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Leadership scheme provider and course director approval

Mountain Training England is presently developing its delivery model with the specific aim to broaden the participation in, and delivery of, its leadership and skills schemes.

Underrepresented groups;

Mountain Training England's 2021-2025 Strategic Development Plan outlines our vision and mission. Within this three key goals are stated;
  • Engage ethnic minorities creating real inclusion
  • Encourage female participation and leadership
  • Support disability access through our schemes
Applications are open for all of our schemes to those who meet our minimum requirements and are able to reliably access these under-represented groups when delivering courses (with the exception of Rock Climbing Development Instructor). Applicants must be able to evidence access to under-represented groups on application. We are also able to directly support exceptionally experienced individuals who, although perhaps don’t have the minimum course experience for the specific scheme, represent a target group noted above.

Other applications;

Our delivery model has evolved through the Covid pandemic. We are particularly interested in potential Rock Climbing Instructor, Hill and Moorland Leader and Mountain Leader provider applicants who have access to a reliable market. Applications are open for the above schemes to those who meet our minimum requirements and are able to reliably access candidates when delivering courses. Applicants must be able to evidence access on application. If you wish to apply for Camping Leader provider approval (only) please contact mark@mountain-training.org

New course director approvals;

Existing providers are able to apply for additional course directors to support delivery. 'Part 2' of the application form below supports submission. As noted above Mountain Training England is particularly interested in supporting applications from under-represented groups.

Application guidance

What is a Mountain Training provider?

Providers are approved to deliver Mountain Training leadership schemes on behalf of Mountain Training England.

A provider can be an individual or an organisation. The provider account held on Mountain Training’s Candidate Management System (CMS) has an individual ‘owner’. This individual is the primary link between the provider and Mountain Training England. An outline of the ‘Providers Responsibilities’ can be found here

What is a Mountain Training course director?

Course directors are approved by Mountain Training England to lead specific Mountain Training leadership scheme courses on behalf of an approved provider. An outline of the ‘Course director Responsibilities’ can be found here. Course directors cannot operate independently and must be linked to an approved provider.

Within set ratios course directors can have additional course staff working with them on the course. This will allow providers to deliver courses to the maximum course number. Staff are expected to be approperiately qualified and experienced (as outlined here) but they do not require formal approval.

Ongoing costs to retain approval

There is an annual provider fee (£125, which includes 1 free course director) and a fee for each additional approved course director (£20). Course directors must attend a practical update once every 3 years (£30).

‘Application submission’

Mountain Training England accepts new leadership schemes provider applications once a year. Applications must be formally submitted by 12 noon, 13th Jan 2023. We welcome informal, verbal communication prior to application but will not comment in writing without formal submission.

To apply applicants must complete the application form and pay the fee (£50). Multiple schemes can be applied for, at an additional cost of £25 per scheme.

In all cases a nominated course director is required for each scheme approval. Provider and tutor application is made at the same time for new approvals. The application fee includes one course tutor. If additional tutors are required the fee is an additional £25 per individual.

Please understand Mountain Training England is under no obligation to accept new applications and the submission fee is non-refundable.

Application criteria

Provider requirements

Applicants must be able to evidence the following;

1. Sustainable business

Applicants must demonstrate they have a solid, sustainable business plan to reliably run a significant number of courses into the future for the specific scheme.

2. Target markets

Applicants must demonstrate they have access to a specific catchment of candidates. Evidence should be supplied on application, in particular; any links to relevent organisations, marketing material or details of existing client groups.

As noted; Applicants must be able to evidence access to under-represented groups on application. and evidence this in the probationary period. [/list]3. Course places

Mountain Training England expect providers to run a good number of courses each year, and for growth in course places to be aspired to. Applicants who wish to deliver a very limited number of courses with minimal numbers would not be seen as beneficial to the future delivery plan, and are unlikely to be accepted. As a guideline we would expect providers to run a minimum of two well attended courses each year, for each scheme they are approved to provide.

4. Course base and facilities

Applicants must evidence they have access to suitable briefing and teaching areas, conducive to the training and assessment of candidates. These teaching areas must be close to approperiate venues to minimise travel.

5. Safeguarding

All successful applicants must read our Safeguarding Policy https://www.mountain-training.org/england/safeguarding and comply with the requirements described. Successful applicants will be contacted to submit a declaration and appropriate evidence as noted below. Please prepare the following ready for submission;
  • Your safeguarding policy or policies
  • Name & contact of your Designated Safeguarding Lead

Course director requirements

All provider applications require a nominated course director. The individual must have the following evidenced in their account on Mountain Training’s CMS;


1. Have held the relevant (or higher award) for at least 12 months as follows;
  • Lowland Leader - Mountain Leader
  • Hill and Moorland Leader - Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor or International Mountain Leader
  • Mountain Leader - Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor & Winter Mountain Leader or International Mountain Leader & Winter Mountain Leader
  • Indoor Climbing Assistant – Climbing Wall Development Instructor
  • Climbing Wall Instructor - Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor
  • Climbing Wall Development Instructor - Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor
  • Rock Climbing Instructor – Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor
In addition to the relevant leadership award above all climbing course directors (with the exception of Indoor Climbing Assistant) must hold Foundation Coach training or equivalent coach training in another discipline (e.g. BCU Coach Award, BCU Level 1 Coach, Level 1 Award in Coaching Cycling), in addition to ‘FUNdamentals of Climbing 1’ (no 12 month requirement as above).

2. Have extensive experience of operating with as an award holder of the qualification being applied for. Detailed experience should be recorded in Dlog.

3. Have a minimum of 4 full courses of experience for the qualification being applied for, with at least 2 different providers, within the last 5 year period. All applicants will be expected to gain an additional 2 full courses of experience working with other providers within the probationary period (1st year) to be granted full approval. Applicants who have 6 full courses of experience on initial application will be exempt from this requirement. These must be a mix of training and assessment and must be recorded on the relevant provider’s course report within the Candidate Management System. Staffing or observation will suffice.

In the case of Indoor Climbing Assistant applicants must have experience of 2 full Climbing Wall Instructor training courses only.

4. Be a member of one of the associations: MTA, AMI, BAIML or BMG.

  • Attended a Mountain Training Train the Trainers workshop.
  • Completed Foundation Coach (climbing award applicants).
  • Attended a Mountain Training course director and staff update workshop.
  • Attendance on an approved Mountain Training assessor’s workshop.
  • Be a member of a mountaineering council.
  • Involvement in the delivery of in-house training relevant to the scheme.
  • Have experience working for a variety of appropriate organisations and with diverse groups.

‘Application vetted by Screening Committee’

Once received applications are verified by a Mountain Training administrator before being passed to the Screening Committee. The role of the administrator is to ensure the application is complete and our requirements have been satisfied for both the provider and tutor concerned. This will include ensuring applicants can satisfy our safeguarding requirements.


The role of the Screening Committee is to impartially consider applications for provider and course staff approval and subsequently make recommendations to the Mountain Training England Board. Consideration is given to the full application submitted, aligned to criteria outlined.

Screening process

With the support of the Development Officer the Technical Support Administrator supports initial screening by validating evidence submitted. The original applications are supplied to the committee members.

Screening Committee members are requested to state any potential conflicts of interest with each application received. Where a potential conflict may influence impartiality, the Officer outlines the extent to which individual participate in screening. This will relate to the issue concerned.

Members are requested to comment separately on each application. Comments are collated by the Officer concerned and commonly include their personal recommendation to accept or reject an application. Where opinions differ, the Officer communicates with all to find resolution.

Although screening is primarily based on evidence submitted by applicants of adherence to outlined application criteria, the Screening Committee has the discretion to recommend rejecting applications if there are other less quantifiable causes for concern. The Screening Committee also has the discretion to recommend accepting applications on merit if they can see other significant evidence of competence and experience.

Although the aim is to reach consensus, where this is not possible the majority view is taken. The majority view is then reported to the Board.


In the case of successful applications, probationary terms to acceptance are suggested. Where the Screening Committee recommends rejecting an application, their reasoning is outlined. The Development Officer communicates this to the Mountain Training England Board.

‘Mountain Training England Board approval’

The Board considers the recommendations made by the Screening Committee and formally accepts or rejects applications submitted

Applicants can expect to hear the outcome by 1st March 2023. Probationary conditions are outlined at this time.

Induction attendance

Prior to initial course delivery approved providers and tutors must attend the following;

‘Online introduction to Mountain Training scheme delivery’ This is a dedicated event delivered at 7pm, 21st March 2023 as an evening session, 1-2hrs duration. The event is free to attend.

Approved providers and course directors must view admin related content within online webinars prior to practical induction attendance; https://www.mountain-training.org/england/online-administrative-support-for-providers-and-course-staff---webinars

‘Practical induction for Mountain Training skills scheme delivery’. This a 1 day mandatory event (or each scheme approval), where key syllabus content is addressed. The event costs £30 pp delivered at Plas y Brenin as follows;
  • Rock Climbing Instructor - 27th March 2023
  • Indoor Climbing Assistant, Climbing Wall Instructor, Climbing Wall Development Instructor - 28th March 2023
  • Hill and Moorland Leader, Mountain Leader - 29th March 2023
  • Lowland Leader - 30st March 2023

'Applicant is granted approval'

Applicant granted probationary approval

Provisional approval is given to start running courses following induction attendance (early April) The probationary period is an opportunity to review performance and ensure new approvals are used actively and appropriately.

Moderation visit

Mountain Training England aims to moderate new providers as soon as possible. Providers may be contacted at any time to arrange a moderation visit.

Applicant granted approval

Probationary approval is reviewed after 12 months to ensure conditions have been satisfied. If we are satisfied with the conduct, performance and delivery, probationary applicants will be given full approval. Please understand Mountain Training England is under no obligation to give full approval if there is any cause for concern.

Further Guidance

The Mountain Training website outlines our work and gives specific detail on the schemes.

Applicants are welcome to view the Provider and course staff area. This may help individuals understand the requirements and processes involved within course provision. Prior to submission it is worth consulting the 'Mountain Training England Strategic Plan' within and viewing Learn Lead Inspire and Our Ethos to get a feel of who we are and what we do.

For informal, verbal guidance regarding applications you may contact the Siabod Cottage office on 01690 720272.

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