British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership Award - FAQs

British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership Award - FAQs

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We do our best to be available to answer your Leadership related queries. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions which will be regularly updated.

If you can't find the answer you need, feel free to give us a call or alternatively send an email to the address below. Normal office hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:45am - 5:00pm and Friday, 8:45am - 3:45pm.

1. Why does British Cycling seem to have two different options for becoming trained in MTB Leadership (MBLA awards and the MTB Leadership programme)

The MBLA (TCL, MBL and MBLA Modules) awards aren’t British Cycling qualifications as the organisation was only involved in the initial development phase; however British Cycling has continued to recognise MBLA awards in partnership with Scottish Cycling.

The Scottish Cycling Mountain Bike Leader Award and the British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership scheme have now been merged to create a single suite of qualifications which are named the UK Mountain Bike Leadership Award.

A strategic group with representation from each of the Home Countries oversees a technical working group who continually develops the content of the Mountain Bike Leadership Awards in line with the latest industry standards. British Cycling will continue to recognise the Scottish Mountain Bike Leader Awards.

2. What does the creation of a single suite of MTB Leadership Awards between Scottish Cycling and British Cycling mean for my existing qualification? Will it be transferred to the new scheme?

As the two schemes differ in certain key areas they are not directly transferable. Holders of SMBLA awards will continue to be insured where they hold British Cycling membership, have a valid First Aid certificate and have proven safeguarding competence.  Leaders holding the TCL award should register with the UK Mountain Bike Leadership Award if they plan to undertake Level 3 training.

3. What do I get for my registration fee?

Your registration fee covers the costs for all your training resources:

  • The British Cycling Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership handbook - The official training manual and a quality resource written by experts in the field of Mountain Biking and the Outdoor Industry covering all you need to know as a Level 2 MTB Leader from pre-ride preparation, route planning, equipment, techniques and much more.
  • Mountain Bike Logbook - The logbook forms an important part of your leadership training and assessment. It has been produced by British Cycling to enable you to keep a record of your mountain bike rides as a form of evidence that you can cope with the physical demands and have the necessary mountain bike experience to lead groups in a variety of terrain.
  • Access to the online learning programme ‘NSPCC Child Protection Awareness in Sport and Active Leisure’ (by request to To benefit from British Cycling’s professional indemnity insurance you need to have undergone training in safeguarding and protecting children as part of your qualification and to make it easier for you, the relevant training is incorporated into the course. The programme we have chosen to use has been written by the NSPCC and provides an excellent introduction to safeguarding children and young people. It is also an excellent refresher if you have undergone training previously and ensures that everyone receives the same clear, consistent messages regardless of their working arrangements or locations.
  • British Cycling Ride Membership -If you aren’t already a British Cycling member you will also receive Ride Membership (valid for one year), which will provide you with worldwide professional indemnity insurance of up to £5m (except USA and Canada) and other useful benefits. For existing members the cost of Ride Membership is deducted from the registration cost.

4. I did my Trail Cycle Leader/ Mountain Bike Leader training with the MBLA scheme. What do I need to do to get my qualifications added to my British Cycling license and benefit from British Cycling’s professional indemnity insurance?

If you have gained your Trail Cycle Leader/ Mountain Bike Leader qualification with the MBLA scheme and want to be insured for your leadership activities you will need to get them added to your British Cycling license. To do this you need to be a member of British Cycling/ Scottish Cycling (at least at Ride Level) and provide us with the following:

  • A copy of your TCL/ MBL certificate
  • A valid copy of your Outdoor First Aid Certificate or equivalent (Courses must be a minimum of 12 hrs and contain content relevant to managing casualties in an outdoor environment)
  • Evidence of having undergone an approved training course in Child Protection (a CRB disclosure form will not suffice)

Please send a copy of the above items to and we will be happy to add your qualification and issue a new license. Alternatively you can send a hard copy to the following address:

British Cycling
Recreation Education Department
Stuart Street
M11 4DQ

5. What are the First Aid requirements?

To become qualified as a Level 2 Mountain Bike Leader with British Cycling, you must have a current two-day Outdoor First Aid Certificate or equivalent issued by an HSE registered provider. The first aid qualification can be obtained after the training course has taken place, but must be completed before assessment. Courses must contain content relevant to managing casualties in an outdoor environment.

If you are not sure whether your first aid qualification is acceptable please contact the Recreation Education Team on 0161 274 2063 and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

6. What level of membership do I require?

To become qualified as a Level 2 Mountain Bike Leader you need to be a member of British Cycling at either Ride, Race Silver of Gold level.

7. Do I need to be qualified at Level 1 before booking onto a Level 2 course?

If you are booking onto a MTB Leadership Award as an individual, then the Level 2 Award is the one to go for. The Level 1 Award is a site-specific award designed for organisations such as Outdoor Education Centres enabling them to up-skill their staff to lead on set routes in one specific area, meaning they do not require a high level of route planning and navigational skills.  

The Level 3 award is currently being developed and it is moving towards the end of the development phase with a view to being released later in 2013.

8. Where can I lead rides upon successful completion of the Level 2 Award?

The Level 2 Award will qualify you to lead in non‐adventurous terrain in strictly summer and intermediate seasonal conditions (AALA) and in terrain of low to moderate technical difficulty (as a general guide this is comparable to red graded purpose built trails). There is no height remit for the award; however you must ensure you are always no more than 30 minutes walk from where an ambulance can get to.

We are currently developing the Level 3 Award which offers an extended remit. The award will allow leaders to enter remote terrain including trails of severe technical difficulty.

Contact us

Email Mountain Bike Leadership

Tel: 0161 274 2063