Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership Award

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The Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership Award enables experienced mountain bikers to safely guide others on off-road terrain, thus spreading the bug that we all know, is impossible to shake.

Course overview

The Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership Award is the entry point for most aspirant mountain bike leaders, enabling qualified leaders to use their experience to safely guide others on off-road terrain. The award is ideal for anyone with experience in mountain biking, who is either working in the outdoor sector, volunteering at a club or simply has a personal interest in gaining additional skills. These skills can be used to go out on a mountain bike, be safe and have fun.

Following registration for the award, learners book a two-day training course with a British Cycling accredited provider. A one-day practical assessment will follow after a consolidation period agreed with your tutor. This allows sufficient time for you to hone all those new skills and knowledge you have obtained during training.

Course content

The course covers a wide variety of topics including:

  • planning and delivery of appropriate rides or your group
  • leading techniques for effective group management
  • map reading and navigation for a flowing journey
  • management of accidents and emergency situations
  • equipment set-up and trailside repairs
  • core mountain bike techniques.

Dates and venues



To attend the training you will need to:

  • Be 18 years old or over.
  • Have mountain biking experience in a variety of terrain and weather conditions.
  • Be competent in the techniques and skills required to safely negotiate the typical trail features encountered in the Level 2 environment. As a general guide this is comparable to red-graded purpose-built trails.
  • Hold a current two-day outdoor First Aid certificate (this can be undertaken at a later date, but ideally is submitted shortly after assessment). It is suggested that the course include 16 hours of contact time. For further details on context and outdoor industry best practice guidelines please see the requirements under band 3 within the Insitute of Outdoor Learning first aid statement.

  • You will need to provide your tutor with a logbook of evidence of your recent rides in appropriate terrain (we recommend a minimum of 15 quality rides in the 12 months prior to assessment, four of which should be 4 hours or more in duration). You can use the British Cycling MTB Leadership logbook or alternatively discuss alternative methods for logging the information required with your tutor. The logbook should provide evidence not only of the location, duration and route of the rides but also demonstrate to the tutor your ability to self-reflect on each ride, for example, how you performed, how the conditions impacted the experience, if you had been leading a group what might you have had to consider? We strongly encourage learners to conduct as much riding and navigation as possible outside of a trail centre environment in preparation for training and assessment.

What do we consider to be a quality ride in preparation for training and assessment as a Mountain Bike Leader?

  • Involvement in planning and leadership.
  • Adverse conditions may be encountered and map based navigation skills required.
  • Experience of terrain and weather comparable to UK conditions.
  • Attention is paid to safety, increasing knowledge and practising skills.
  • The ride will include sections of technical difficulty which reflect the Level 2 or 3* environment  (*as appropriate).
  • Journeys are likely to contain a proportion of ascent and descent throughout.

Learners must have an appropriate level of physical fitness for a day’s riding in the level 2 leading environment. This environment is as follows:

  • is rideable at walking speed
  • is rollable on descents so that wheels are not required to leave the ground
  • has an obvious line choice
  • is 90% rideable by the entire group
  • is no more than half an hour’s walk from where an ambulance can get to
  • the maximum leader-to-rider ratio should not exceed 1:8
  • is during daylight in normal summer and intermediate seasonal conditions.


Assessment for the Level 2 Award consists of a written assignment and a formal practical assessment.


The assignment is designed to let you demonstrate your competence in some of the knowledge and application requirements of the award.  It will be sent to you by the licenced provider once you have booked on a specific assessment date.  It is usually issued in a written format but we will endeavour to support different formats to support specific learning needs. You will be asked to complete the assignment and return it to the tutor for marking before attending the assessment.  Meeting or exceeding a minimum assignment score is one of the requirements for a pass.


The practical assessment consists of a full day mountain bike journey (5-6 hours, 40km or more is possible depending on conditions on the day) shared with other candidates and the tutor. During the ride each candidate will be assigned to lead sections totalling around 10km. The assessment route is pre planned by the tutor and is designed to enable you to demonstrate your competence at the limits of the remit of a Level 2 Mountain Bike Leader. You will be expected to fulfil all the assessment criteria of the award including tracking the progress of the group at all times whether leading at that moment or not and could be asked to respond to questions or perform the role of a leader at any time.

You will be expected to provide a flowing journey whilst demonstrating good leadership and navigational skills, using a map as your primary navigation tool. Your group management, leadership and trailside repairs skills will be verified out on the trail by the tutor using a combination of real situations and simulation based questioning and practical sessions.

The assessment is designed to put learners under a proportionate level of pressure that reflects the role of a Level 2 Mountain Bike Leader. The tutor will facilitate your assessment throughout the day to also encourage an environment of continuous learning. They will support all learners to understand where their personal skill set meets the qualification requirements including explaining where and why, if it is not yet at the required standard. All learners will be provided with personal action plans for future development after the assessment.

Referral and Reassessment

It is the intention that you are provided with enough information and guidance through training and prior to assessment that you are able to be successful. There are however occasions where this may not be the case and referral can occur. Depending on which criteria have not yet been met a variety of actions can fulfil a future reassessment, for example written evidence, a one to one demonstration with a tutor or attendance at a new assessment opportunity. You are encouraged to discuss the assessment with the tutor you book with and with British Cycling prior to attendance to ensure that you are ready for the day.

Registration with British Cycling’s Mountain Bike Leadership Programme

Prior to booking onto a training course you need to pay a one-off cost to register with British Cycling’s MTB Leadership Programme. If you are not already a British cycling member, you will also need to purchase Ride membership which will automatically be added to your MTB Leadership Programme registration fee.

You will then be provided with the training handbook, handouts resource, aide-memoire pack and an email link for complimentry access to an online safeguarding course.

If you do not regularly work with young people or do not have evidence of completing safeguarding training, you will need to complete online training and a short online assessment. 

If you have already completed safeguarding training and assessment, you should send a copy of your certificate to mtbleadership@britishcycling.org.uk. Alternatively, if you regularly work with young people, a letter from the organisation you work for verifying your competency in a safeguarding role also satisfies this requirement.

NB. By registering with the MTB Leadership Programme, you are confirming that you are happy for the relevant information to be shared where necessary for the delivery of the course, for example with course tutors, the quality assurance team and/or EduCare (or other safeguarding provider).

Cost of qualification

The awards are delivered by licenced tutors, please contact individual providers for course and assessment costs.

How do I book?

The awards are delivered by licenced tutors, please contact individual providers for course and assessment dates.


Contact British Cycling regarding the British Mountain Bike Leadership Awards

If you feel you might need extra support to undertake a training course or assessment because of a physical or learning disability, please contact the Mountain Bike Leadership Team ahead of booking. We can then  discuss any reasonable adjustments that would support you to become a Mountain Bike Leader.

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