About Mountain Training

Mountain Training Vision

A diverse and active outdoor society, supported by inspirational leaders, instructors and coaches.

Mountain Training Mission

To inspire, enable and develop people in walking, climbing and mountaineering through the provision of nationally and internationally recognised skills training and leadership qualifications.

Mountain Training

Mountain Training is the collection 
of awarding bodies for skills courses and qualifications in walking, climbing and  mountaineering that operates across the UK  and the Republic Of Ireland.

Our Ethos

  • The safe enjoyment of walking, climbing and mountaineering. We disseminate guidance on good practice and provide training and qualifications for participants, instructors, leaders and coaches.
  • High quality training and assessment delivered by experienced and supportive practitioners.
  • Developing independent walkers, climbers and mountaineers who practice and encourage, sustainable and sympathetic use of the outdoors by all users.
  • Supporting equal access to our sport for people from all backgrounds. We also believe that all people have the potential to develop leadership and coaching skills if trained appropriately.
  • Good leadership is about more than decision making and technical skill; it is about supporting and developing individuals.
  • Inspiring people to enjoy walking, climbing and mountaineering with confidence and skill.
All of our nationally-recognised schemes are designed to educate and train people so that they can safely enjoy the climbing walls, crags, coast, hills and mountains of our beautiful country.

Our qualifications train and assess people to look after other people in these environments, whether that's leading a walk in the mountains, coaching in a climbing wall or teaching multi pitch rock climbing. People who hold our qualifications have been assessed at a nationally agreed standard and may be volunteers, youth workers, outdoor instructors or teachers.

Courses are run by approved providers who are scattered all around the UK and Ireland. When you book onto a course, they’re the ones who will train and assess you, teach you how to climb, navigate, lead etc.

On a day to day basis, Mountain Training is run by a small staff team based in North Wales, Aviemore, Manchester and Dublin. There are also quite a few volunteers who represent the interests of outdoor and educational organisations and help to steer Mountain Training at a strategic level. Without these volunteers, we’d find it a lot harder to do what we do.

Candidates registering for the following Mountain Training qualifications are required to be a member of a mountaineering council:

You have to be a member in order to register for these qualifications because the mountaineering councils work hard to protect the interests of walkers and climbers which then enables you to do your thing as a qualified leader.

The British Mountaineering Council, Mountaineering Scotland and Mountaineering Ireland are the representative bodies for hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland respectively. They lobby and advise government on a range of important issues such as access, risk and responsibility, developments affecting the mountain landscape and changes in legislation.

Mountain Training and the mountaineering councils work closely together in a number of areas concerned with mountaineering good practice for individuals, leaders and groups. On a broad level, Mountain Training administers formal training schemes and the mountaineering councils dispense advice and expertise in more informal areas of activity such as student clubs, mountaineering clubs and youth participation.

Access To The Hills, Crags and Mountains

Maintaining access to the wild places of Britain and Ireland is vital to hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers in order for them to pursue their interests. The mountaineering councils employ access and conservation staff alongside an extensive network of volunteers. These teams work closely with relevant authorities and land managers in negotiating, securing and maintaining access to our hills, mountains and crags. Those working in the outdoors directly benefit from this work.

Insurance For Candidates

Registration for a Mountain Training scheme does not include any insurance cover, but mountaineering council members receive third party liability cover in respect of claims for negligence incurred when undertaking hill walking, climbing, mountaineering and some related activities. This insurance covers candidates during Mountain Training courses and most importantly whilst gaining relevant experience during the consolidation period between training and assessment, when a candidate may be leading, instructing or coaching others. The insurance does not extend to candidates trading under a company name.

Equipment Advice And Inspection

High standards of safety are paramount in all aspects of work in the outdoors. The mountaineering councils examine gear failures and take an important role within the UIAA in setting standards for climbing and mountaineering equipment. The mountaineering councils also dispense advice and guidance, and produce a wide range of safety and technical material including posters, videos, training, reports, leaflets booklets, lectures and seminars.


Whatever you want to know about hill walking, climbing or mountaineering, the mountaineering councils can help. Their free publications and extensive website information may be used to enhance the delivery of a course. Extensive online databases on equipment, access, climbing walls, huts, clubs and much more provide essential information. The mountaineering councils take an overview of developments in hill walking, climbing and mountaineering, as it is vital that new people coming into the sport are made aware of ethics, good practice and the sensitive ecosystems in much of our uplands.

Working Together

The mountaineering councils have a democratic structure and work on behalf of all hill walkers, climbers and mountaineers. There are regular area meetings that every member can attend – details can be found on their websites and in their membership magazines.

As well as knowing what the mountaineering councils do for you, it’s just as important to know what you can do for the mountaineering councils and all who share our hills and crags. The mountaineering councils rely almost entirely on volunteers to suggest, guide and implement their important work - who better to be involved in our representative bodies than those who both work and play in the mountains?

Sitting in meetings is not everyone’s cup of tea, but there many other ways in which you can help, such as volunteering on the mountaineering council’s annual student safety seminars, and so passing on your knowledge to the next generation.

Your membership fee is vital to the continuation of our sport in its present form – most of us think that’s a small price to pay.

Mountain Training’s association is the membership organisation for all candidates of Mountain Training qualifications in walking, climbing and/or mountaineering. We are a community of confident and expert coaches, instructors and leaders. With a current membership of over 8,500, we want ALL Mountain Training candidates to join the association because it stands for excellence, community, currency and professionalism, and is recognised as such by the wider public.

We offer ongoing Continuing Personal/Professional Development opportunities to members through skills workshops and events, along with a mentoring programme and peer support through opportunities to meet and connect with other trainee and qualified members.

AMI is the representative body for professionally qualified Mountaineering Instructors in the UK and Ireland.
The Association of Mountaineering Instructors is committed to promoting good practice in all mountaineering instruction.
The British Mountain Guide is the national association that trains and assesses mountain guides in all forms of climbing, mountaineering and ski mountaineering and sets professional standards for services offered by British Mountain Guide members.

In Britain, BAIML represents over 400 members who either hold the full International Mountain Leader carnet or are working towards it, and the number continues to grow each year. It has its place alongside the other professional mountaineering associations and governing bodies in the UK, British Mountain Guides (BMG), Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI), the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), Mountain Training and others.

BAIML represents the UK at UIMLA, the Union of International Mountain Leader Associations, which has its current administrative headquarters are in France. BAIML works with its sister organisations in Andorra, Belgium, France, Poland, Spain and Switzerland as the international governing body, to develop and promote its worldwide standard for training and assessment, and common professional ethic for those choosing to lead individuals and groups in the mountains of the world.
The Mountain Training Association is a membership organisation for climbing, walking and mountain leaders in the UK and Ireland. Click Here 


Note To Employers

Mountain Training qualifications include the practical assessment of technical competence and the assessment of leadership skills - though not necessarily with a participant group similar to that which they will go on to lead/instruct/coach.

The competence and suitability of a Mountain Training qualification holder to work in any given role with any given participants are matters of judgement for both the employer and the individual themselves. Assessing and providing sufficient levels of site specific knowledge, first aid, safeguarding and currency of skills are ongoing responsibilities for both parties.

Mountain Training Also Provide

Advice on safety in the outdoor industry

A range of publications to support the awards, available from our shop

Opportunities for Continued Personal Development through the Mountain Training Association

MTBI Candidate Complaints & Appeals Process

MTBI Candidate Appeals Process

National Guidelines

The National Guidelines are useful for anyone with a responsibility for climbing, walking and mountaineering related activities. The document offers advice and guidance on the full spectrum of considerations including operational guidelines, the ‘four ways to competence’ and the responsibilities of the provider, leader and participant.

If you want to know more about competence, risk assessments and the principles of safety management, the National Guidelines is the place to look.
Good Practice Guidelines For Instructors & Leaders V6

AdventureSmart UK

Mountain Training Board Ireland, Mountain Training Cymru and Mountain Training England support Adventure Smart UK, a safety campaign which aims to reduce the number of avoidable incidents which the rescue and emergency services deal with each year by promoting safe adventures. Click the link to find out more about Adventure Smart.


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