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’ is included with your registration, should you not already have undertaken this. Evidence of safeguarding is required by all British Mountain Bike Leader to become qualified. See FAQ 3 below for more details on the safeguarding training requirements and how to access this course where required.
  • British Cycling Ride Membership - For existing members the cost of Ride Membership is deducted from the registration fee. If you aren’t already a British Cycling member (at Ride, Race Silver or Race Gold level) your Ride Membership (valid for one year) will be added to your registration. This will provide you with worldwide professional indemnity insurance and other useful benefits.

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 2060 and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

3. What are the safeguarding requirements?

Safeguarding training provides an understanding of how to best provide a service that protects children, young people and vulnerable adults. No matter who you lead or work with, to be awarded your Leader qualification and benefit from British Cycling’s professional indemnity insurance you need to have undergone training in safeguarding and provide a copy of your certificate to British Cycling.

Where you have evidence of safeguarding training within the last three years, please send a copy of your certificate to along with your membership number.

If you don’t have current safeguarding training (valid for 3 years like first aid), once you have registered on the MTB Leadership scheme you can request a complimentary course code to the online learning programme ‘Child Protection Awareness in Sport and Active Leisure’. To do this, please contact providing your membership number.

The online training provided 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.

Please note that safeguarding training is not the same as or excused by having a DBS or PVG check. Further, even where you don’t operate with children young people or vulnerable adults, the undertaking of this training remains a requirement as part of best practice.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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

7. What are the costs of courses?

The awards are delivered by approved Providers.  Please contact individual providers for Level 2 training and assessments courses and Level 3 training and assessment courses.

8. How do I book onto a training course?

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

Outdoor Centre Accreditation and Level 1
Level 2
Level 3

9. I hold a MBLA Award. How do these relate to the British 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.

10. 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.

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

In exceptional circumstances, limited support with costs may be available. Please see the British Cycling Coaching funding page for potential funding sources. In addition, the two National Outdoor Centres, Plas-y-Brenin and Glenmore Lodge may be able to assist with course fees for teachers and exceptional learners; please contact them directly for a discussion.

12. How is the Level 2 Award assessed?

Assessment for the Level 2 MTB Leadership Award comprises two parts: a theory assessment and a practical assessment

Theory Assessment

The theory assessment includes your logbook and a question paper. The paper 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 your assessment provider once you have booked on a specific assessment date. It is usually issued in an electronic format (editable pdf) and can be completed on PC, tablet or phone but we will endeavour to support different formats to support specific learning needs. You will be asked to complete the paper and return it to the tutor for marking before attending the assessment. The paper comprises questions falling into one of three types: Gateway questions which must be answered correctly; Scored questions for which you must answer 80% correctly and Reflective questions which are designed to prepare you for the practical assessment.

Practical Assessment

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 learners and the assessor. During the ride each learner will be assigned to lead sections totalling around 10km. The assessment route is pre planned by the assessor 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 assessor 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 assessor 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 for you to able 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.

13. 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.

14. Is there a pathway to gain a MTB Coaching Award when I am a MTB Leader?

We are currently working on a pathway for MTB Leaders to move through the coaching pathway in a way that accounts for their experience and transferrable skills developed in mountain biking and in managing and leading groups. Further information will be released in due course.

15. I hold another providers MTB Leader qualification. How can I achieve a British Mountain Bike Leadership Award?

We have a Direct Entry Pathway [link to new page] for mountain bike leaders who hold qualifications from other providers to achieve the Level 3 MTB Leadership Award. Where you are seeking a Level 2 MTB Leadership Award, in order to fulfil our educational philosophy of generating success, the pathway to Level 2 remains the same although your prior experience and existing skills should see you going through that route more rapidly.

16. Can I use an E-MTB on courses or as a MTB Leader?

It is possible to attend a Level 2 training or a Night Leader training course using an e-mtb.  As for any ride and led ride, there are certain protocols that should be addressed to ensure that the e-mtb fulfills current legal requirements.  You should speak with your Provider prior to attending your Training if you wish to use your e-mtb.

The Level 2 and Night Leader Assessments and Level 3 Training and Assessments can facilitate the use of e-mtb under specific circumstances primarily based around a learners’ particular needs, health or wellbeing.  The learner may be required to provide medical proof in certain circumstances.

For led rides, a MTB Leader can lead rides using an e-mtb, or for riders who are using e-mtb’s.  To fulfil the specific requirements for these rides, please see the Guidelines for Leading Rides document.

17. Can I complete the award with my specific learning need or physical disabilty?

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.

Contact British Cycling regarding the MTB Leadership Award

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