Getting started
To get started on the International Mountain Leader qualification you need to meet the following prerequisites:
  • You must have successfully completed the Mountain Leader qualification
  • You must have recorded 20 quality international summer mountain days in DLOG
  • You must have recorded 20 quality winter days in the UK or overseas in DLOG
  • You must have a referee endorsing your experience in DLOG
If you can tick all of the above boxes, here's what to do next:
  • Register for the International Mountain Leader scheme (this costs £79)
  • Notify Mountain Training (via the SEND TO MT button in DLOG) that your DLOG is ready to be reviewed
Register now

Training course bookings must not be made until your International Mountain Leader registration application has been approved by Mountain Training.

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.

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.

International Mountain Leader candidate handbook

The International Mountain Leader handbook has full details about the scheme including the syllabus and supporting guidance notes. This interim version includes updated guidance on the winter elements of the scheme. A new version including updated guidance on the summer elements of the scheme will be produced in early 2020.

Training There are two elements to the International Mountain Leader training; summer and winter. Each element has its own training and assessment course. You must do the Summer training before the Winter training, but you can do the Winter training before you've done the Summer assessment.

Summer Training

Before you book onto an International Mountain Leader Summer training course, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must be registered on the scheme
Summer training lasts for 5 days and courses are run by two of the National Centres: Glenmore Lodge or Plas y Brenin. There is no exemption from training.

Winter Training

Before you book onto an International Mountain Leader Winter training course, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have completed International Mountain Leader Summer training
Winter training lasts for 5 days and courses are run by two of the National Centres: Glenmore Lodge or Plas y Brenin.

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The Syllabus

International Mountain Leaders should be competent in the following key areas, all of which will be covered, to a greater or lesser extent, during both five day training courses.
  • The mountain environment
  • An overview of the legal and economic situation in countries in which IML award holders work
  • Group management and the responsibilities of the group leader
  • Teaching
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Physical ability
  • Navigation
  • Weather
  • Security in mountainous terrain
  • Emergency procedures
  • Bivouac and survival skills
  • Expeditions
  • Snow-covered terrain
Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the International Mountain Leader 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 and is an opportunity to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training courses. Mountain Training do not recommend trying to 'fast-track' the International Mountain Leader qualification and you should develop experience post training as appropriate to your needs and skill level.

The Book - International Mountain Trekking

International Mountain Trekking has been written specifically for people pursuing Mountain Training's International Mountain Leader qualification and it includes essential tips and information for those who wish to lead internationally as well as being a useful learning aid for recreational walkers. The book is split into 11 chapters covering topics including planning, trekking at altitude, snowshoeing, hazards, navigation and dealing with problems while travelling. Its functional design with easy-reference pages, striking illustrations and images make this book an indispensable guide to the skills required for hill walking overseas.

International Mountain Trekking

Buy now

British Association of International Mountain Leaders

BAIML supports aspirant and qualified International Mountain Leaders in the UK and represents them at the Union of International Mountain Leader Associations. BAIML offers a range of workshops for trainee and qualified leaders as well as a quarterly magazine, gear deals/discounts, a monthly newsletter and an insurance deal. After you have completed International Mountain Leader summer training you will be invited to join BAIML as an Aspirant Member for free until the end of the membership year (31st December).

BAIML logo

Visit the BAIML website



E-learning

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

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 You must pass the Summer assessment before attempting the Winter assessment.

Summer Assessment

Before you book onto an IML Summer assessment, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have attended an International Mountain Leader Summer training course (there is no exemption from training)
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have passed the Speed Navigation Test
  • 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
  • You must have gained further experience since completing the Summer training.
The International Mountain Leader Summer assessment is 4 days long and is based outside the UK.

Assessments are run by Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin.

Winter Assessment

Before you book onto an International Mountain Leader Winter assessment, make sure you have done the following:
  • You must have passed the International Mountain Leader Summer assessment
  • You must have completed International Mountain Leader Winter training (or been granted exemption from IML winter training)
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • 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
  • You must have logged a minimum of 60 days experience: 30 quality international summer days and 30 quality winter days (of which at least 10 should be overseas).
The International Mountain Leader Winter assessment is 5 days long and is based outside the UK.

Winter assessments are run by Glenmore Lodge and Plas y Brenin.

Find a course

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"It is very rewarding to take others to new areas, provide new experiences and contribute to their enjoyment of their holiday."

Fiona Chappell - August 2016
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"After getting to the stage of being involved in a lot of UK outdoor work and expeditions it seemed like the logical progression to use my enjoyment and previous international experience to go through the IML scheme."

Stuart Ritchie - October 2017
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"For me the best part of the scheme was broadening my skill set and meeting my fellow aspirants."

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

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