What's What - The BlueDome guide to outdoor qualifications

The Walking Group Leader Award

This award is for leaders of walking groups in non-mountainous hilly terrain, known variously as upland, moor, bog, hill, fell or down. Such areas are often subject to very harsh weather conditions and require an element of self-sufficiency. The scheme seeks to develop the skills necessary to lead walking groups in these areas.

Leaders seeking to take groups into mountain terrain should see the information on ML award, although the WGL award can be a valuable stepping stone for those wishing to progress to the ML scheme.

Before undertaking the WGL you should have a minimum of one year's hill walking experience and an interest in leading groups. In order to attend a training course you should have logged at least 20 day hill walks.

You must be 18 years of age and a member of a Mountaineering Council with at least 12 months experience of hill walking and an interest in leading groups. When you register you will receive your log book and scheme handbook in which to record your hill walking experience.

In order to attend a training course candidates must be registered and have logged a least 20 days hill walking. There will be a flexible structure to training course delivery based around a minimum of 30 hours contact time.

Exemption from WGL training
After registration for the WGL scheme, candidates who have substantial personal and leadership experience in hill walking areas, or believe they have sufficient experience and have attended equivalent training, may apply for exemption from training. This will apply to candidates who have completed their Mountain Leader Training and who wish to take their WGL assessment as a stepping stone to their ML assessment. Such ML candidates will need to register with the WGL scheme, but do not need to apply for exemption before attending for assessment.

This period will be different for each candidate depending on their personal hill walking and group management experience. At the end of your training course your Course Director will agree a personal action plan with you that will guide you through this phase of the scheme.

Assessment courses have at least 30 hours of contact time between candidates and assessors. Prior to attending an assessment candidates must have completed an absolute minimum of 40 hill walking days and hold a valid First Aid qualification. You must also have completed a WGL training course, or successfully gained exemption from training. Candidates who have completed their ML training may also take their WGL assessment as a stepping stone to their ML assessment. There is no exemption from assessment.

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