Some Information and Clarification on BC MTB Leadership Awards. (MBLA)

We’ve received a lot of enquiries recently about coaching and guiding qualifications and how they are attained. We’ve also fielded more enquiries than ever about who trains us to a standard that you can rely on to be robust enough to give you the right tools to move forward.

So who trains us? Though some of our staff are qualified to train others to the standard of the national governing body of mountain biking, British Cycling. We have all been trained and assessed to this independent standard separately and without prejudice.

All of or staff are trained to BC standards via a syllabus that is recognised to be the UK’s industry standard for leading and guiding. We find this to be very robust and it also makes us beyond reproach if we are questioned on our actions or decisions and what training or experiences they are based on.

After 8 years in the leadership training game, we have trained and assessed Teachers, Youth workers, Community leaders, educational staff, bike shop staff, outdoor professionals, MTB enthusiasts,  CPD zealots and industry colleagues from other similar businesses. Thats right, we will even (unavoidably) train and assess our potential competitors! It’s a simply a pitfall of delivering a high standard industry award. But we feel its also a great way to ensure a quality level of service in our industry.

If you’ve found this blog, it may mean you’ve been referred by one of our staff as an answer to a question on leadership or as reference to the comparison of the British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership to other leadership products that are available.

But let’s not compare them, as it’s ultimately very subjective depending on your needs and preferences so most likely futile. So instead, we’ll try and make you aware of the benefits of the one we deliver. The British Cycling Mountain Bike Leader Award.

So here’s 5 things that separate a British Cycling (BC) Mountain Bike leadership Award (MBLA) from any other award or qualification out there.

1: The Tutors:

The tutors are the life blood of the MBLA. Years of experience is required to even be considered as a potential candidate for a tutors role.

The candidate must have a mentor, and that mentor must themselves have gone through a similar process to get there. All tutors must also have a “centre” to deliver their courses. This means they must be first established as a business that delivers similar products from a tangible location.

Any potential tutor must be attached to that centre and work from it as their main point of delivery. British Cycling MBLAs are only delivered by BC Tutors at their centres. On occasion, they may work with other centres for delivery should the need arise.

Your MBLA tutor is fully part of the business you are attending your training with. They are highly invested in and focussed on your success as a candidate. Ridelines have 1 such tutor and another likely confirmed by the end of 2019.

Ridelines have trained over 300 candidates to different iterations of BC leadership and combined coaching awards over the last 8 years.

2: Training for Separate Levels of Awards:

Unlike various other awards, different levels of MBLA are trained for separately and to different standards. 2 days training for Level 2 and 3 days training for Level 3.

Significant texts, handbooks and online resources are made available to you at all BC MBLA levels. As you move up the levels of award training, you will have only new content.

There will be no repetition of the learning covered on the last level. The next award will introduce completely new level of learning relevant to the environment you are choosing to potentially lead in.

You will never take part in “generalised” learning and then assessed to your perceived ability. On the contrary, you will be rigorously and effectively trained to give you the best chance of success come your assessment. Whatever the level.

3: Separate Assessment, not ongoing assessment:

After your training, you’ll go away and consolidate your learning based on your training. You’ll need logged rides to support your learning and inevitable practice in some elements of leading.

You can take your assessment at any time after your training, be it one week or one year. Most importantly though, when you think you’re ready.

When you return from your consolidation, you’ll be assessed on your learning over the course of a single day of assessment for Level 2 and 2 days of assessment for Level 3.

It’s a tough process that requires some patience, but the reward is high and you really know you’ve passed to a very high standard.

4: National Governing Body Standards (NGB)

Overwhelmingly our clients; the schools, businesses, charities and many clubs we work with will only want to work with NGB qualified individuals. In lots of sports and industries, NGBs are a way to ensure a standardised, high quality, linear level of learning and operational experience. NGBs are always rigorously researched, evaluated and delivered.

Because of this, NGB qualifications are much more likely to be accepted by insurers and other types of organisations that may require a qualification that can be readily referenced without need for further investigation of the underlying component parts or content of that award.

5: British Cycling Membership and Associated Benefits:

When you register for your British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership training you’ll become a member of British Cycling. Once you have passed your assessment for any level of leadership award you’ll be treated to all manner of benefits within.

Your membership also comes with a built in insurance policy. Public liability indemnity of £15,000,000 and professional indemnity of £5,000,000. This insurance also covers you to work as a leader to a gross income of £25,000.

You’ll be afforded these benefits and whole lot more as a card carrying BC member. You’ll also be a tangible part of the National Governing Body for mountain biking alongside over 5000 other trained cycle professionals.

There will be no doubt about the validity of your qualification as you will also have the chance to make your qualifications public on the BC website alongside other professionals in cycling.

In Summary.

This is about as much as we can say about the British Cycling Mountain Bike Leader Award in a short blog. Lots of our instructors and guides have been through many different iterations of qualifications from various providers.

But to be trained, consolidate that learning and ultimately be challenged at assessment by professionally and experientially qualified tutors is a learning experience that is as rewarding as it is essential to retaining knowledge and applying it to real world scenarios.

Perhaps dramatic, but think about this in the year of the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing:

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard”

Pres. John F Kennedy.

So test yourself, don’t hide from the challenge. Inspire others and become a British Cycling Mountain Bike Leader. You may pass or you may be referred for another shot? Either way, when you come out the other end, you’ll know you’ve been through something very special.


British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership Information Page.

Learn More and Book Your Course with Ridelines.