Mountain Training Scotland

Mountain Training Scotland
About Since 1964 Mountain Training Scotland has overseen the provision of consistently high quality training and assessment of in the skills required for the safe leadership and instruction of climbing and hillwalking in Scotland through the provision of Mountain Training UK-wide qualification schemes.

Mountain Training Scotland (originally called Scottish Mountain Leader Training Board or SMLTB), as one of five national Mountain Training boards, works closely with Mountain Training United Kingdom, to develop and manage a portfolio of qualification schemes. This ensures parity in the qualifications syllabi, and consistency of delivery across all the national Mountain Training boards throughout the UK and Ireland.

Mountain Training Scotland is managed by an executive board of four volunteer directors. A full-time executive officer is responsible for the operational management of Mountain Training Scotland, including its interaction with Mountain Training UK. The executive board reports to the members of Mountain Training Scotland, who are nominated representatives of Scottish-based organisations with a strategic interest in and commitment to the Mountain Training qualification schemes.

Staff team

George McEwan

MTS Executive Officer

Telephone: 01479 861248


    Catherine Rose

    Administration and Finance Assistant

    Telephone: 01479 861248


      Sandy Paterson

      Technical Officer

      Telephone: 01479 861248



        A community of world-class outdoor leaders, instructors and coaches, representative of a diverse, fit and active society, supported by innovative and sustainable mountain-related training qualification schemes.


        Mountain Training Scotland provides innovative leadership and ensures consistent quality in mountain-related skills training and coaching in Scotland.


        “Mountain Training Scotland’s purpose is the advancement, for public benefit, of education and training (in conjunction where appropriate with other bodies or persons) in the skills required for the leadership and instruction of safe hill, mountain and moorland walking, mountaineering, rock and ice climbing and other associated activities practised in cliff and mountain environments, and to offer advice on matters of training and safety.” Excerpt from Mountain Training Scotland’s Articles of Constitution and our charitable aims.

        Guiding Principles

        • Mountain Training Scotland is open, welcoming, and accessible to all with a shared interest in mountain-related activities.
        • We encourage diversity and seek to remove barriers to individuals’ and others’ involvement and participation as leaders and instructors of mountain-related activities.
        • We support and encourage sustainable and sympathetic use of the outdoors by all users.
        • Mountain Training Scotland is innovative in the development of our work practices and creation of development projects.
        • Mountain Training Scotland is outward thinking and seeks to work in collaboration with key partners and relevant organisations to fulfil our strategic aims.
        Mountain Training Scotland is a Company Limited by Guarantee (Company No.215532) and registered as a Scottish Charity (SC031047).

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        Monitoring Success

        Detailed actions and success measures are identified in an annual Operational Plan.

        Our Annual Report will reference these priorities as well as other important aspects of our work and achievements. Our priorities collectively help to deliver our mission.

        Becoming a Mountain Training Scotland provider, course director or tutor

        Information and guidance about how to become a Mountain Training Scotland provider or gain course director or tutor approval can be found here.

        Contact us

        For further information about Mountain Training Scotland please find us at:


        Twitter: @MtnTrngScotland


        Strategic partners in Scotland

        Strategic partners have significant operational and/or financial relationships with Mountain Training Scotland.


        sportscotland, the national agency for sport, works with partners (including Mountain Training Scotland and Mountaineering Scotland) to build a world-class sporting system for everyone in Scotland. sportscotland supports the development of outdoor and adventure sports through its range of national centres, which of specific relevance includes Glenmore Lodge. sportscotland’s key outcomes include increased participation and progression in sport. In relation to these outcomes sportscotland invests in Mountain Training Scotland to support its development and implementation of new initiatives and projects. Crucially, this investment enables Mountain Training Scotland to operate beyond basic provision of its core business.


        Mountaineering Scotland

        Mountaineering Scotland aims to inspire and encourage people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to enjoy mountaineering activities responsibly, through its educational programmes and provision of relevant information concerning mountain safety, access and conservation. Many (but by no means all) Mountain Training qualification candidates are drawn from this community of active hillwalkers, mountaineers and climbers. The profile of Mountain Training qualification candidates reflects the demographic of this community. A common aim of both organisations is to work together to broaden the diversity of this community, both by ethnicity and gender.

        The provision of educational programmes and safety training significantly relies on qualified leaders, instructors and coaches, whether as volunteers or as professionals. Mountain Training Scotland supports the mountain safety, access and conservation aims of Mountaineering Scotland by providing trained and qualified leaders, instructors and coaches through the Mountain Training qualification schemes. Mountain Training Scotland is also uniquely placed, with its wider links to UK-wide and Ireland-wide organisations through Mountain Training UK, to provide support and advice relating to matters of mountain safety and training.

        Glenmore Lodge

        Glenmore Lodge, Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre, operates within the sportscotland family of national centres. Glenmore Lodge defines its leading core function as supporting and developing leaders, coaches, guides and instructors. Glenmore lodge recognises governing body qualification pathways as a key enabler for quality participation in outdoor sport. Its position in terms of staff skills and experience (both personal and of working on a variety of National Governing Body qualification schemes), and resources, makes Glenmore Lodge uniquely equipped to support the core work of Mountain Training Scotland.

        Company information

        Company Name: Mountain Training Scotland
        Company number: SC215532
        Place of registration: Scotland
        Registered office address: Glenmore, Aviemore, Inverness-shire. PH22 1QU
        Email address:
        Company not VAT registered
        Scottish Charity number: SC031047
        Directors Mountain Training Scotland is managed by an Executive Board of five volunteer Directors, elected by the Members of Mountain Training Scotland. A full-time paid Executive Officer, (supported by a part-time Administration and Finance Assistant and a part-time Technical Officer) reports directly to the Executive Board and is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of Mountain Training Scotland, including its interaction with Mountain Training UK.

        The Executive Board reports to the Members of Mountain Training Scotland.

        MTS Directors Chair Ryan Doherty Ryan Doherty - Chair

        Appointed 22/11/2017; elected as Chair 24/5/2020
        Ryan has spent the past 10 years shaping business strategy, within the nuclear industry. He is a professionally qualified Engineer with a Degree in Civil Engineering from University West of Scotland; and has obtained a post-graduate Risk Management qualification.

        On a personal note, as a keen ‘munroist’ Ryan applied for the board position to combine both business and pleasure and hopes he can bring his knowledge and experience to the benefit of the company.
        MTS Directors James Ferrier, Vice Chair & TreasurerJames Ferrier -
        Vice Chair / Treasurer

        Appointed 22/11/2017; elected as Vice Chair 24/5/2018

        Appointed 22/11/2017; elected as Treasurer 21/5/2020
        James, now retired, was a teacher with over 30 years’ experience, including 20 years in Senior Management, all largely in the independent sector and is an active Mountain Leader. James has nearly 40 years mountain and expedition leading experience with mainly young people across the U.K. and overseas.

        James brings to MTS a range of skills relevant to both the strategic and operational elements of the MTS Executive Board's work drawn from his "Mountain" and "Training" background; all underpinned by an enthusiastic commitment to support the work of MTS.
        MTS Directors John Jackson, Director John Jackson - Director

        Appointed 8/11/2017; elected as Director 24/5/2018
        For the past 21 years John has been working as a professional in the outdoor activities sector, and currently works for Falkirk Community Trust as their Outdoor Education Officer.

        Over the years John has progressed through the Mountain Training qualification pathways and now holds his Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor (the old MIC). John is also an MTS Course Provider/Director for the Lowland Leader and Hill and Moorland Leader schemes.
        MTS Directors Paul Agnew Director Paul Agnew - Director

        Appointed 5/12/2019; elected as Director 21/5/2020
        Paul is a Chartered Civil Engineer. Through his career Paul has developed a strong skillset in Engineering; Commercial / Business Management; Enterprise, Project Management; Strategic Investment Planning; Contractual Management and Finance.

        Over the years Paul has been a strong advocate of encouraging his peers to explore what Scotland has to offer. Paul is a keen hillwalker and has recently started keeping a Munro diary.
        Council of members These are stakeholder organisations that have a significant interest in the Mountain Training qualifications managed by Mountain Training Scotland. They are all Members of Mountain Training Scotland and contribute actively to the management of Mountain Training Scotland by monitoring its activity and giving guidance to the organisation. This includes, collectively, helping to set overall policy, defining and setting targets, and evaluating performance against agreed targets via thrice-yearly Business Meetings.

        Each Member organisation can appoint up to 3 nominated persons to attend meetings provided the individual is an appropriate representative of the organisation. Each organisation has one vote.
        • Mountaineering Scotland;
        • Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC);
        • Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education (SAPOE);
        • Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI);
        • The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (Scotland);
        • British Mountain Guides;
        • Ramblers Scotland;
        • Girlguiding Scotland;
        • British Association of International Mountain Leaders


        Advisers have the right to speak but do not have the right to vote at any MTS meetings.
        • Sport Scotland
        • Glenmore Lodge
        • Joint Services Mountain Training Centres
        Documents Mountain Training Scotland Strategic Plan 2017-2021 (click image to view/download)

        MTS Strategic Plan

        Annual reports

        Mountain Training Scotland Annual Report 2020

        This report reviews the activities, achievements and progress towards priorities identified in the Mountain Training Scotland Annual Plan and Budget 2019–2020 and the Mountain Training Scotland Strategic Plan 2017-2021.

        It covers the period 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020. In collaboration with our Mountain Training partners, strategic partners in Scotland and the Members of Mountain Training Scotland, the Strategic Plan 2017-2021 identifies the following three Key Strategic Aims and associated priority areas:
        • Strategic Key Aim 1: Provision of Mountain Training Qualification Schemes in Scotland
        • Strategic Key Aim 2: Ensure continued, equitable and inclusive access to Mountain Training qualification schemes in Scotland
        • Strategic Key Aim 3: Ensure financial security

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