What's What - The BlueDome guide to outdoor qualifications

Mountain Biking

Surprisingly there is no single overall governing body for cycling activities in the UK. Or perhaps its not such a surprise! As with many aspects of outdoor activities there always seems to be room for one more committee or association.

A detailed list of cycling related organisations can be found here - UK Cycling Contacts - but for the purposes of this section we are looking at the Mountain Bike Leaders award, or rather one of the best and most accepted versions, The National Mountain Bike Leader Award provided by OTC.

The courses is one of many that you will find offered around the country. Some are recognised by employers as a worthwhile qualification while others have no value. Check before you start spending your money on useless courses!

As with all things to do with earning a living in the outdoors there are related qualifications that allow your clients to judge your basic level of competance. Mountain Biking and Cycling are now covered by a variety of different qualifications for leaders - Here is an overview of the NMBL courses for Level 2 Leaders.

The courses is one of many that you will find offered around the country. Some are recognised by employers as a worthwhile qualification while others have no value. Check before you start spending your money on useless courses!

Do you want to take groups on real mountain bike rides?
Then you need to be a LEVEL 2 NATIONAL MOUNTAIN BIKE LEADER. OTC, the company whose course details we have published here have an outstanding reputation in this field,

* Develop new skills and enhance your existing ones during training
* Prove your competency with the U.K.'s nationally recognised qualification.
* Utilise the best training available from people in the field.
* Gain the most widely recognised qualification in the UK.
How will it benefit me?
The Level 2 Leader Award provides the opportunity for leaders to take groups into true mountain biking terrain: technical and non-technical riding over the vast majority of the U.K. and Ireland. You will be trained and developed by enthusiastic and experienced instructors who work from your existing ability, in a location providing superb mountain biking combined with great venue facilities.  Once qualified, you are recognised throughout the U.K. and Ireland as having achieved competence at a high level of mountain bike leadership.

The National Mountain Bike Leader Awards are the UK's most widely recognised vocational qualifications within mountain biking.  The British Cycling Federation, the National Governing Body for mountain biking in the U.K, has endorsed the scheme. 
It is also approved by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority, and Local Authority Outdoor Education Advisors as being the most suitable set of qualifications for mountain bike leading in the U.K. To take groups mountain biking, there is no better training or qualification!
Qualification Information.
The Level 2 training course for the National Mountain Bike Leader Award Scheme is
specifically designed to provide the information and help develop the experience required to lead groups in Level 2 terrain, and be subsequently assessed as a Level 2 Leader.

The Level 2 Award enables leaders to prove their competence in leading groups in
Level 2 terrain. Candidates may go on to a Level 1 assessment after this course if it is more appropriate for their needs.

Level 2 Terrain
Level 2 terrain covers the riding for the vast majority of the U.K. and Ireland. 
It includes technical (Level 2) and non-technical (Level 1) riding in areas less
than 600m high or 2.5km from a telephone.
Course content includes:
* Ride preparation
* Equipment
* Codes of conduct, access and conservation
* General weather
* Maintenance practical
Riding skill
* Personal Proficiency Test
* Development and instruction of group members riding skill

Hazards and emergencies
* Safety in Level 2 terrain
* Emergency procedures in Level 2 terrain
* Dealing with emergency practicalsLeading
* The role of a leader
* Examples of leading techniques in Level 2 terrain
* Leading practical application

* Theory
* Practical application in Level 2 terrain
* Mountain bike navigation using map, speedometer and compass

Moving on from Training
* Building experience
* Candidate support network
* The Level 1 assessment
* The Level 2 assessment
* Beyond Level 2

2 Day course - Course costs as of 21/5/2004
Level 2 course including training, course file full candidate support.
Residential      £185
Self-catering:  £135

Candidate Requirements
The Level 2 Leader Award is designed for those leading groups into technical as well as non-technical mountain biking terrain.  You are suited to the Level 2 training course, rather than the Level 1, if you are able to:
* Ride a distance of 20km in three hours in hilly Level 2 terrain (single track, rocky track, roots etc.)?
* Lift your front wheel sufficiently to ride up a kerb or over a brick sized obstacle?
* Stop quickly, without skidding, off road?

Where candidates have some experience of mountain biking, leading or other associated skills, you may find them useful during the course, but they are not essential.  Courses are organised around the needs of all the candidates attending, and OTC intends to meet your needs within the framework of the Level 2 Leader Award.

For more information about NMBL courses and the provision of training for leaders please visit the OTC web site listed below.

PO Box 1506
S6 2JZ
Tel:  0870 443 0246
Fax: 0870 443 0246

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