Climbing Awards Review – update

June 2016

Leading on an artificial wall

We are currently in the middle of a review of our climbing awards which aims to identify whether they are fit for purpose and meet the needs of the end users.

Since the winter round of national Mountain Training board meetings, which culminated in the Mountain Training UK meeting at Glenmore Lodge in March, considerable work has been carried out by the working group and its contractor UCLan (University of Central Lancashire).

Data collection

Two surveys were created; one for stakeholder organisations and one for individuals. The response to these surveys was described as ‘very good’ from organisations and ‘good’ from individuals (172 organisations submitted responses as did c.1400 individuals). This data from this 'quantitative phase' has been analysed by UCLan and a summary was presented to the working group on 13th June 2016.

Working group members have also provided data from our Candidate Management System, including an analysis of deferral results, the costs of launching previous schemes and comparisons of Mountain Training schemes to other adventure sports and more traditional sports.

Prior to the quantitative phase, qualitative data was collected from individuals and stakeholders so Mountain Training feels very well informed on the views of users and participants of our qualifications.

Decision making

The data from these two consultations deserve genuine reflection and the timeline is currently uncertain. The decision making phase will be carried out with due diligence and will require six national boards (made up of 106 people) to agree to any recommendations. It is likely to be at least 18 months before any practical changes (if necessary) will be implemented.

What does it all mean?

Mountain Training is keen to reassure everyone involved in our climbing schemes that we are committed to looking after our candidates and providers, irrespective of where they are within our system or how many years it is since they qualified. We have a long tradition of reviewing and developing our schemes, without leaving anyone behind, as was recently highlighted with the way we gave all Walking Group Leaders the dual status of also becoming a Hill and Moorland Leader. As an awarding organisation we want to make sure our schemes are fit for purpose and this review is a necessary part of making sure we continue to support a developing sport and the needs of the sector. At this stage it is not clear what the final recommendations will look like and what, if any, changes will result. You, our candidates, are at the heart of this process and further updates will follow when appropriate.

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