The Season Workers Guide: Outdoor Sports Qualifications

Mountain Bike

Mountain sports qualifications

The most commonly required awards for getting an outdoor job working in the hills and mountains of the UK are those listed below.

  • Single pitch climbing award
  • Walking group leader award
  • Summer mountain leader
  • Winter Mountain Leader

The MLTE (formerly MLTB) administrate the Summer Mountain Leader, the Walking Group Leader and the Single Pitch Awards. The system works regionally now so the Scottish Mountain Leader Training Board, Welsh Mountain Leader Training Board and the Northern Ireland Mountain Training Board look after their own affairs. These regional bodies are responsible for administering awards, checking on externally provided courses and assessment of award candidates. The MLTUK (Mountain Leader Training United Kingdom) oversees the whole thing and looks after UK outdoor sports courses and qualifications recognition abroad. The AALA licence companies to provide adventure activities to young people which is where the majority of outdoor jobs exist in Europe.

If you are a beginner this is a way off yet! But MLTUK is directly responsible for the Mountaineering Instructor Award (summer), Mountaineering Instructor Certificate and International Mountain Leader Awards. Apart from the four home nation boards, they also liase with the Association of British Mountain Guides (BMG) and with the mountaineering councils (BMC, MC of I and MC of S) to maintain quality and professionalism in our sport both here and abroad.

To participate in training under a regional board (MLTE, MLTNI, MLTS and MLTW) you need to first be a member of a club that is affiliated to the local regional MC (Mountaineering council). You can then contact your regional training board and get your log book (which is the basis of almost all outdoor qualifications). Your club will also be able to help simplify the process and help you on your way to a career in outdoor sports.

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