As British Cycling, Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling move to strengthen mountain bike leadership in the UK, the delivery of the awards will gradually switch over to the new UK Mountain Bike Leadership Scheme between now and December 2015. Please find below a further update on the transition to the UK-wide programme.
What is happening to the current MBLA scheme?
If you currently hold a MBLA qualification or are about to complete a MBLA qualification, then that qualification will remain valid and be accepted by the outdoor industry as an appropriate qualification for leading Mountain Bike rides. The MBLA scheme will cease to exist from 31 December 2015. If you are part way through your qualification, then you will need to have completed your assessment before this date.
What is replacing the MBLA scheme?
The new UK Mountain Bike Leadership Scheme is already in operation and there will be a gradual transition to the new scheme from the MBLA, with current MBLA tutors undergoing an orientation process to deliver the new scheme. For a period up to 31 December 2015, the two schemes will run in parallel, with gradually more opportunities to enrol onto the new scheme.
The new scheme consists of three levels. Level 1 is specifically designed for outdoor centres or similar site-specific venues. Level 2 is of a similar level to the Trail Cycle Leader award and Level 3 is of a similar level to the Mountain Bike Leader award. Whilst the new scheme has a degree of equivalence, there are significant improvements and differences, in particular at Level 3. For example, the new Level 3 is three days training and two days for assessment.
Delivery of the new scheme.
The new scheme will be delivered through two models. British Cycling, Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling will all be able to organise centrally delivered courses. A distributed model, similar to the MBLA, with up to 50 tutors throughout the UK. For details of courses in your area, please visit the relevant section on your home country website. Level 2 courses are already available from two providers (Cyclewise in Cumbria and Plas y Brenin in North Wales) with countrywide delivery of all the new courses starting in the first half of 2014.
Orientation of MBLA Tutors.
Current MBLA tutors will be invited to join an orientation process as outlined below: