Key info

Min. age for training: 18
Min. age for assessment: 18
Training: 6 days
Assessment: 5 days

Average time from training to passing assessment: 3.3 years

Ideal for: People who want to take groups into the mountains for single or multi-day hikes.


Mountain Leader courses delivered by Mountain Training England are regulated by Ofqual.

Entry requirements

To register
  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You should have at least a year’s worth of mountain walking experience
  • You should have an interest in leading groups in the mountains
  • You must be a member (club or individual) of a mountaineering council (BMC, Mountaineering Ireland, Mountaineering Scotland). Find out why this is required
  • You must create an account on our system and register for the Mountain Leader qualification (cost: £65)
To book a training course
  • You must be registered on the Mountain Leader scheme (see above)
  • You must have recorded a minimum of 20 quality mountain days* (ideally these will be recorded on DLOG**) which can have taken place at any point pre- or post-registration

To book an assessment course

  • You must have completed a Mountain Leader training course
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have recorded a minimum of 40 quality mountain days in at least three regions of the UK or Ireland
  • You must have logged at least 8 nights camping, including at least 4 nights wild camping
  • 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

Training and assessment courses are delivered by our approved providers in mountainous terrain in the UK or Ireland. 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.



Mountain Leader training lasts for six days, including a two day expedition with an overnight camp, and will cover:

  • The Mountain Leader syllabus
  • What to expect at assessment
  • Feedback and areas to focus on prior to assessment



  • Leader responsibilities
  • Leadership and decision making
  • Planning and weather
  • Hazards and emergency procedures
  • Equipment
  • Walking skills
  • Navigation
  • Expedition
  • Teaching and learning skills
  • Access, conservation and the environment
  • Background knowledge



After completing a training course, use the feedback from your course director and the skills checklist (download below) to identify syllabus areas you need to practise.

Our membership association (Mountain Training Association) offers peer-led learning opportunities and formal workshops on a range of topics, from navigation to leadership skills, to help you during this phase.

Join our association



The Mountain Leader assessment is five days long, including a three day expedition with two overnight camps. You will be assessed against the syllabus competencies in the candidate handbook. At the end of the assessment you will receive one of three results:

  • Pass
  • Defer (requires a partial reassessment)
  • Fail (requires a full reassessment