About MIAS

Mountain Biking is often associated with freedom, adventure, discovery, and exercise and promotes an opportunity to explore local and national wilderness environments. Group leaders should always foster a high regard for the environment and other users and inhabitants and encourage in others an understanding of the problems of conservation, access and erosion. The 'Mountain-Bike Instructor Award Scheme includes consideration for all of these aspects, which are vital if the ethics and traditions of the outdoors are to continue.

 The 'Mountain-Bike Instructors Award Scheme', or MIAS to our friends, offers a range of courses for prospective and current cycling MTB leaders. We were established back in 1989 and have developed working relationships with external awarding bodies including ABC & NCFE.


  • Established in 1989
  • 17,800 members
  • 35 UK & International providers/tutors 


We provide structured training for those involved in leading mountain bike trips both here in the UK and abroad. With many courses for the armed services in countries such as Kenya, Germany and Cyprus.












We are an inspectorate for Adventuremark and Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC)

We have been instrumental in the development of the QCF framework for the Mountain Bike accreditation, working with the Awarding Body IAO (Leading Awarding Organisation). We Currently offer QCF/IAO Level 2 Award in Assisting Mountain Bike Activity Leadership and live now QCF/IAO Level 3 Certificate in Mountain Bike Activity Leadership. (These QCF MTB courses are available for other organisations to use).



There are currently six levels of Mountain Bike Leader training and instruction. The first three levels, are leader awards, while the three higher levels are for those tutoring or organising courses, the initial three levels are:

  • Mountain Bike Leader Level One (MBL1)  – Non Technical Terrain – This is a 2 day course and the qualification allows access into low-level terrain, with few potential hazards, i.e. country parks, canal towpaths, and non-wilderness areas where help is almost immediately accessible. This includes blue forest trail routes. There is an alternative for the younger person to take the 'Assisting Mountain-Bike Leader' Level One (AMBL).


  • Assisting Mountain Bike Leader Level One (AMBL) – Non technical Terrain – This is a 2 day course and the qualification allows access into low-level terrain, with few potential hazards. This is a site specific award designed for organisations such as outdoor center’s that primary use MTB on site and the AMBL is working under the guidance of a qualified Mountain Bike Leader member of staff.


  • Mountain Bike Leader Level Two (MBL2)  – Technical Terrain – This is a 2 day course and the qualification allows access into open country, with the potential hazards that surround such terrain.  The leader will operate within 20 minutes of cycling assistance. AALS may also require you to hold additional qualifications to work in this terrain. Includes red forest trail routes.


  • NOTE: All of the above qualifications can be delivered within the same course over a 2 day period


  • MIAS Mountain Bike Leader Level Three (MBL3)  – Mountainous Terrain – (2 days +) this level covers areas defined as mountainous by the Mountain Training UK, but excludes ridges and potential hazardous routes such as ridges or routes involving scrambling. To lead groups on accessible routes to cyclists that are defined by map and ground. The leader will operate within 30 minutes of cycling assistance. AALS may also require you to hold additional qualifications to work in this terrain (e.g. ML, WGLA or equivalent MOD qualifications. Includes red/black forest trail routes.

Tutor Levels

Mountain Bike Tutor Level Four (MBT4)Assistant Mountain Bike Leaders
Mountain Bike Leaders Level 1 & 2
Assistant Mountain Bike Leaders
Mountain Bike Leaders Level 1
Mountain Bike Tutor Level Five (MBT5)Assistant Mountain Bike Leaders
Mountain Bike Leaders Level 1, 2 & 3
Assistant Mountain Bike Leaders
Mountain Bike Leaders Level 1 & 2
Mountain Bike Tutor Level Six (MBT6)Assistant Mountain Bike Leaders
Mountain Bike Leaders Level 1, 2 & 3
Assistant Mountain Bike Leaders
Mountain Bike Leaders Level 1,2 & 3
The Assessor must have a Mountain leader qualification

Additional Mountain Bike Awards

Fast Track Award/Mountain Bike Conversion Course (FTMBL)Available for those holding qualifications with CTC, OTC, SMBLA, MBLA, BC, BSCA, MBCuk
Fast Track Award for MIAS Mountain Bike Leaders (MBL2)who wish to deliver QCF/LAO Level 2 Award in Assisting Mountain Bike Activity Leadership. (FTQCF)
Gears (Personal Skills) Cycling AwardsGears 1 to 6 (levels)
Emergency Services Cycle Patrol AwardIncluding MTB Search and Rescue levels 1 to 6
Cycle “Fit” Maintenance CourseLevels 1 to 4



Bolt on awards:

  • MTB Expedition (MBLE)
  • Night Riding (MBLN)
  • On Road Cycling (MBLO)
  • Alpine MTB leader (used mainly by the MOD abroad) (MBLA)


Aims & Objectives

The aims & objectives of MIAS are as follows:

  1. To create an organisation that provides all mountain bikers with access to quality coaching.
  2. To develop and maintain a coaching system.
  3. To recruit, train and further develop coaches.
  4. To monitor and maintain examination standards linked to a graded award system.
  5. To maintain a database of qualified coaches.
  6. To develop and maintain effective communications.
  7. To keep coaches aware of up to date information on mountain bike coaching and associated topics.
  8. To issue, monitor and update coaching material which will form the basis for the education, training and assessment for mountain bike coaches.
  9. To encourage qualified coaches to apply their experience and expertise to promote safe mountain biking.
  10. To offer insurance through the ABCC to protect all registered mountain bike coaches against insurance claims, which may arise during coaching activities.
  11. To maintain all avenues for the coach to progress to their full potential.


All qualified coaches will have practical and theoretical knowledge in the following areas:

  • Code of safe practice
  • Kit and equipment
  • Access and conservation
  • Bike familiarisation
  • Bike preparation and maintenance
  • First aid relating to biking activity
  • Bike skills (on and off road)
  • Bike leadership and group management
  • Risk assessment


Other Qualifications

MIAS links in with the “outdoor world qualifications”:

  • Mountain Leadership (ML) for over 600 metres (Mountainous Terrain)
  • Basic Expedition Leadership Award (BEL) – for up to 600 metres (Wild Country)
  • Walking Group Leader award
  • Local Authority Cycle Awareness Courses

It is the only course that has a Leader Log Book, which ensures that a record is kept on the progression of the individual. The Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority endorse it.

It links in with numerous Adventurous Activities Licences which incorporate mountain biking. It transfers to any centre to run the scheme themselves, with qualified staff. Individuals are continually updated and have the opportunity to take an active part in any of the future planned courses. Instructors have a personal development plan interview once a year. Bike leaders are encouraged to further their own skills and involve others within the sport. It offers a “Personal Skills” section, which looks at the young person with learning difficulties, to attain an Academic, National Accreditation (Certificated). It offers Cycle Maintenance 

The MIAS Courses are accredited and/or recognised by the following organisations:


  • The Association of British Cycling Coaches
  • Adventuremark
  • LOtC
  • MOD
  • Cadets
  • Birmingham City Council Engineers Department (Road Safety Unit)
  • Birmingham City Council Adventurous Activities, Policy Guidelines
  • Many other West Midlands Councils
  • Staffordshire Council
  • Shropshire Council
  • Powys Council
  • Norfolk Council
  • Merseyside Police
  • North Yorkshire Police
  • Essex County Council
  • Leeds University
  • R.A.F. Royal Air Force
  • Recognised by A.A.L.A
and many more............
Association of British Cycling Coaches and MIAS
cycling coaches logo
Membership can be applied for at anytime during the year and your start date is that of your application.
For your renewal fee you get insurance, Cycle Coaching, Newsletters and membership of your own independent organisation, which successfully protects your rights against increasing and unnecessary bureaucracy. Because we have been able to successfully negotiate with our insurers we have been able to keep our premiums at an affordable level.We have a comprehensive and unique insurance package, which covers incidental activities that cycling coaches, do in addition to direct coaching. This insurance also covers the possible long-term effects of advice, which a coach might give. It has been designed by people who understand the real world in which a cycling coach operates, and has covered most of the concerns you will hear when you hear a lecture on the risks of coaching.
The cover is for a £5 million insurance level. (Most local authorities will need to see an insurance certificate for £5 million). You should ask your club to subsidise your ABCC membership as you are doing them a service by being comprehensively insured for coaching in a way that no other cycling organisation can duplicate.On the other hand, you may be insured via the BC Coaching scheme and just want Cycle Coaching plus inclusion in ABCC coach listings, or you are not currently active but still wish to receive Cycle Coaching and keep your qualification listed on the ABCC register.
Children's Act 1989: Protection of Children. Disclosure of criminal background of those with access to children. Under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (exceptions) amended by the 1986 order, convictions including spent convictions must be disclosed.