01690 720214

Mountaineering Instructor Award Assessment

Course Overview

Candidates will be assessed over 5 days on personal climbing, teaching climbing, leading in the mountains, emergency improvisation on the crag and the teaching/coaching of navigation. Part of the fifth day will be devoted to a full debrief and discussion.

Please ensure you have read the course details fully

Experience Required

Scheduled Dates

Detailed Course Notes

You should be 18 years old to attend this course.

Assessment pays a lot of attention to the log book and cannot be made without a suitably informative record of your past experience.

Before you book onto a Mountaineering Instructor Award assessment, make sure you have done the following:

  • You must have attended a Mountaineering Instructor Award training course
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have logged in your DLOG a minimum of 20 multi pitch climbs at VS 4c or above (since MIA training), a large proportion of which should be on mountain crags and major sea cliffs
  • You must have logged in your DLOG a minimum of 20 quality mountain days in sole charge of a group (since training)
  • You must have logged in your DLOG a minimum of 20 rock climbing teaching days with students (since training)
  • You must have a valid first aid certificate. You can present either the original at assessment or scan this into your DLOG.
  • Completed your Home Preparation paper available to download here and scanned it into your DLOG.
  • You must have prepared your ten minute lecturette.

Assessment Content

The programme may be revised at short notice to take account of weather and other considerations, in such a way as to satisfy the spirit and detail of the Mountaineering Instructor Scheme syllabus. The five days are generally split into the following five areas:

Personal Climbing

Candidates will climb in pairs with an Assessor and demonstrate an ability to lead confidently at VS 4C on multi-pitch routes. All aspects of good climbing practice will be assessed, although candidates will not be expected to teach their climbing partners. Each candidate will be asked to select a route, arrange the rope work and belaying and lead all of the pitches. A multi-pitch retreat by abseil may be organised by each candidate. If you fail this day you may be required to withdraw from the assessment.

Problem solving on the crag

Candidates will be expected to demonstrate their ability to assess a crag problem and to carry out an effective solution. Candidates may be asked to demonstrate familiarity with lowering, hoisting, escaping from the system, accompanied abseils and other techniques used in solving problems on multi-pitch crags. Candidates will operate in pairs with an assessor.

Teaching Rock Climbing

Candidates will instruct a party of two climbers for a day at a multi-pitch crag. Candidates will have an opportunity to meet their students in the morning and discuss their abilities. A day should be planned which includes a good amount of rock climbing with an appropriate structured teaching content and “hands on” learning during the day. Emphasis is placed on appropriate preliminaries, and tailoring the day to the needs of both students.

Mountain Day

Candidates will work in pairs with one assessor. For part of the day, candidates will be expected to look after the other candidate and occasionally also the assessor, on terrain that should include movement on scrambling ground in ascent and descent. Short rope techniques will be assessed, as will environmental input, navigation and time keeping. A small rock climbing rack should be carried, but large amounts of formal pitching are not envisaged.

Navigation, followed by individual reviews and results

A confident and competent performance is required - ability to set and prepare candidates for the navigation tests at ML Training and Assessment levels. This is an exercise in fine navigation and it is common to use 1:25,000 and 1:50,000 scale maps.

Preparation paper

Download your preparation paper here

Candidate lectures

Each candidate will deliver a 10-minute lecture of his or her own choice on an historical or technical topic, related to mountaineering or rock climbing. In most cases the lecture will be delivered to other assessment candidates and so should be pitched at a level to be informative and interesting to this peer group. A carousel slide projector, overhead projector, and a video player are available as resources. If you would like to do a powerpoint presentation, you will need to bring your own laptop and know how to set up and operate this with a multimedia projector.

Useful Books

  • Hillwalking by Steve Long (MLTUK official publication)
  • Rock Climbing by Libby Peter (MLTUK official publication)
  • Navigation in the Mountains by Carlo Forte
  • Also recommended reading:
  • Looking at Weather by Ingrid Holfard
  • Mountain Weather by D Pedgley
  • Weather for Hillwalkers & Climbers by M Thomas
  • Website for Mountain Training
  • Reading relevant magazines is also a good way to keep abreast of current issues.

What's Included In The Price?

Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.

    Free tea, coffee or selected hot drinks for the duration of your visit
    Afternoon tea & homemade cakes
    Equipment hire
    Free (low-speed) wifi access in the bar & dining room
    In course transport
    Railway station pick up & drop off (please call to arrange)
    Parking with CCTV surveillance
    Free use of climbing wall, gym, MTB skills course & rolling pool

    If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:

    Accommodation the night before your course
    Accommodation during your course
    Breakfast & evening meal
    Bar Lunch/packed lunch

Accommodation For This Course

Plas y Brenin Main House

Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.

If you are staying with us,

If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.

This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.

Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.

Also included, if you chosen to add accommodation, are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.

If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,

If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).

There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.

For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.

There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to. Find out more about the upcoming talks here.

On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.

For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.

If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.

You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or

follow this link for more details

What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?

Candidates are expected to provide all of their own equipment, with the exception of ropes. Plas y Brenin can provide Mock Students with all the equipment they need for the 'Teaching' day. You should bring all normal clothing and mountaineering footwear suited to operating in the British mountains.

You will also need:

  • Lunch bag/box

  • Drinks bottle

  • MT logbook and paperwork

Customer Reviews For This Course

MIA Assessment

Aaron Vandenberg

Good food
Hot showers
Comfy beds
Free wifi
Beautiful location
What's not to like?
The course was well run, especially the problem solving on multipitch crags day. The needs of the students (us) are complex, in the sense of the instructor putting us in a MP environment, safeguarding themselves and us as we swing about loading our anchors doing rescues! The planning and expertise were there.
My feeling of the week; there was assessment pressure. The staff made an effort to minimise that where they were able so that we could show our best.
Thanks to M R and the team.

Not found what you were looking for?

You can hire one of our coaches instructors or guides from only £250 per day. They'll tailor the day to suit your aims and aspirations perfectly.
You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.

Fill in a Callback Form

Other Courses you should consider?

Mountaineering Instructor Award Refresher

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Rapid Development Clinic (Climbing)

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Mountain Assessor Training Workshop

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