/ NEW ARTICLE: VIDEO: Walking Group Leader Award (WGL)

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UKC Articles - on 04 Jun 2009
[James Martin - WGL holder at callofthewild.co.uk, 4 kb]The Walking Group Leader Award (WGL) qualifies you to take groups of people walking in the UK. It does not cover remote or mountainous terrain.


This article details the remit of the award, how to register for it and what exactly it covers. This article has been produced in conjunction with the Mountain Leader Training Association (MLTA).



Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=1897
NickD - on 04 Jun 2009
In reply to UKC Articles: This is great. Does it cover helping people to cross the street, or is that the advanced level?
Gwilymstarks on 04 Jun 2009
In reply to NickD:

Why so negative?
NickD - on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to Gwilymstarks: Short or long answer?

The short answer is that you don't need a certificate to go for a walk.
Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to NickD:
Couldn't agree more. You don't even need a certificate to take payment and lead others on a walk (unless they're under 18 and its an 'adventurous walk' (when you'd do well to get an AALA license). What you might want to do is ensure that you have some way of demonstrating that you were actually competent to do that should the solids hit the fan; but you can do that without a certificate.
Interestingly we moved away from the term 'certificate' many moons ago; we award a dated report on competent performance along with a logbook to record ongoing experience and training subsequently.
Hey come on over to the other thread! http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=357801
tony on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to NickD:

My aunt is a leader for HF holidays - comfy middle-class ramblers doing nice gentle walks (by the standards of what hardcore UKC types might consider to be a walk). Much of what she's involved with is planning routes in advance to ensure that everyone in the group is comfortable with the level of the walk, and with group management. You might find it hard to believe, but there are people who go on these holidays who find 6 miles over open countryside a challenge. It's important that groups are managed in such a way as to ensure that everyone has a good time.

You're right to say you don't need a certificate to go for a walk. But having a wee bit of training beforehand can help leaders and their clients have a good time.
NickD - on 05 Jun 2009
Hi Andy. This is going to sound negative - please don't take it personally!

> What you might want to do is ensure that you have some way of demonstrating that you were actually competent to do that should the solids hit the fan; but you can do that without a certificate.

Fine, but what does this add that a first aid certificate doesn't? It doesn't allow you to go anywhere near rough terrain (howsoever defined).

> Interestingly we moved away from the term 'certificate' many moons ago; we award a dated report on competent performance along with a logbook to record ongoing experience and training subsequently.

Changes in terminology are not interesting. The idea that some body has to approve your activities is what I'm getting at.

> Hey come on over to the other thread! http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=357801

Posted :-)
Max factor - on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to NickD:

Agreed, it's a bit of a funny one. Where does it all stop if walking 'leaders' (i.e the guy with the map?) need a certificate to take others on a stroll?

e.g. What happens if walker in a group without a WGL qualified leader injures themselves and then points the finger saying 'he wasn't qualified to lead the walk, it's his fault'.

Just seems a but unnecessary.
NickD - on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to Max_01: Right. The problem is that I don't know that I'm not qualified to take someone on that walk because I didn't do the course that told me I wasn't qualified OH GOD WHAT SHOULD I DO?

I hope the definition of "WGL terrain" isn't height-dependent - people who live in Dinorwic wouldn't be able to lead their mates out of their own front door.
Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to NickD:
Don't start me on altitude determining 'risk'! I hold the MIC, am very experienced/old, and can kill at sea level if I cock up.
As I said - you don't need a qualification to take people anywhere; totally up to you. But it would be fair on them if you led them on walks that you knew you could cope with?
In England the 'remit' of the WGL holder is anywhere outside the central lake district fells. That includes some fairly wild terrain.
And Dinorwig is only 425m up; easy peasy! (Although it gets wild at night)
Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to Max_01:
There's an echo in here here here..
You don't 'need' a certificate to take others anywhere.
If a member of a party gets injured then the lack of a qualification of any kind won't have caused the injury, will it?
In a court what will happen will be that the case will hinge around whether the leader was guilty of negligence - that can happen to people both with and without qualifications. The question might well be asked ' well Mr Max_01, just how did you know that you were competent to undertake this particular expedition; do you have any evidence to suggest that you were, in fact competent...?' You don't get done just because you haven't got a piece of paper (because there is no law that says you need one!) you get done becasue you didn't look after folks like you should.
It will also hinge on the nature of the group. The level of 'duty of care' expected of someone who is taking money to lead commercially is way different to the level required of a member of a party of mates going for 'a stroll'.
Not convinced that the 'holder of the map' is automatically the leader :-)
Max factor - on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to Andy Say:

But isn't there a risk that purely becuase such an award exists, it is creating a demonstrable standard for leading walking groups? Anyone who doesn't hold the award therefore becomes disadvantaged in the blame game.

I can see this getting circular, where e.g. school teachers *have* to get the award in order to demonstrate sufficient competence and regard for safey; thereby further entrenching the prevalence of qualifications in outdoor pursuits.

To be balanced, I can see how the experience of the group could be better if the leader has appropriate training.
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Andy Say - on 05 Jun 2009
In reply to Max_01:
You're right, of course, to an extent. A school teacher may well 'have' to get the award. Not for any legal reasons but because that is the only way that his or her managers can actually evaluate their competence - because normally they are not competent to make that judgement:-)
But I don't have a problem with us having created a standard of competence for people to measure themselves against! If someone is thinking of leading groups over Kinder then they could do worse perhaps than to read the WGL syllabus and ask themselves if they do, actually have the requisite skills.
And to pick up your last point - its a long time since ML and WGL were all about bringing back the same number alive as you took out. The emphasis now is on quality of experience and ability to impart knowledge and enthusiasm

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