor climbing as well as risk management and problem solving.

Rock Climbing

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Watch the video