/ Mountain Training Digital Log (DLOG)

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RyanL - on 10 Jun 2014
Hello All,

I'm interested in other peoples views on the new DLOG used by Mountain Training. I understand that changing to a digital system makes sense for many reasons and that it's possible to upload previous electronic logbooks to save a lot of work.

My view is that going digital is fine however when you register for a new award, Mountain Training should still send out a folder with associated award handbook like they used to. At the end of the day registering for an award costs approx 50-70 depending on the award.

I think that having an actual folder that you can write in and use as evidence to prove your qualifications and experience is very useful, rather than having to rely soley on a digital logbook.

I would be grateful to hear others views on this, thanks for taking the time to read it.

Regards

timjones - on 10 Jun 2014
In reply to RyanL:

> Hello All,

> I'm interested in other peoples views on the new DLOG used by Mountain Training. I understand that changing to a digital system makes sense for many reasons and that it's possible to upload previous electronic logbooks to save a lot of work.

> My view is that going digital is fine however when you register for a new award, Mountain Training should still send out a folder with associated award handbook like they used to. At the end of the day registering for an award costs approx 50-70 depending on the award.

> I think that having an actual folder that you can write in and use as evidence to prove your qualifications and experience is very useful, rather than having to rely soley on a digital logbook.

> I would be grateful to hear others views on this, thanks for taking the time to read it.


A brief play with DLOG for logging climbing sessions and personal climbing suggests that it is appallingly badly written. But to be honest I dread having to check over one of the MLT paper logbooks. It's a pain in the arse due to their insistence on splitting it into so many sub-sections. It's not easy to get a good overview of someones experience when the logbook is fragmented into so many sections.

My advice to anyone who needs to create a good easily digested logbook in order to sell their experience would be use a simple spreadsheet. Put all your instructing (and maybe even your personal climbing) on a single sheet. Then use some form of tickbox or dropdown to enter the type of session. It's effectively your CV, make it easy for assessors and employers to see how good you are.


Adam15 - on 10 Jun 2014
In reply to RyanL:

I have recently contacted them after registering a few months ago has I had not received my logbook and was informed they no longer issue them from January 2014. I did query it as my mate had received one after he joined this year.
I am a little disappointed that we don't get a handbook anymore considering I don't think there was any price change to reflect the saving of the trees.
RyanL - on 10 Jun 2014
In reply to Adam15:

Adam,

I completely agree, to pay 70 and receive nothing other than an email is quite steep!
LJC - on 10 Jun 2014
In reply to RyanL:

Dlog is the bane of my life at the moment. 500 entries for the last 4 years to copy in. I think not. I exported my UKC logbook and saved it as a pdf, and uploaded it as a historical file. Hope that's ok for them!
dazedkins - on 10 Jun 2014
In reply to RyanL:

I completely agree. If you pay that amount of money I believe you should relieve a hard copy option. The issue I have is that, as like many, I like to keep my paper log book up to date as it is my history and my CV for future jobs. I am a firm believer that you can tell a lot about a person from how their log book is written, laid out and used.

Having to now up load digitally and keep my paper one going means I sometimes miss out one of them.

One option I have thought of is having an easy option to be able to print from the DLOG site and simple insert into ones folder. What's your thoughts on that?
Bazaldon - on 10 Jun 2014
In reply to RyanL:

I agree that a log book should be issued. A hard copy of your experiences is always useful for many reasons. If anything why is there no option to apply for registration and a logbook! Or an option to apply for registration with no logbook! Surely this way individuals have a choice. I for one like to scribble my climbing activity in my logbook then every couple of months sit down and type it up.

I definitely agree with Ryan in that as a minimum you should receive a handbook! After all why does it cost so much for a so called registration/admin fee?

Baz
ScottyD - on 10 Jun 2014
In reply to RyanL:
Hi Ryan,

I am interested in this post as I am looking to save my log book electronically and increase my experience in climbing and it appears MTA joining fees are the only way to go.

On the log book electronic up load, I don't think I will use the MTA log book purely from the points that various people have already made: to not be able to print off easily for provision to other course providers and potential employers is ridiculous, after all it's your history. I think I will use an Excel/Numbers spreadsheet initially and maybe upload to UKC as it appears it's easier to export where required.

With regards to the fees for awards, it would be interesting to know how the money is spent in order to understand what you are paying for. Is it a case that MTA has purely cornered the market and is turning the screw on profiteering? Or does MTA actually invest in UK climbing and mountaineering in other ways which are not known or publicised? Either way, it would be good to know before registering for an award and hence, as far I am aware thus far, throwing my money into the MTA coffers.
Post edited at 21:02
The Ex-Engineer - on 11 Jun 2014
In reply to various: What a load of luddites ;-)

I'm slightly surprised so many people want to stick with the MLT posting large chunks of dead tree to hundreds of people.

I'm not a great fan of the DLOG interface but everyone seems to completely miss the overall point of the system. The entire administration of all MLT awards, EVERYTHING, is now done via CMS. The whole point is to ensure that no-one involved in the whole process now needs to shuffle a single sheet of paper or put things in the post. That includes everything from booking courses through to the filing of the final reports. You will never need to show anyone anything on paper and you can never lose track of any information about what courses you did and when.

The system is NOT really aimed at logging individual climbs, it is primarily there to provide an ongoing daily (or even weekly/monthly) record of your experience, especially supervision and instructing experience. It handles 'omnibus' entries for multiple days really well and the 'copy record' makes it ease to use for those doing similar sessions or visiting the same venues. The assessor on your MLT course and future employers don't really care which individual routes you've done, they want to know where you go and how often, both individually and as an instructor.

Most importantly, your trainer/assessor as soon as you register for any MLT course gets full access to your DLOG account. They will see immediately whatever you have logged (or added as an attachment) and can discuss/clarify if what you have logged is sufficient for the course. For those that haven't got the correct experience (or just can't be arsed and possibly not someone I'd want instructing my kids?), the trainer/assessor can therefore suggest they cancel or postpone their course booking well in advance rather than have inexperienced idiots turning up on the day and f@#king things up for the staff, themselves and other candidates.

Unfortunately it happens with regular monotony and DLOG is one aspect of efforts to try and reduce it. I'm pretty sure that for most people, having someone waste your valuable time and mess up your highly expensive course is far more of an inconvenience than than not having a 99pence folder or a hardcopy of a 50 page pdf.

Additionally, there is now complete transparency on qualifications. All you need to give prospective employers is your candidate number and they can check your profile on CMS. No more messing around with copies of certificates. No more opportunities for fraud or misrepresentation. You can also 'share' your DLOG with others.

Change is always a pain in the arse. I certainly won't be back dating anything on DLOG, I won't be logging individual gritstone climbs on it and it needs a fairly decent internet connection. However, going forward with my MIC and Development Coach, the ubiquity of DLOG via the internet means that for once I shouldn't be playing catch up sorting my logbook and then printing loads of stuff before an assessment.

As a WORK tool for instructors to meet the mandatory requirement set by their NGB to log experience, DLOG is a good start. For logging my own climbing and or training it sucks but that is rather irrelevant.
andrewmcleod - on 11 Jun 2014
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

> It handles 'omnibus' entries for multiple days really well

Really? It says you should only add one route per entry.

> and the 'copy record' makes it ease to use for those doing similar sessions or visiting the same venues.

No, it makes it very annoyingly sluggish, which is an improvement on very very very annoyingly sluggish (which is what it would be without the feature).

It is really, really badly implemented for inputting data - there is too much validation/drop-down boxes (slow!) and not enough flexibility. Plus lots of the validation/features are pointless e.g. the route/crag thing; in theory a good idea but there is no management so there will be endless copies of each crag/subcrag and of each route with minor name changes...
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colinakmc - on 11 Jun 2014
In reply to RyanL:

I'm about to do my summer ML assessment despite having an antique green PVC logbook but I have to say its contents are mainly presented as an excel file printed out. It has walking, scrambling and climbing undifferentiated, only an Alpine section separate. That went down fine with my trainers 2years ago, we'll see next week at the assessment! I've only had a short look at the clog and I agree with the earlier post that it looks horrible to maintain or to read...

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