What we do

Set standards

There are 17 qualifications and two skills schemes administered by one or more of the national Mountain Training organisations.

All of them are designed to educate and train people so that they can safely enjoy the climbing walls, crags, coast, hills and mountains of our beautiful country and are recognised and supported by the governments across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Our qualifications train and assess people to look after other people in these environments, whether that's leading a walk in the mountains, coaching in a climbing wall or teaching multi pitch rock climbing. People who hold our qualifications have been assessed at a nationally agreed standard and may be volunteers, youth workers, outdoor instructors or teachers.

Each of the national Mountain Training organisations is involved in setting the standards for the qualifications it administers. If a qualification is administered by more than one awarding organisation, standards are agreed by all to ensure consistency across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The Hill & Mountain Skills and Rock Skills courses resulted from reviews of our walking and climbing qualifications and both schemes were developed by all national Mountain Training organisations.

Quality assurance of course delivery is the responsibility of each national Mountain Training organisation independently and there are some minor differences in the process but not the agreed standard.

Approve course providers

Each national Mountain Training organisation approves providers to deliver its qualifications. The requirements for new providers and the regularity with which they are reviewed varies for each organisation, depending on capacity and demand.

Provide a supportive community in which candidates develop

Officially the Mountain Training Association is part of Mountain Training UK & Ireland and its purpose is to provide a network of candidates across the UK and Republic of Ireland; enabling peer support and mentoring between climbing, walking and mountaineering professionals and volunteers.

Find out more about our association

Publish books to support all walkers and climbers

We publish five instructional books to support people pursuing our leadership qualifications as well as the general walking and climbing public. Each book is written by an expert and contains regular illustrations and photos to bring skills and techniques to life.

Our books

Produce guidance on defining competence and safety management

Mountain Training qualifications include the practical assessment of technical competence and the assessment of leadership skills, though not necessarily with a participant group similar to that which they will go on to lead/instruct/coach.

The competence and suitability of a Mountain Training qualification holder to work in any given role with any given participants are matters of judgement for both the employer and the individual themselves. Assessing and providing sufficient levels of site-specific knowledge, first aid, safeguarding and currency of skills are ongoing responsibilities for both parties. To help employers and individuals we have created the following guidance:

Who can lead, instruct, or coach?

This is a complete look at individual competency. It has been produced in close cooperation with Paddle UK (formerly British Canoeing), British Caving and British Cycling.

National Guidelines

The National Guidelines are useful for anyone with a responsibility for climbing, walking and mountaineering related activities. If you want to know more about competence, risk assessments and the principles of safety management, the National Guidelines is the place to look.

Site-Specific Climbing Wall Training Scheme Guidance

The guidance is designed to be used by competent persons/technical advisors and climbing walls to develop and deliver unique site-specific training schemes and it has been endorsed by the Association of British Climbing Walls, BMC (British Mountaineering Council), Mountaineering Ireland and Mountaineering Scotland.