International Mountain Leader


If you'd like to lead groups of walkers in the mountains all over the world, register for the International Mountain Leader scheme. It builds on the skills you will have learnt as a Mountain Leader, and includes all sorts of additional information and training about leading outside the UK. Opportunities for International Mountain Leaders reach far and wide, from the Tour du Mont Blanc and the Inca Trail to Everest Base Camp and the jungles of Borneo, it's up to you where you take it.

Is it for me?

The prerequisites for registration are as follows:
  • You must have successfully completed the Mountain Leader award
  • You must have recorded 20 quality international summer mountain days in DLOG
  • You must have recorded 20 quality winter days in the UK or overseas in DLOG
If you can tick all of the above boxes, here's what to do next:
  • Register for the International Mountain Leader scheme (this costs £70)
Register for Award

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Training

There are two elements to the International Mountain Leader training; summer and winter. Each element has its own training and assessment course. You must do the Summer training before the Winter training, but you can do the Winter training before you've done the Summer assessment.

Summer Training

Before you book onto an International Mountain Leader Summer training course, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must be registered on the scheme
Summer training lasts for 5 days and will be run by two of the National Centres: Glenmore Lodge or Plas y Brenin. There is no exemption from training.

Winter Training

Before you book onto an International Mountain Leader Winter training course, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have completed International Mountain Leader Summer Training
Winter training lasts for 5 days and will be run by Plas y Brenin.

Find a course

The Syllabus

International Mountain Leaders should be competent in the following key areas, all of which will be covered, to a greater or lesser extent, during both five day training courses.
  • The mountain environment
  • An overview of the legal and economic situation in countries in which IML award holders work
  • Group management and the responsibilities of the group leader
  • Teaching
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Physical ability
  • Navigation
  • Weather
  • Security in mountainous terrain
  • Emergency procedures
  • Bivouac and survival skills
  • Expeditions
  • Snow-covered terrain
Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the International Mountain Leader Handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment.

Consolidation

The period between training and assessment varies in length for each person and is an opportunity to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training courses. Mountain Training do not recommend trying to 'fast-track' the International Mountain Leader award and you should develop experience post training as appropriate to your needs and skill level.

Assessment

You must pass the Summer assessment before attempting the Winter assessment.

Summer Assessment

Before you book onto an IML Summer assessment, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have attended an International Mountain Leader Summer training course (there is no exemption from training)
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have passed the Speed Navigation Test
  • You must hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 16 hours and relevant to your work as an International Mountain Leader
  • You must have gained further experience since completing the Summer training.
The International Mountain Leader Summer assessment is 4 days long and is based outside the UK.

Assessments are run by Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin.

Winter Assessment

Before you book onto an International Mountain Leader Winter assessment, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have passed the International Mountain Leader Summer assessment
  • You must have completed International Mountain Leader Winter Training
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 16 hours and relevant to your work as an International Mountain Leader
  • You must have logged a minimum of 60 days experience: 30 quality international summer days and 30 quality winter days (of which at least 10 should be overseas).
The International Mountain Leader Winter assessment is 5 days long and is based outside the UK.

Winter assessments are run by Plas y Brenin.

Find a course

The Scope of the Award

The award provides training and assessment in the skills required for leading and educating groups worldwide in summer conditions and also on easy snow covered, rolling, Nordic type terrain in the “middle mountains” in winter conditions. The scheme does not involve the techniques and equipment of alpinism or glacial travel.

To operate professionally outside the UK, IML-holders must be a member of an association such as British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML).

Find out more about the roles and responsibilities of the different bodies involved with the International Mountain Leader award.