In early 2012 British Cycling and Scottish Cycling agreed to work together to develop a new joint UK wide Mountain Bike Leadership Awards scheme. The overall progress of this development is overseen by a strategic group, with the technical detail being developed by a technical group of experienced leadership tutors.
This new scheme will consist of an Approved Centre accreditation and three levels of leadership award. Progress in the development of this scheme is outlined below.
This is a new product that does not match anything already in existence and has been specifically designed for outdoor centres, local authorities and schools who routinely lead groups on pre-determined, risk assessed routes which require no navigation skills and are of a low technical level. To date this product has been through several pilot deliveries and a number of tutors have been trained to deliver. There will be a recruitment process for further tutors to deliver in Scotland, adverts for these positions will appear soon.
Prior to delivery of a Level 1 course the centre will be required to undergo an inspection by a Centre Inspector to become an Approved Centre. Approved Centres will be awarded a plaque indicating that they are now a British Cycling/Scottish Cycling/Welsh Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership Approved Centre. There will be an announcement of an official launch of this product in the very near future. The Level 1 award will be administered on a centralised basis and thus centres wishing to attain this Approved Centre status and wishing to train their staff to the new Level 1 standard should contact British Cycling (England and Wales) or Scottish Cycling (Scotland) depending on their geographic location.
TCL and Level 2
With both of these awards having already been developed, in the market place and recognised as having a degree of equivalence they will run in parallel until the end of 2014. The last opportunity to receive an assessment for TCL will be the end of 2014.
It is important to note that all TCL qualifications will remain valid and recognised for the foreseeable future.
Between now and the end of 2014 the technical working group will conduct a mapping exercise to compare the Level 2 and the TCL and to also make sure that the Level 2 adequately covers the gap between Levels 1 and 3. Based on the outcome of this a merged Level 2 product will be available from the end of 2014.
As for Level 1 there will be a recruitment process to become a Level 2 tutor. The delivery models for Level 2 are likely to be both centralised deployment by British Cycling and Scottish Cycling plus delivery by recognised tutors from approved Delivery Centres. The designation of approved Delivery Centres is an attempt to improve the quality of delivery of these courses by ensuring that adequate facilities are available for high quality delivery. Delivery Centres will be approved as part of the Level 2 tutor appointment process. Similar to the existing MBLA model, in the Delivery Centre model the governing body will retain and/or recover a fee in respect of each course delivered and for each candidate on the course. These fees will be announced closer to the point of release, with the governing body looking for a clear pricing structure that can be offered to prospective clients.
Upon integration existing TCLs and Level 2 Mountain Bike Leaders will have the opportunity to progress to a new unified Level 3 award. Exact details of this process will be determined from the mapping process.
MBL and Level 3
The Level 3 award has undergone one pilot and the supporting material has reached its final proofing stage. The first paid course which will also act as the final pilot is due to be delivered in September 2013, after which the Level 3 award will be ready for rollout. The last opportunity to receive training for MBL will be the end of 2013. The last opportunity to receive an assessment for MBL will be the end of June 2014.
Again it is important to note that MBL qualifications will remain valid and recognised for the foreseeable future.
A small tutor workforce is already in place for Level 3 delivery, who were fully involved in the development of the award through the Technical working group. As initially only a small number of Level 3 courses will be delivered, there are currently no plans to recruit further Level 3 tutors in the short term. Assuming demand grows there will be a recruitment process to become a Level 3 tutor to meet that demand.
As for Level 2 there will be two delivery models, a centralised model and a Delivery Centre model utilising a small number of key, strategically placed centres.