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 - 5pm and Friday, 8:45am - 3:45pm.

1. 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 (available to download) 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 ‘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 is industry leading and provides an excellent introduction to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults. 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. A free link to this online safeguarding training course is included in the cost of registration and is made available upon request.
  • British Cycling Ride Membership - If you aren’t already a British Cycling member (at Ride, Race Silver or Race Gold level) 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 fee.

2. What are the First Aid requirements?

To become qualified as a Level 2 or Level 3 Mountain Bike Leader with British Cycling, you must hold a minimum of a two day Outdoor First Aid course (minimum 16 hours contact time). This must be in place by the time of your assessment or shortly after. Courses must contain content relevant to managing casualties in an outdoor environment.  These align to the requirements in Band 3 and 4 of the Institute for Outdoor Learning’s first aid guidance.

If you are not sure whether your first aid qualification is acceptable please contact British Cycling's education team on 0161 274 2063 and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

3. What level of membership do I require?

To become qualified as a Level 2 or Level 3 Mountain Bike Leader you need to be a member of British Cycling at either Ride, Race Silver or Race Gold level. Ride membership is included in the cost of registration for the awards. For existing members the cost of Ride Membership is deducted from the registration fee.

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

No, the two awards fulfil different roles in mountain bike leadership, but many Level 1 leaders have used their experience to successfully prepare for the Level 2 Award.

5. Where can I lead rides with each award?

The remit for each award is stated on the following pages:

Outdoor Centre Accreditation and Level 1
Level 2
Level 3

6. Cost of training and assessment

The awards are delivered by licenced tutors, please contact individual providers for Level 2 course and assessment costs and Level 3 course and assessment costs.

7. How do I book onto a training course?

The awards are delivered by licenced tutors, please contact individual providers for Level 2 course and assessment dates and Level 3 course and assessment dates.

8. I hold a Trail Cycle Leader and/or Mountain Bike Leader award from the Scottish MBLA. How do these awards relate to the British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership awards?

As of 1 January 2016, Scottish MBLA Trail Cycle Leader and Mountain Bike Leader courses are no longer being offered by licenced tutors. Existing TCL and MBL qualifications are still recognised in the outdoor world as valid and highly-regarded qualifications. Qualified TCLs and MBLs will still be able to access the insurance through holding British Cycling membership at Ride, Race Silver or Race Gold level.

You may already be insured by your current employer but should you wish to be insured by British Cycling you will need to do the following:-

  • Hold a current British Cycling membership at Ride, Race Silver or Race Gold level. The Bronze and Fan membership packages do not include insurance cover. You do not necessarily need to have Race Silver or Race Gold memberships unless you wish to access their additional membership benefits.
  • Log your TCL or MBL leadership qualification(s) with British Cycling so that they are held on your member profile and will show on your membership card.
  • Log with British Cycling a relevant current first aid qualification. This must be an outdoor first aid qualification (minimum two days) or a full First Aid at Work qualification (minimum three days). Again, this will be held on your member profile but will NOT show on your membership card.
  • Log evidence with British Cycling of having undergone safeguarding and child protection training (a Disclosure or DBS check will not suffice as they are just background checks). Again, this will be held on your member profile but will not show on your membership card. If you have already completed safeguarding training and assessment, you should send a copy of your certificate with British Cycling. Alternatively, if you regularly work with young people, a letter from the organisation you work for verifying you competency in a safeguarding role also satisfies this requirement. If you need assistance undertaking a safeguarding course, British Cycling can assist by sending you a link to an online training package; please contact British Cycling for details.

You must fulfil all of the above points for your insurance to be valid.

To log details of your qualification onto an existing membership contact the following:

Please contact, attaching copies of evidence/certificates as above and including your membership number.

Finally, we would like to take the opportunity to recommend that even if you do not require the insurance cover provided by British Cycling, we would strongly encourage all of our leaders to become a member of the Governing Body. Not only will you benefit from the other great membership offers, you will also help give a stronger voice to Scottish, Welsh and British Cycling to help develop and promote mountain biking in all its forms across the UK.

As a TCL or MBL, you automatically qualify to undergo Level 3 training. This is an excellent way to undergo high quality CPD elevating your mountain bike leadership to the next level.

9. What is the maximum gap I am allowed between training and assessment at Level 2 and Level 3?

We recommend a maximum of 18 months between training and assessment courses before being required to undergo the relevant training course again. This is because we constantly update course content in response to industry best practice, and to counteract natural erosion of skills over time. This gap can be tailored to individual circumstance, in the first instance please contact your training course tutor for a discussion.

10. Is there any support for paying for training and assessment course costs?

For exceptional learners, limited support with costs are available. Please contact British Cycling to discuss your particular circumstances. The two National Mountain Centres, Plas-y-Brenin and Glenmore Lodge may be able to assist with course fees for exceptional learners; please contact them directly for a discussion.

11. How is the Level 2 Award assessed?

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.

12. I’m a member of HM Forces, are there any other routes to qualifying as a Level 2 MTB Leader?

There are a number of additional options for gaining the Level 2 MTB Leadership award for members of HM Forces. See our leadership guidelines page for more information.

Contact us


Tel: 0161 274 2063