Mountain Leader assessment course
Mountain Training

Mountain Leader assessment course

“To inspire, enable and develop people in walking, climbing and mountaineering through the provision of nationally and internationally recognised skills training and leadership qualifications.”

Climb365 has been a registered provider of Mountain Training courses since 2006.

We provide the Mountain LeaderRock Climbing Instructor and the recently introduced Rock Climbing Development Instructor training and assessment courses.

In addition, Stuart works as one of a small team of regional moderators, quality-assuring and providing advice and support to other providers of Mountain Training courses.

Whilst moderating, Stuart meets a vast number of experienced providers and course directors, sharing up-to-date information and best practice.  Our courses reflect this level of experience, being rich in content, current best practice and are professionally delivered.

Thanks so much for last week. I enjoyed it so much, learnt loads and have once again been inspired by the mountains. Cheers for making it as relaxed as possible for an assessment! It makes a massive difference and people perform so much better when they feel comfortable. You certainly have a gift of making people feel at ease and helping people get the most from every opportunity. I will certainly recommend Climb365 to anyone and everyone 😊 Please pass on my thanks to Bob and Brian who were both fantastic instructors and made the experience really positive. And of course a big thanks to Fly for keeping us entertained and showing us the way! I look forward to using the qualification and I hope that I cross paths with climb 365 in the future. Thanks again Best wishes Sarah


Hi Stu,
I wanted to say a very big and hearty “Thanks” to you and the team for both the training and the assessment .. and for getting me qualified.

Very pleased I did the whole thing with your organisation!!!! Please pass on to the team and in particular to Bryan!

I undertook ML Training and Assessment last summer and autumn with Stu at Climb365, the whole experience was highly educational, professional and more importantly, enjoyable! Stu has a wealth of knowledge and experience far beyond the reaches of the general scope and remit of an ML. This adds great depth and interest to the courses he runs.

I have no doubt if you were booking Climb365 for an activity or experience, that Stu would apply the same level of high quality guiding and instruction to your chosen activity.


The Mountain Leader scheme is designed for people who want to lead groups in the mountains, hills and moorlands of the UK and Ireland. If you love being out in the mountains and want to share your enthusiasm with others, become a Mountain Leader and you’ll never look back.

Candidate requirements

Before you book onto a Mountain Leader assessment, make sure you have done the following:

Have attended a Mountain Leader training course (or have been granted an exemption)
Be familiar with the syllabus.
Have completed and logged a minimum of 40 Quality Mountain Days in at least three different upland areas.
Eight nights camping, four of which must be wild camping. Please see the scheme handbook for a wild camping definition.
Hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 16 hours and relevant to the work of a Mountain Leader.

What is a Quality Mountain Day (QMD)?

For the purpose of the Mountain Leader scheme, ‘mountainous country’ may be defined as wild country which may contain unavoidable steep and rocky ground where walkers are dependent upon themselves for immediate help. In the United Kingdom and Ireland mountainous country includes:
• Snowdonia • Brecon Beacons • Lake District • Mountains of Mourne • Scottish Highlands • Galloway Hills • Cork & Kerry Mountains • Galway & Mayo Mountains • Donegal Mountains • Dublin & Wicklow Mountains.

Helpful Mountain Leader links

Mountain Leader frequently asked questions

Mountain Leader handbook

Skills checklist

Potential outcomes

Following the assessment, the course director will complete a course report on CMS which will record one of three possible results:

Pass: awarded where the candidate has demonstrated appropriate knowledge and application of the course syllabus and has shown the necessary experience and attributes of mountain leadership.

Defer: awarded where the candidate has generally performed well and has shown the necessary experience and attributes, but where complete proficiency has not been attained in certain aspects of the syllabus or where a lack of experience has been identified.

Fail: awarded where the candidate’s performance has been generally weak, or the necessary experience and attributes have not been shown. A complete assessment course will need to be subsequently attended.

Support for people with additional needs

Mountain Training is committed to ensuring that everyone has equal opportunity to attend our courses.

Leadership qualifications are equally open to all who can demonstrate their competency outlined in the scheme syllabus.

Please follow this link to read more info:

Mountain Leader assessment course

Why do your Mountain Leader assessment course with Climb365

We base our courses in the heart of the Lake District fells and aim to spend as much time as possible on the mountains rather than in a classroom.
We see the assessment process as a continuous one where there is scope for learning and readjustment of ideas while being assessed.

We aim to give you as many opportunities as possible to showcase your skills and believe strongly in leaving space within the assessment process to show improvement in skill level. We hope that you will leave the assessment having improved your mountain leadership skills and having learnt and built upon your skills.

All our staff are highly qualified (Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor or Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor) and have many years’ experience in Mountain Leader courses as well as working with groups of young people in the outdoors.

The course will cover the syllabus of the Mountain Leader scheme and is Mountain Training recognised and approved.

We run our Mountain Leader assessment course with a 3-day, a 2-night expedition.

There will be practical, discussion-based or lecture sessions in the evenings and we shall review the home paper which you will have completed before attending the course.

The courses will start at 9.00 a.m on the first day and finish at tea time (around 4 pm) on the last day.

We run our courses non-residential. We find this way we can meet candidates at the venues and get onto the hill with a minimum of fuss.

Mountain Leader assessment programme

Day 1

Meet at 9.00 am home paper and first-aid certificate.
Assessment of basic navigation and group leadership skills.
Evening: a review of the home paper.

Day 2

Security on steep ground.
Assessment of route choice over steep ground, party management, emergency rope use techniques and group leadership skills.
Emergency first aid scenarios.

Day 3

3-day 2-night expedition using 1:25000, 1:50000 and sometimes 1:40000 maps.
Day and night navigation.
We aim to assess: use of compass and bearings, timing and pacing to estimate distance covered, contour interpretation, navigation techniques, poor/night visibility navigation, camp craft, first aid emergency scenarios, group leadership, steep ground route choice and party management.

Day 4

Expedition continued.
Day and night navigation covering all or some of the aspects above.

Day 5

We aim to be back off the mountains by lunchtime.
Individual debriefs and the final result.


We hope to be finished by 3 pm at the end of the course.


Mon 25th to Fri 29th March

Mon 22nd to Fri 26th July

Mon 12th to Fri 16th Aug

Mon 9th to Fri 13th Sept

Mon 14th to Fri 18th Oct

Mon 25th to Fri 29th Nov

If you have a group of 4 people we can put on an assessment anytime for you, just get in touch.


The total course price is £430 for the 5-day course

Climb365 will cover the cost of your Mountain Training course completion fee. However, if you receive a “First Aid defer” due to not having a current First Aid Certificate at the time of attending the Mountain Leader assessment course we will charge a £25 fee when you subsequently complete your first aid course and wish to have your “defer” amended to “pass”.

Course notes

Please click on the links below:

Course information:

Mountain Leader assessment course notes

Mountain Leader assessment meeting location

Please work through the home paper and bring it completed to the beginning of the course:
Assessment home paper

Mountain Leader Candidate Handbook