Author Topic: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking  (Read 786 times)

Sarah Pitht

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Asking on behalf of a friend  ::) ...


If someone were going to run holiday accommodation in the heart of a walking area and they were keen walkers and they wanted to share their interest/knowledge with their putative guests...


What qualification would they need?


So I'm thinking, not winter skills type walking but rather walks/routes that the person is familiar with no risk of getting lost; but perhaps could be high fells so long/strenuous for the average bod.


Just researching at this stage... Nothing decided by any means - just thinking about options...


Thanks in advance - and please keep your fingers crossed for my (ahem) friend...
Heading North in spirit; Heading South in body...

richardh1905

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #1 on: 21:13:31, 03/08/18 »

I would imagine a Mountain Leader course would be suitable, Sarah, especially if your -ahem- friend is taking any kind of payment for leading the walks. http://www.mountain-training.org/walking/skills-and-awards/mountain-leader

Plus First Aid is a requirement of the above. Useful to have anyway.

..and I imagine that they need to make sure that they are well insured, just in case. You never know nowadays, with ambulance chasing lawyers advertising on the telly.


Edit - if no payment is involved, and it is all kept informal and not advertised as part of the stay, then maybe this is a bit over the top. But I would think carefully about liability.
« Last Edit: 21:22:49, 03/08/18 by richardh1905 »
Strenuousness is the path of immortality, sloth the path of death.

alan de enfield

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #2 on: 22:28:58, 03/08/18 »
If there is any likely hood of anyone under the age of 18, or any 'vulnerable' people he/she would probably need to have a CRB check.

My wife was teaching riding and because there were 'young children' (anyone under the age of 18) on the site I had to be CRB checked as well.

Slogger

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #3 on: 17:43:55, 04/08/18 »
Yeah I would think Summer Mountain Leader training as a start which includes 1st Aid qualification, As said CRB check, however it is not straitforward in getting this as an individual. I f a memebr of a sport club or similar then could possibly attain it through them.
Insurance is essential but without MTLB qualification you would be unlikely to get any.
Wish your (ahem) friend good luck.

Owen

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #4 on: 18:06:53, 04/08/18 »
If your friend isn't based in the "Mountains" then they may find summer ML is overkill there is a lowland walking leader qualification but I can't remember it's exact name. it should be on the MTLB webpage.

dank86

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #5 on: 19:07:44, 04/08/18 »
I'll second what Owen said, if there's no mountains around the ML will be overkill they'd want the hill and moorland leader qualification. First aid will be needed and it's a good idea to get a DBS check as well (parents find it more reassuring). Apart from that they'd need some form of insurance as well, but as has been said if they aren't charging you could likely keep it all informal.

alan de enfield

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #6 on: 19:39:53, 04/08/18 »
I f a memebr of a sport club or similar then could possibly attain it through them.




I don't know if it has changed in the last few years, but the CRB check was 'sport specific'.
We had a guy at the Golf Club who offered to teach some youngsters, he was already a youth Football coach, and a County Cricket Umpire.


Although he was already a football coach, he had to have another check for Cricket, & when we applied to 'England Golf' to allow him to teach they said he must have another CRB check.



I could not see the sense in this as the check is simply a Police check to see if you have a record (it only shows that you have not yet been caught !!!), what is the difference between checking for Football, Golf, or Cricket - you surely have the same criminal record (or lack of one).


But "Rules is Rules".

Anyway - it may have changed now.

dank86

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #7 on: 19:48:41, 04/08/18 »

I don't know if it has changed in the last few years, but the CRB check was 'sport specific'.
We had a guy at the Golf Club who offered to teach some youngsters, he was already a youth Football coach, and a County Cricket Umpire.


Although he was already a football coach, he had to have another check for Cricket, & when we applied to 'England Golf' to allow him to teach they said he must have another CRB check.



I could not see the sense in this as the check is simply a Police check to see if you have a record (it only shows that you have not yet been caught !!!), what is the difference between checking for Football, Golf, or Cricket - you surely have the same criminal record (or lack of one).


But "Rules is Rules".

Anyway - it may have changed now.


It's know known as the DBS check and there are 2 versions, one is job specific and the other is like a passport and follows you where ever you go. It's made the system so much better now :)

Islandplodder

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #8 on: 08:34:33, 05/08/18 »

I used to lead natural history walks on behalf of a local organisation.  They went with what their insurance company told them, and for a few years everything was fine.  Then someone looked into it all more deeply, and decided they were on shaky ground unless people didn't pay for them, and I was working on a voluntary basis (so they paid me to do the preparation but not the walk) and the walkers agreed they were doing it at their own risk.   I did look into the mountain leader qualification, but they have abolished the lowest grade, and anything more seemed ridiculous overkill for a 2-3 mile walk on flat ground, not to mention expensive.
I did the one day 'Paths for all' course, which covers you for voluntary walks, as long as you do a risk assessment and jump through a few other hoops.
It's all a bit sad, as guided walks of all kinds seem very popular.  I suspect many people simply carry on doing them regardless.
An alternative strategy in the case of holiday accommodation is to provide detailed descriptions of local walks, with things to see and so on, and use that as part of the advertising.  Call them Self Guided walks.  I find those really useful when staying in unfamiliar places.

richardh1905

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #9 on: 09:13:03, 05/08/18 »
If your friend isn't based in the "Mountains" then they may find summer ML is overkill there is a lowland walking leader qualification but I can't remember it's exact name. it should be on the MTLB webpage.



Sarah does mention "could be the high fells", so I presume the Lake District. Very much mountain leadership territory. If the friend doesn't go high, then a lesser qualification may suffice, say Hill and Moorland leader (only a 3 day course, instead of 6).
Strenuousness is the path of immortality, sloth the path of death.

Sarah Pitht

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #10 on: 16:25:41, 06/08/18 »
Thanks for the replies and wider thoughts re DBS and insurance etc. Nothing is very straightforward these days...


Looking at the Mountain Training website there are a range of courses - wondering if the Hill and Moorland level might be a reasonable entry level compromise...


Anyway, let's see what the future holds...
Heading North in spirit; Heading South in body...

Summit

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #11 on: 00:38:41, 08/08/18 »
Sarah.


Your friend would not need to have a walking leader qualification. HSE Health and Safety Executive assess that experience is equal too the same level as qualifications.


As long as they advertise the walks as being led by an experienced and knowledgable individual. For insurance purposes a simple written disclaimer signed by each member of the walk is suffice. Also simply adding that anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult and the adult takes responsibility for the minor means that no formal CRB check is required.


Walking leader is a NGB National Governing Body qualification and is not a requirement in a work place situation.


If a walking leader leading a group has an accident they don't report it to relevant ML Training. It's reported to the HSE. Threfore compliance with HSE regulations is paramount.


Mountain Leader qualifications are only an indication of a bace knowledge. Experience is gained and invaluable.
« Last Edit: 00:41:44, 08/08/18 by Summit »
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archaeoroutes

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #12 on: 10:03:07, 09/08/18 »
Drat - just lost a long post before submitting !!!!


OK, summary...
[size=78%]Risk assessment is only legal requirement. However, proving competence in a court of law is easiest with an NGB qualification.[/size]
Disclaimers aren't worth anything if the person signing isn't judged capable of making the decision. That includes experience of activity, not just mental state. So someone with no experience in the mountains couldn't sign away responsibility for a mountain walk.
That brings us to insurance, which is nigh on impossible to get at an affordable price without a recognised qualification.


Experience is undoubtedly key, but normal walking rarely equips people with the full set of skills required to safely lead novices. That is where formal training comes in.


It is easier to market an 'experienced and qualified leader' over an 'experienced leader'. You can include branding from the Mountain Training Association if you are a member. You can advertise in places that only allow qualified leaders to place ads.


Obvious quals from Mountain Training:
Lowland Leader - eg. Quantocks
Hill and Moorland Leader - eg. Dartmoor or Brecon Beacons
Mountain Leader (summer) - eg. Snowdonia or Cairngorms


Some organisations have constructed alternatives. The Rambing Association, I understand, is now doing an in-house leadership course that incorporates a National Navigation Award Scheme award. Doint that as an individual, however, is unlikely to be easy.


I should point out that I have been an ML for many, many years, and am also a provider for Gold NNAS courses. As such, I am firmly in the NGB mould. My response is aimed at commercial walk leading; I'm not suggesting informal walk leaders be obliged to go through a formal process. However, I would still recommend some sort of skills course for anyone getting into mountain walking who doesn't have experienced people to draw down knowledge from.
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White Horse Walker

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #13 on: 10:21:13, 10/08/18 »
You're right, it's complicated.


Until last September, I had my own B&B business which started out as providing self-guided walking holidays, and I found it was a lot more complicated than I initially thought. Ultimately, I found we had no time to check out the walks and so changed to straightforward B&B where guests could borrow any of our maps and walks free of charge with no guarantees they were 100% accurate. Once you start charging for specific services, there are more liability ramifications. Before investing in this business, your 'friend' should think about how much time running the accommodation business will take. Will they have time to include guided walks in their offering?
One of the things that affected my plans was transport. If the proposed service includes transporting walkers to and from walks, a special licence is probably needed. I found that I needed a PSV license which is a lot of expense and hassle. Even if no separate charge is made for transport, 'they' assume it to be included in the basic payment made.


~
Sue

Sarah Pitht

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Re: Qualifications to lead walks - hypothetically speaking
« Reply #14 on: 10:02:07, 18/08/18 »
Thanks all - yes it is complicated, as are many things these days. At the moment the plan is to try to escape the rat race not engage in more bureaucracy!!!


Whitehorsewalker/Sue - would you mind if I PMed you just to ask a few questions/hear more about your experience, running a B&B,  please?
Heading North in spirit; Heading South in body...