What Is MIAS?

The Mountain Bike Instructor’s Awards Scheme or, MIAS, is a selection of professional qualifications that allow individuals to deliver training and within a framework that supports mountain bikers.

Mountain Biking Spain is an approved MIAS provider for the Mountain Bike Instructor Awards Scheme levels one, two and three.

The awards have accreditation with the association of British Cycle Coaches and the Cyclists Touring Club; they are recognised by the Adventure Activities Licensing Service and have been accredited to National Vocational Qualifications standard through the NCFE. These professional awards are widely recognised throughout the outdoor industry linking with and standing alongside other yardstick outdoor qualifications such as the Basic Expedition Leader and the Mountain Leaders awards.

The three awards we follow are:

Level 1 – Basic Skills – Non-Technical Terrain

Level 2 – Intermediate Skills – Technical Terrain

Level 3 – Advanced Skills – Mountainous Terrain

Level 1 – Basic Skills – Non-Technical Terrain

Allows access into low-level terrain, with little potential hazards such as country parks, canal towpaths and way marked cycle routes where help is almost immediately accessible. Candidates wishing to be assessed for level 1 should have strong of road cycling skills.

Level 2 – Intermediate Skills – Technical Terrain

This allows access into wild country, with the potential hazards that surround such terrain. Candidates wishing to be assessed for level 2 must be in possession of the Basic Expedition Leader award or an equivalent such as Walking Group Leader or Accredited Prior Learning and also poses relevant experience.

For low level rides on bridleways below 600 metres in wilderness areas such as trail centres and the Peak District. This award is used outside the UK at altitudes above 600M to lead groups on cycle/mountain bike routes that are defined by map and ground.

For harsh big mountain terrain on non-recognised routes, an MBL3 award should be sought.

Level 3 – Advanced Skills – Mountainous Terrain

Allows access into mountainous terrain and the potential hazards that surround such an environment. Candidates wishing to be assessed for level 3 should have a Mountain Leader award, Walking Group Leader at the appropriate level or extensive Accredited Prior Learning and mountain experience. This level covers areas as defined as mountainous by the MLTB and is recognised throughout Europe.

Syllabus

  • Group management
  • Responsibilities of the group leader
  • Navigation
  • Access and conservation
  • General skills
  • Technical skills
  • Personal equipment
  • Group equipment
  • Weather
  • Additional interests and required knowledge

How are the Courses Ran?

Level 1, 2 and 3 courses consist of training and assessments that are conducted over three days.

Level 1 and 2 courses run at the same time with the candidate and tutor deciding which level of assessment is to be undertaken during the training phase.

Notes and Guidance

Prospective candidates should have a genuine interest in leading groups in an off-road environment and possess the necessary bike handling skills for their chosen level.

Candidates should possess all the necessary personal equipment prior to the assessment.

During the assessment stage, candidates will be expected to lead and manage a group and, give both a technical and skills demonstrations.

It is unlikely that you will have acquired the experience needed for a level 2 award without at least two years mountain biking experience and it is advantageous to have acted as an assistant leader on group rides, this will help familiarise the candidate with the skills and working practices involved in mountain bike leadership.

All candidates are asked to submit a brief resume of their riding, leading and outdoor experience to support their application.

If a candidate is unsure they possess the necessary skills for the level they wish to be assessed they should first book onto one of our skills courses at the appropriate level prior to assessment or contact us for advice.

Whilst it is possible to be assessed without a first aid certificate, it is mandatory to hold one for the awards to be valid.

Andalucia is the perfect training/riding environment to undertake a MIAS award. We run 3-day training and assessment courses throughout the year. The price for a 3-day training assessment course is €300 euros. This includes registration and certification.

If you are part of a group of three or more dates can be agreed by prior arrangement.

For a deeper insight into these awards visit the MIAS website.