French Alps MTB guiding row in the Telegraph

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  • French Alps MTB guiding row in the Telegraph
  • Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    comments are tame compared to some from here….

    Perhaps the better way would be to head down the EU court route rather than risk it all (after getting the local qualifications)

    globalti
    Member

    Simon Butler has been fighting the French for years over this. I thought he won in court in Annecy in about 2006 but the French must be smarting from that defeat and have come back again. When we skied in 2013 in Les Gets the situation had worsened and British chalet girls were being arrested; ours had to take us out skiing by stealth and keep swopping clothing because the pisteurs were actively looking for them.

    It’s all about protectionism – when I worked for Ramblers Holidays in 1980 I saw a bunch of French kids doing their qualification as Accompagnateurs de Moyenne Montagne (a scaled-down guide) and it consisted of charging around an obstacle course in the valley bottom. Comical.

    meribelmtb
    Member

    @globati. Maybe the company you stayed with could have tried not putting their staff at risk by offering stealth guiding…

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber
    JEngledow
    Member

    Sorry if I’m being a bit thick, but what’s stopping the Brits from just getting the desired French qualifications?

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Most pro-european and yet they hate one of the most fundamental principles!?!

    cynic-al
    Member

    JEngledow – Member

    Sorry if I’m being a bit thick, but what’s stopping the Brits from just getting the desired French qualifications?

    My guess is EC law arguably means they shouldn’t have to.

    French are notoriously “protect our own” on this issue.

    rene59
    Member

    Don’t see the problem here, if he followed the local rules he would be ok no?

    cynic-al
    Member

    Founding principle of EC – “freedom of movement of labour”.

    Premier Icon Sanny
    Subscriber

    Does anyone know what the equivalent UK qualification is to the French requirement? It’s easy to say protectionism based on the story as written but I genuinely don’t know what differentiates the UK and French qualifications. If it’s a level playing field then fine but I don’t get the impression that it is. 😯

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    Does anyone know what the equivalent UK qualification is to the French requirement?

    Based on these 2 pages, sounds like the french have had to accept that IML + and MTB qualification is sufficient (cos, what else could you add to that really …)

    http://www.ridethealps.com/about/become-a-mountain-bike-guide/
    http://www.whiteroomchalet.com/sumFAQ.htm#12

    Greybeard
    Member

    French law is used for the good of the French. A friend of mine was prosecuted 20 years ago for ski instruction. He had all the UK qualifications, but the French instructor qualification required him to ski a slalom course with 10% of the time of the top instructor – of no relevance to instruction, and not easy for a 55 year old.

    dannyh
    Member

    In one way I think ‘good on you’ to the French. They have absolutely no problem with being hypocritical if it helps their own citizens get and stay in jobs. They’ve been doing it for years of course, in different ways, sticking the proverbial two fingers up to everyone else. That massive country and where do they build their big immigration holding centre? Sangatte, about three miles from being the closest part of France to Britain. Not so much as a blush.

    I don’t know why we bother trying to negotiate better terms for ourselves, why don’t we just go ‘in’ 100% then just carry on as we please anyway? The French have been doing it for years. You can have your cake and eat it, it seems.

    extremenik
    Member

    The ski test is called the Euro test, and i beleive it is normally set by a racer, so it is tough, most ski holiday companies aren’t doing their own guiding now, i.e. Showing you around the mountain. The last year has seen an on slaught by the ESF to stop any non French companies with instructors not up to the French level being thrown of the mountain by the Gendermane.

    I believe i read somewhere that if the French wish to guide bikes in the mountains then they have to go to the equivalent of Uni for a year.

    Pitty we let anyone in this country.

    Wouldn’t mind getting a council house in the French Alps, housing benefit for me the missus and kids. Oh and free medical attention when I fall of my bike.

    So due to the eu anyone can come and work in the uk but not the other way around! Sounds about right!

    lornholio
    Member

    What? Trail Addiction aren’t certified? Silly.

    Like it or not, French law is French law and Trail Addiction has surely known fine well they have been operating outwith the law. Brits are completely entitled to follow the French guiding or instructing scheme for many sports in order to operate legally in France, and many do.

    dannyh
    Member

    I hope he’s got a lot of time on his hands and quite a bit of money too…….

    Greybeard
    Member

    Like it or not, French law is French law

    And EU law is EU law. The EU has it’s upsides and downsides and one of the upsides is mutual recognition of qualifications. Or should be, if France played by the rules.

    stoffel
    Member

    I don’t really see wht the issue is; he’s ignored the law of the land in which he lives and wants to work, and will face the apropriate legal action. The same as any foreign national breaking any British laws here. Non-story really, and i fail to see why he would expect any sympathy.

    Pitty we let anyone in this country.

    Wouldn’t mind getting a council house in the French Alps, housing benefit for me the missus and kids. Oh and free medical attention when I fall of my bike.

    Oh dea. 🙄

    dannyh
    Member

    And EU law is EU law. The EU has it’s upsides and downsides and one of the upsides is mutual recognition of qualifications. Or should be, if France played by the rules.

    That’s a big ‘if’, though isn’t it?

    Plus ca change as the French would say.

    Premier Icon manton69
    Subscriber

    The short answer is that this needs to go to court in France to provide a test case. It is a brave and committed person that does this and I wish him all the best in this.

    If it is a protection racket, whether it is legal or not, it needs challenging. It feels like they have had enough of this and want to settle it once and for all.

    Best of luck.

    stoffel
    Member

    Couple of questios:

    1: Are you required under UK law to have a ‘professional’ qualification in mountain bike guiding, to work as a mtb guide in the UK?

    2: If the guide is operating illegally, are any customers thereofre not covere by any insurance they may have? Is the guide also uninsured for liability?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    The stupid thing is, it isn’t really a protection racket at all… Trailaddiction aren’t taking jobs from locals, they’re bringing in more tourists which means more lift passes, more restaurant visits, etc. We (ie the punters) actively choose guiding companies of british origin, for various reasons. Are there even french-run equivalents to Trailaddiction, White Room etc?

    Worth checking out this article from Singletrack:
    http://www.trailaddiction.com/pdf/STW_French_guiding_issue84.pdf
    Good input from other guiding companies

    wrecker
    Member

    he’s ignored the law of the land in which he lives and wants to work, and will face the apropriate legal action. The same as any foreign national breaking any British laws here. Non-story really, and i fail to see why he would expect any sympathy.

    Nope. If the UK were to flout EU law, it would be taken to task as it has loads of times. Exactly what should happen to the french. We’re in the EU and the same rules should apply to all; beneficial or detrimental. It’s what we all signed up for so France are going to have to suck it up.

    juan
    Member

    Founding principle of EC – “freedom of movement of labour”.

    So basically, any student who holds a master shouldn’t have do another one to graduate as a Phd student.
    Funny that is not the case.
    I think if the blokes thinks he is right he should bring the case to the EU court. However, I doubt it will work, as there is no such thing as ‘guiding’ diploma in France for MTB. It’s a coaching diploma, which requires indeed to study at the uni for a couple of years. Hardly something inconceivable.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    he’s ignored the law of the land in which he lives and wants to work, and will face the appropriate legal action.

    Care to point out where he’s broken the law & which one? As I think in this link its explained quite succinctly that no such thing has happened….

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Nope. If the UK were to flout EU law, it would be taken to task as it has loads of times. Exactly what should happen to the french. We’re in the EU and the same rules should apply to all; beneficial or detrimental. It’s what we all signed up for so France are going to have to suck it up.

    Like the EU have prevented “the knowledge” test for London black cab licensing, so that French cabbies have flooded into London stealing jobs from our proud gobbie cockney asshats.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    stoffel – Member

    Couple of questios:

    1: Are you required under UK law to have a ‘professional’ qualification in mountain bike guiding, to work as a mtb guide in the UK?

    2: If the guide is operating illegally, are any customers thereofre not covere by any insurance they may have? Is the guide also uninsured for liability?

    1. No. None at all. Good practice is to prove competence through either qualifications or experience.

    2. (a) Depends on the clients insurance (b) Depends on his insurance company, see (1.), in that most insurance companies do not require you to hold qualification.

    juan
    Member

    A couple of things from reading the blog.
    Trail addiction could train the guide fro free. Book the a Two year course at any sporting university (which are free in France) with a speciality in cycling.
    Or they could enter the exam as free-entrant(apparently it should be dead easy for them).
    Furthermore the guide will have to go through first aid class (funny how trail addiction fail to mention that) which are hardly useless.
    However if the owner is as professional as he pretend to be, I am very sure he will get this sorted.

    dannyh
    Member

    It’s what we all signed up for so France are going to have to suck it up.

    Yeah, but they won’t! If any single nation has made a speciality out of signing up to rules, then breaking them, then obfuscating and wriggling out of being held to account, then it’s the French. I have a sneaking admiration for this in some ways.

    The French attitude to the EU has always been one of “let’s get as much as we can out of this whilst giving back as little as possible”. Like what Britain is trying to do. The only difference is that the French have the good sense to sign up to things for appearance sake, then flout them. Britain seems to think that being up front in these matters is a good idea. Unfortunately the rest of non-German Europe are laughing behind their hands and furiously tossing us off!

    Just my opinion, like. 😉

    stoffel
    Member

    Care to point out where he’s broken the law & which one?

    Well, I imagine it’s the one which requres hm to hold the correct qualification in order to work as a guide, no?

    If you wish to prctice law in the UK, to you need to hold a qualification which allows you todo so, and as fair as I am awae, being qualified in law in another country does not qualify you to practice in the Uk, you have to go through the whole qualificatio process first. Which will cost you an awful lot of money.

    I’m not aware of the Uk being held to account for ‘preventing’ foreign qualified lawyers from practicing here. Which they are, unless they hold a UK qualification.

    Does the person in question here hold a Frenchqualification allowing him to work as a guide, as apparently is required under French law?

    This in an interestng case, but I think he has a weak argument if any at all. He’s been aware of the legal requirement and has ignored it.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    Oh dear Mikey V has shown up on The Telegraph thread….

    That’s my evening sorted out!

    Roter Stern
    Member

    @ stoffel. I think your argument is a little flawed. British law is only specific to Britain but if someone who has studied international law then they have every right to practice it in the UK and many do. MTB guiding is not specific to France.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    stoffel have you read this link? Pretty much explains the situation I think.

    As I understand it, the French think he’s broken French law but EU law supersedes it in this instance..

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    Its all very well the French qualification being said to be a year at Uni but it does feature a lot of stuff that is relevent to aBtech diploma in sports science/tourism/business studies etc that really aren’t relevant to the main issue of being guided safely on a mountain riding a bicycle.
    Strangely the Scottish qualification is apparently better regarded by the French.

    (Typed in stealth mode from a French campsite – sssh!)

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    stoffel – Member

    I’m not aware of the Uk being held to account for ‘preventing’ foreign qualified lawyers from practicing here. Which they are, unless they hold a UK qualification.

    That’s not a useful comparison- UK law is different to French law, so a qualified French lawyer won’t neccesarily have a clue about UK law. And vice versa of course. It’s not a transferrable qualification, regardless of equivalence.

    stoffel
    Member

    @ stoffel. I think your argument is a little flawed. British law is only specific to Britain but if someone who has studied international law then they have every right to practice it in the UK

    ‘International law’ isn’t generally actually binding within particular countries; more, it is merely a set of guidlines, a framework around a set of consensual legal agreements between different countires. Anyone can study ‘international law’; only those qualified to practise law in the UK can legally do so. I think you need to understand this a bit better.

    MTB guiding is not specific to France.

    Bu currently, there is no legal requirment to hold any qualifications to become a mtb guide in the UK, but there is in France, hence the need for anyone wishing to do so in France, to hold the necessaty qualifications. So, regardless of whatever ‘professional’ qualifications a person has in the UK, they aren’t qualified in France.

    stoffel have you read this link? Pretty much explains the situation I think.

    Well, there’s selctive quoting to suit Trail Addiction’s argument, but actualy, when looking at all the relevant text, I don’t personaly think it supports that. The way I see it is; you ae required under French law to hold a parcitular qualification in order to work as a guide. There is no equivalent UK qualification, therefore TA cannot reasonably argue that they hold an equivalent qualification. Ergo, TA have a weak or non-existant argument. This is my own personal view, ad I’ve yet to be convinced otherwise, although I’d like to see if there genuinely is a solid legal argument for TA.

    That’s not a useful comparison- UK law is different to French law, so a qualified French lawyer won’t neccesarily have a clue about UK law. And vice versa of course. It’s not a transferrable qualification, regardless of equivalence.

    Thanks. I think this helps explain things firther.

    rene59
    Member

    French mountains are different to UK mountains, so a qualified UK guide won’t neccesarily have a clue about French mountains. And vice versa of course. It’s not a transferrable qualification, regardless of equivalence.

    I think is what the French are trying to say?

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    rene59 – Member

    French mountains are different to UK mountains, so a qualified UK guide won’t neccesarily have a clue about French mountains.

    But it’s not a “mountain qualification” per se- the challenges that face a summer mtb guide in France are equivalent to those in Scotland or the UK. From that point of view, how is an alp different to a cairngorm?

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