As British Cycling, Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling move to strengthen mountain bike leadership in the UK the delivery of the MBLA awards will gradually switch over to the new UK Mountain Bike Leadership Awards between now and December 2015.
To clarify the future landscape, the UK Mountain Bike Leadership Awards are three tiered, with a brand new Level 1 award being added in at the start of the pathway. The Level 1 is ideal for Outdoor Centres or organisations looking to train leaders on routes where the direct technical or navigational know-how of a Level 2 or Trail Cycling Leader isn’t required. This qualification also involves a 'Centre Inspection’ and the award of 'Approved Centre' status and L1 Leaders can only operate out of an ‘Approved Centre'.
The Level 2 award has also been developed and will start to be rolled out in Scotland in the near future and is a close replacement for the Trail Cycle Leader. The Level 1 and Level 2 awards are already being run in England and Wales. The first full Level 3 course in the UK will run in Scotland during October, this will also act as a final pilot and will be used as an opportunity to orientate the first wave of Level 3 mountain bike tutors. The Level 3 is similar in scope to the current Mountain Bike Leader award (MBL).
The transition from one scheme to another has been considered with a view to create the minimal disruption to current practices. Active leaders who are using the current MBLA awards can continue to do so, there is no compulsion to transfer to the new awards and the existing awards will continue to be recognised. Any leaders who started the process of training under the existing MBLA scheme will be given at least one year to complete their awards with the last chance to be assessed for Trail Cycling Leader being 31 Dec 2015 and the last chance for Mountain Bike Leader being 31 December 2014.
The joint awards developed by British Cycling and Scottish Cycling, in partnership with Welsh Cycling, will become known as the UK Mountain Bike Leadership Awards. Existing MBLA tutors will be invited to transition into delivering the new awards, through a process which will be primarily based on qualifications and experience. The development group will also be putting in place a process for existing MBLA Leaders to transfer over to the new awards if they wish to do so.