/ Mountain Instructor Award (MIA) - please explain

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ogreville on 15 Jun 2017

Sorry, probably a controversial one considering the number of MIA 'looking for participant' posts on here, but how does the MIA award work?

From what I understand, you need the Mountain leader award (hill walking award by the looks of it), then you can apply for the MIA. But to sit the assessment course needs "...a sample list of 30 named multi-pitch rock climbs of VS4c or above, which you have led...".

Does this not require a, technically, unqualified and non-competency assessed climber taking people out on led expeditions in risky situations? Am a way off here?

Shouldn't the assessment and award by the issuer not be done beforehand?

Not a dig at MIA pursuers. All respect to you all for the pursuit of betterment.
Post edited at 00:22
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Tomtom - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to ogreville:

The MIA aspirants have undergone MIA training, and then must log an amount of instructional work prior to assessment.
To participate in MIA training a certain amount of experience needs to have been logged. The quote you have referenced means the candidate needs to have led an amount of multipitch climbs, i.e personal climbing with a partner, not instructed someone on how.

Basically, as with the other MTA awards, you gain personal experience, you then train to instruct, you practice instructing and gain further experience, you complete an assessment.
Dave Perry - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to ogreville:

As Tomtom said, your quote is simply asking that you have led climbs before. One of the reasons is that 'wannabe's' are not going for the award who have no climbing experience.

If you followed your logic, you'd be completely inexperienced when you went for assessment. You may never have led a climb just been a second.
summo on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to ogreville:

Think of it more like not doing an ML without having first walked and camped etc?

To enjoy and pass MIA you need to be a passionate active climber, the course isn't there to teach you to lead etc... if you come from a background of only climbing with other competent folk, it will teach you new skills to lead novices though.

Less experience climber who can make the 30 routes etc .. Will often go for SPA first as they gather skills and experience.
Gwilymstarks on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to ogreville:

I think you are confused between registration and assessment

http://www.mountain-training.org/mountaineering/awards/mountaineering-instructor-award

ML + 20 days work as ML + 30 VS4c mountain or sea cliff routes + 10 sports routs at 6a allows you to register

then you can attend a 9 day training

then during consolidation another 30 routs at VS4c plus 20 days teaching climbing plus 20 days more work as ML
(This is the stage you see people asking for volunteers)

then you can present for assessment. Remember these are absolute minimums
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sheelba - on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to ogreville:
As far as i can tell you're talking about something different to the responses. Essentially an MIA aspirant asking for participants is no different to someone asking for a partner on UKC (other than the fact that you could argue that since the novice doesn't know what they are doing they must have a greater level of trust that said person is competent). The system relies on trust, you trust the person you are going out with to be competent as they say they are. When you are charging for guiding services just this trust is not seen as enough hence why you need a qualification, but you don't of course need a qualification to take your novices mates climbing, just as you don't need a qualification to take a stranger climbing for the first time provided you are not charging for your services.

Furthermore those 30 multi-pitch climbs can be with anyone, they are not you leading 'clients'.
Post edited at 20:29
ogreville on 15 Jun 2017
In reply to ogreville:

thanks for the clarification guys. I was under the impression that the 30 named climbs for the log book were for teaching others in more of an instructor role, rather than with a partner.

As I said, hats off to participants of the scheme.

I learnt the ropes informally through friends (and still learning!), probably like most on here. It's amazing how many certified schemes there are for all diciplines now. No bad thing though.
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andi turner - on 16 Jun 2017
In reply to ogreville:

> I learnt the ropes informally through friends (and still learning!), probably like most on here. It's amazing how many certified schemes there are for all diciplines now. No bad thing though.

I think most of us did, although I imagine the amount of people getting into climbing through instructional courses is probably on the rise.

I think it's important to recognise that the MIA is effectively a teaching qualification (atleast that's how I see it) and part of maintaining your award is keeping up to date with current best practise as well as CPD.

I can look back on when I first started climbing (late 80's) and the techniques I was shown by mates, who had also been taught these skills 25 years earlier. Now whilst some of these techniques are still entirely valid and certainly form part of my current skill set, some would be completely outdated or even considered quite dangerous. So, as you said, it's no bad thing.


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