Getting started
Registration for the Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor qualification is an application process and you need to meet the following prerequisites:
  • You must hold the Mountain Leader qualification
  • You must have gained 20 quality mountain days as a leader since becoming a Mountain Leader, and logged them in DLOG
  • Have substantial climbing experience and provide evidence of 30 named multi-pitch rock climbs in at least three main climbing areas of the UK and Ireland. These must be climbs which you have completed leading at least the crux pitch, which must be VS 4c standard or above. These routes should illustrate your breadth of climbing experience and must be logged in DLOG. See below for more information on what's expected.
  • You must have led 10 sport climbs at or above French grade 6a and logged them in DLOG
  • There should also be a reference in the Referee tab of your DLOG, in support of your registration application
As with all Mountain Training qualifications, these are the minimum requirements. As a general indication, the logged experience should be a representative sample rather than a candidate’s total experience. Candidates who have only the bare minimum of experience will find the training and assessment less worthwhile than candidates who have a broader and more extensive mountaineering background.

Rock climbing experience at registration

The Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor scheme is UK and Ireland orientated and the experience recorded should reflect this. While experience gained trekking or climbing in the High Atlas Mountains, for example, is undoubtedly valuable, it is not necessarily the most appropriate experience for the scheme. The Board is looking for both depth and breadth of experience since candidates who have only the minimum experience are unlikely to benefit fully from either the training or assessment course.
  • In general terms, successful applicants will have climbed at least 100 multi-pitch routes.
  • Candidates should bear in mind that the 30 routes must be multi-pitch (described as such in the guidebook and climbed as such) and must be at least VS 4c.
  • As a general rule, at least two-thirds of the routes should fall into the mountain/major sea cliff category. Moss Ghyll Grooves, Dream of White Horses and The Clean Sweep are examples of the type of route expected rather than short, contrived climbs that may be more technically difficult, for example, Merlin Direct at Tremadog.
  • There should be evidence of recent climbing experience.

If you can meet all of the above requirements, here's what to do next:
  • Log in to our Candidate Management System
  • Register for the Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor scheme (this costs £95)
  • Notify Mountain Training (via the 'Send to Mountain Training' button on the 'Share' tab in DLOG) that your DLOG is ready to be reviewed and there is a reference in your DLOG.
Please note it can take up to 30 days for your registration to be reviewed.

You will be notified by email by Mountain Training with the result of your application. Applications with less than the minimum experience cannot be approved.

The registration fee is non-refundable. However, if your application is not successful, you will receive feedback on how best to fulfil the experience requirements and your registration application will be held open for six months, during which you can submit an updated record at no extra cost.

Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor candidate handbook

Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor Candidate Handbook

Do you have additional needs?

Do you have a physical or mental impairment or disability which may require a provider to make reasonable adjustments so that you can take part in a training or assessment course? Find out more.

Not quite right?

If this doesn't sound like the right qualification for you, consider the following: You could also read through our 'Which scheme is right for me?' page.
Training course bookings must not be made until your Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor registration application has been approved by Mountain Training.

There are three providers of Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor training: Glenmore Lodge, Plas y Brenin and Tollymore. Courses are delivered in a continuous nine-day block. At the end of the training course feedback and advice on consolidation will be given individually. In order to assist this process candidates must present a completed logbook at the start of the course. The training course includes knowledge and skills not assessed on the final course. For this reason there is no exemption from training.

How to get the most out of your MCI training

Find a course

Use the Skills Checklist

This document can be used during or shortly after your training course to help you identify areas of the syllabus that may require attention.

The Syllabus

Mountaineering and Climbing Instructors should be competent in the following key areas.
  • Personal summer mountaineering
  • Summer mountaineering instruction
  • Rock climbing instruction
  • Problem solving and rescue skills
  • National awards and local accreditation schemes
  • The mountain environment
  • Development and history of mountaineering
  • Assessment of risk and its application
Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor candidate handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment.
Consolidation The period between training and assessment (often referred to as the consolidation period) varies in length for each person. The Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor syllabus is extensive and you should make every effort to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training course.

We have carried out some research into candidates' preparation for Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor assessment in an effort to identify what helps candidates be successful. A summary and the full report can be found here: Preparing for your assessment - research results. (The research was carried out prior to the qualification name change.)

The Book - Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing has been written specifically for people working their way through Mountain Training's climbing schemes and it's packed with colourful diagrams, photographs and simple language. It covers the full spectrum of modern climbing practice including movement skills, knots, bouldering, sport, trad and indoor climbing as well as risk management and problem solving.

Rock Climbing

Buy now

Association of Mountaineering Instructors

AMI supports trainee and qualified Mountaineering and Climbing Instructors and offers a range of workshops to assist with their development as well as a quarterly magazine, gear deals/discounts and an insurance deal. After you have completed Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor training you will be invited to join AMI as an trainee member for free until the end of the membership year (31st March).


Join now


E-learning modules can be accessed through the 'Awards & Training' tab of your CMS account.

Mountain weather

Weather elearning slide

Created by the Met Office for Mountain Training, this free module is packed full of useful information about weather systems, forecasts and how to use this information as a leader to plan your journey. The module takes approximately 1 hour to complete and is available to anyone who has registered on one of our schemes.


Geology elearning slide

These three modules are free for members of the Mountain Training Association - they have been developed in partnership with Paul Gannon, author of the Rock Trails series of books.

Mountain building
This module covers a basic understanding of mountain building and plate tectonics.

Mountain landscapes and rock types
This module covers a basic understanding of various rock types and how they appear in the landscape.

Mountain destruction
This module explores the ways in which weathering and erosion slowly dismantle mountain ranges and should help you spot signs of the on-going processes of mountain destruction.
Assessment Before you book onto a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor assessment, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have attended a Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor training course
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have logged a minimum of 20 multi pitch climbs at VS 4c or above (since Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor training), a large proportion of which should be on mountain crags and major sea cliffs
  • You must have logged a minimum of 20 quality mountain days in sole charge of a group (since training)
  • You must have logged a minimum of 20 rock climbing teaching days with students (since training)
  • You must have physically attended and completed (i.e. not online) a first aid course which involved at least two full days or sixteen hours of instruction and included an element of assessment
The Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor assessment is 5 days long.

Assessments are run by either Glenmore Lodge, Plas y Brenin or Tollymore.

Find a course

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"I love being able to be myself, work outdoors, the variety, the people and flexibility."

Katherine Schirrmacher - August 2016
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"Working with people is such a massive part of my job too so to genuinely enjoy spending time with others in the mountains and helping them achieve their goals is a fantastic and rewarding experience."

David Anderson - August 2017

Support & Development

Join the Mountain Training Association and be part of a community of like-minded people on our schemes.

MTA offers a range of workshops for trainee and qualified leaders and coaches across the disciplines, as well as great deals and discounts

More info

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