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The Association of Mountaineering Instructors and Mountain Training England Outdoor activities and courses

Mountain TrainingThe Hill and Moorland Leader award is designed for people who want to lead groups in the hill and moorland areas of the UK and Ireland. This award is a wonderful opportunity to learn the leadership skills required to feel confident about taking people out walking. As you may have guessed from the descriptive title of this award, it focuses on non-mountainous terrain.

In a previous life this award was called the Walking Group Leader, and we think the new name better describes the award and makes more sense. This way, everyone knows where they (can) stand. The 'overnight experience' element of the WGL has been removed and we've created a separate Expedition Skills Module which can be 'bolted on' to the Hill and Moorland Leader (or indeed the Lowland Leader) if you want to increase the scope of your award to include multi-day expeditions.Is it for me?

The prerequisites for registration are as follows:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  •  You should have at least a year's worth of experience of hill walking
  •  You should have an interest in leading groups in the hills

If you can tick all of the above boxes, here's what to do next:

  1. Create an account on our Candidate Management System or log in if you already have one.
  2. Register for the Hill and Moorland Leader scheme (this costs £42)

In order to register successfully you must be a member of a mountaineering council (the British Mountaineering Council, Mountaineering Council of Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland). 


Before you book onto a Hill and Moorland Leader training course, make sure you have done the following:

  • You must be registered on the scheme
  • You must have recorded a minimum of 20 Quality Hillwalking Days on appropriate terrain (ideally on DLOG) which can have taken place at any point (pre- or post-registration)

Hill and Moorland Leader training lasts for 3 days and will be run by one of our approved Providers in the UK or Ireland. A variety of cost packages are available depending on what's included; food, accommodation etc. so you can choose one that's right for you. 

The Syllabus

Hill and Moorland Leaders should be competent in the following key areas, all of which will be covered, to a greater or lesser extent, during your three day training course.

  • Walking and Route Finding
  • Navigation
  • Hazards and Emergency Procedures
  • Equipment
  •  Responsibilities of the Leader
  • Group Management
  • Access, Conservation and Environmental Knowledge
  • Weather

Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Hill and Moorland Leader Handbook and the onus is on you to be competent in all of them by the time you come to assessment.


The period between training and assessment varies in length for each person and is an opportunity to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training course. You can use the excuse 'I'm preparing for assessment' to have as many adventures as you like; logging days has never been so much fun!


Before you book onto a Hill and Moorland Leader assessment, make sure you have done the following:

  • You must have attended a Hill and Moorland Leader training course (or have been granted exemption)
  • You must be familiar with the syllabus
  • You must have logged a minimum of 40 Quality Hillwalking Days in at least three different upland areas of the UK and Ireland
  • You must hold a current first aid certificate, minimum 16 hours and relevant to your work as a Hill and Moorland Leader

The Hill and Moorland Leader assessment is 3 days long. 

Assessments are run by one of our approved Providers and a variety of cost packages are available, depending on what's included; food, accommodation etc. so you can choose one that's right for you. 

The Scope of the Award

The Hill and Moorland Leader award offers the opportunity to gain experience and demonstrate technical competence in leading groups on hill walks in areas of the UK and Ireland that fall within the technical definition outlined below. Such areas may often be subject to hostile weather conditions and require an element of self-sufficiency and this is reflected in the syllabus of this scheme.

Suitable terrain for the Hill & Moorland Leader will meet the following four criteria:

  • open, uncultivated, non-mountainous high or remote country known variously as upland, moor, bog, fell, hill or down
  • areas enclosed by well-defined geographical or man-made boundaries such as classified roads (areas that merge with mountain regions and do not have well defined boundaries are excluded)
  • areas of remoteness that are easily exited in a few hours, returning to a refuge or an accessible road
  • areas where movement on steep or rocky terrain is not required (in either a planned or unplanned situation)

As with all Mountain Training awards, it is the combination of technical competence and leadership skills supported by a wide range of experience that forms the basis for effective group management. The scheme addresses all these elements. However, the employer or operating authority must ultimately decide whether a leader  

Hill and Moorland Leader was formerly the Walking Group Leader with syllabus changes.

Mountain Training Hill and Morland Leader Award Training Course Dates
19, 20 & 21 January 2018
23, 24 & 25 Febuary 2018
20, 21 & 22 March 2018

Mountain Training Hill and Moorland Leader Award Assessment Course Dates
29, 30 & 31 January 2018
13, 14 & 15 April 2018
By arrangement for 4 or more

Hill and Moorland Handbook (pdf)

Mountain Training

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