Getting started
To get started on the Hill and Moorland Leader qualification you need to meet the following prerequisites:
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You should have at least a year’s worth of experience of hill walking
  • You should have an interest in leading groups in the hills
  • You must be a member of a mountaineering council: BMC, Mountaineering Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland (you can join one when you register if you're not already a member) - find out why
If you can tick all of the above boxes, here's what to do next:
  • Create an account on our Candidate Management System or log in if you already have one.
  • Register for the Hill and Moorland Leader scheme (this costs £47)
Register now

Hill and Moorland Leader candidate handbook

The Hill and Moorland Leader handbook has full details about the scheme including the syllabus and supporting guidance notes. It is available in English and Welsh.

Hill and Moorland Leader Handbook Llawlyfr Arweinydd Bryniau a Rhostir

Not quite right?

If this doesn't sound like the right qualification for you, consider the following: You could also read through our 'Which scheme is right for me?' page.
Training
Hill and Moorland Leader training lasts for 3 days and will be run by one of our approved providers in the UK or Ireland.

Before you book onto a Hill and Moorland Leader training course, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must be registered on the scheme
  • You must have recorded a minimum of 20 Quality Hillwalking Days on appropriate terrain (ideally on DLOG) which can have taken place at any point (pre- or post-registration)
A variety of cost packages are available depending on what's included; food, accommodation etc. so you can choose one that's right for you.

Find a course

Use the Hill and Moorland Leader Skills Checklist

This document can be used during or shortly after your training course to help you identify areas of the syllabus that may require attention.

The Syllabus

Hill and Moorland Leaders should be competent in the following key areas, all of which will be covered, to a greater or lesser extent, during your three day training course.
  • Walking and Route Finding
  • Navigation
  • Hazards and Emergency Procedures
  • Equipment
  • Responsibilities of the Leader
  • Group Management
  • Access, Conservation and Environmental Knowledge
  • Weather
Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Hill and Moorland Leader candidate 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 course. You can use the excuse 'I'm preparing for assessment' to have as many adventures as you like; logging days has never been so much fun! We have also published a book and created an association to support you during your consolidation and after you're qualified.

The Mountain Training Association

Join the Mountain Training Association and be part of a community of like-minded people on our schemes. The Association offers a range of workshops for trainee and qualified leaders and coaches across the disciplines, as well as a quarterly magazine, gear deals/discounts, a monthly newsletter and an insurance deal. You can join the Association at any point after you have registered on one of Mountain Training's leadership/coaching schemes.

MTA logo

Join now

The Book - Hill Walking

Hill Walking has been written specifically for people pursuing Mountain Training's leadership qualifications and it includes essential tips and information for those who wish to lead in the hills as well as being a useful learning aid for recreational walkers. The book is split into three parts: Getting Around in the Hills, The Upland Environment and Group Management. Its functional design with easy-reference pages, striking illustrations and images make this book an indispensable guide to the skills required for summer hill walking.

Hill Walking

Buy now




E-learning

E-learning modules can be accessed through the 'Awards & Training' tab of your CMS account.

Mountain weather

Weather elearning slide

Created by the Met Office for Mountain Training, this free module is packed full of useful information about weather systems, forecasts and how to use this information as a leader to plan your journey. The module takes approximately 1 hour to complete and is available to anyone who has registered on one of our schemes.

Geology

Geology elearning slide

These three modules are free for members of the Mountain Training Association - they have been developed in partnership with Paul Gannon, author of the Rock Trails series of books.

Mountain building
This module covers a basic understanding of mountain building and plate tectonics.

Mountain landscapes and rock types
This module covers a basic understanding of various rock types and how they appear in the landscape.

Mountain destruction
This module explores the ways in which weathering and erosion slowly dismantle mountain ranges and should help you spot signs of the on-going processes of mountain destruction.
Assessment
Before you book onto a Hill and Moorland Leader assessment, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have attended a Hill and Moorland Leader training course (or have been granted exemption)
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have logged a minimum of 40 Quality Hillwalking Days in at least three different upland areas of the UK and Ireland
  • You must have physically attended and completed (i.e. not online) a first aid course which involved at least two full days or sixteen hours of instruction and included an element of assessment
The Hill and Moorland Leader assessment is 3 days long.

Assessments are run by one of our approved providers and a variety of cost packages are available, depending on what's included; food, accommodation etc. so you can choose one that's right for you.

Find a course

After you've passed your assessment, if you're interested in taking groups on multi-day walks, the Expedition Skills Module is the obvious next step.


OfQual regulation of Mountain Training England
Training in the Pentland Hills




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"I have found so many doors have opened as a consequence of gaining the qualification. For example, I am now a qualified Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold Expedition Assessor... I am even thinking about embarking on a second career! I am thinking about becoming a freelance leader to supplement my pension and keep me occupied!"

Chris Kula-Przezwanski - April 2017
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"Be realistic, be practical, weigh the pros and cons, and find your way – and don’t take any notice of your age! - just do what you feel comfortable with."

Elen Huws - August 2016

Support & Development

Join the Mountain Training Association and be part of a community of like-minded people on our schemes.

MTA offers a range of workshops for trainee and qualified leaders and coaches across the disciplines, as well as great deals and discounts

More info

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