As part of a review of ML and WGL Awards the Mountain Leader Training Boards have launched a survey of award holders (and aspiring holders). Are the awards still fit for purpose, or are changes needed? Have your say.
Back in 1964 the MLTB was set up to provide a basic qualification in mountain leadership by the CCPR and the BMC. Almost simultaneously, north of the border, the Scottish MLTB was created for the same purpose. Both organisations ran a qualification called the 'Mountainwalking Leader Training Scheme'.
Since those early days over 18,000 people have completed their summer ML assessment up and down the UK (each home nation has its own training board now) and the registrations from candidates keep rolling in – 2,400 in 2011 alone. The syllabus too has evolved; there is much more emphasis on the 'softer skills' of leadership and knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, the mountain and hill environment for example.
In the late 90's it was recognised that the ML might not be a perfect 'fit' with people who might only want to work in areas such as Dartmoor, the Pennines or the Dark Peak. So in 2001 the Walking Group Leader Award was born. Essentially those elements of the ML syllabus that were relevant were adapted to the appropriate environment and elements such as wild country expeditioning and steep ground ropework were stripped out. In the ten years since the launch of the WGL around 2,500 people have attended assessment for the WGL.
Now the Mountain Training Boards are engaging in a review of the awards: are they still 'fit for purpose'; are there changes that need to be made; can the two awards be incorporated into a single framework for 'walking leaders'? After considerable discussion by members of the training boards and their staff it's time to ask the wider world of mountaineering and hillwalking what it thinks. We have launched a survey to gauge the opinion of these awards from the people who hold them (or might aspire to hold them) and its results will be fed into the review which will report by the end of the year.
The survey can be found here. Your feedback is appreciated.