Mountain Bike Leader Qualifications

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  • Mountain Bike Leader Qualifications
  • Mintman

    I did MIAS L2 which combined with the 16hour first aid qualification means I can take my colleagues out (military regulations).

    I really enjoyed the course, my own skills developed and the assessment seemed fair and I was happy I was well prepared for it.

    I don’t know how that fits/compares with the other options but it achieves everything I needed and was fun as well!


    BC course is new, but a development of the SMBLA. I was in a similar position and considered them all, eventually picking BC.

    I am glad I did, the course is up to date and the tutors have been excellent. Currently its only available in a few locations, but there are plans to roll it out further across the UK.

    BC Level 2 allows me to guide without height restrictions, which was very important to me.
    MIAS seems a much lower level of qualification until Level 3 – but seems like you need a ML for that?!


    I’ve been idly considering getting some sort of mountain bike leadership qualification, more for interest and personal satisfaction than a burning desire to become a professional guide, but I’m immediately confused as to what’s on offer. There seem to be awards from a variety of bodies, e.g. CTC, BC, MIAS and MBLA, all similar but slightly different.

    Does anybody know of a summary of what’s available from who, and does anybody have personal experience of getting one of the awards?

    All thoughts welcome, thanks.

    Premier Icon Trekster
    These are guys who along with BC have developed the new mtb qualification
    Probably worth a weekend in the Lakes to attend their course 💡

    It’s about time there was one, standardised/recognised qualification 💡

    There is however a huge difference between leading and coaching


    I’ve done the MBLA which seemed better than the rest (good fun whilst doing it too), then BC came along.
    I’m a little unsure as to if it’s any different or just a rehashed version of the MBLA.


    The CTC courses run at the Velo Store in Stone are very good. Lots of good reviews


    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I’m looking at dates and venues for the BC level 2, and getting the Outdoor First Aid Certificate which is a prerequisite.

    Premier Icon ononeorange

    Sorry – slight thread hijack – I am considering doing a course too. Who/what are BC?


    British Cycling


    i did the cyclewise course a few years ago…the course was good but be aware that you will be required to submit a logbook with a certain number of logged personal and group led rides for assessment
    i’ve also done the OTC mtb leader courses…theyre now part of CTC…this course was a few years prior to the cyclewise one…so the assessment criteria may have changed, but at the time you attended the course, did the assessment and that was it…you didnt even need to submit a logbook…
    whatever course you do you will be required to have a current first aid certificate…minimum 16 hours course..preferably an outdoor one too…
    also there may be restriction in place on what level of training you can do due to altitudes and other qualification that are needed also such as BELA and ML…

    Premier Icon alexpalacefan

    I’ve worked with CTC and BC leaders.

    In my view the BC qual. didn’t emphasise group management or teaching enough.

    The guys may have been fine in a blizzard at 1000m, but they lost the attention of the group and many of the kids weren’t taking on what they were saying.



    Getting my ducks in a row now…

    Register with BC MTB Leadership Programme (already BC member)
    Get training manual and log book
    Start filling in log book
    Do NSPCC Child Protection Awareness online course
    Do 2 day REC Outdoor First Aid course
    Submit log book
    Do 2 day MBLA training course
    Get provisional Level 2 Mountain Bike Leader license (assistant guide)
    Book assessment
    Do 1 day assessment (wonder what the failure rate is?)
    Get certificate and full MBLA license

    Phew! Not quite as simple as I thought, but fortunately I’m not in a hurry.
    Total cost £572, including food and accommodation on courses.

    Pretty much decided to do First Aid and MBLA courses at Plas y Brenin, which is nearest to me and has a good reputation (plus in lovely Gogland)

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