Training, which officially became an independent Commission in 2022, is one of the core services offered by the UIAA. In particular, the UIAA Mountain Qualification Label (MQLs) are an internationally recognised accreditation and certification scheme which examines and evaluates the training and assessment programmes of UIAA member federations.
The process includes an independent assessment of the training provided to voluntary leaders and instructors by a UIAA expert which is then endorsed by an international panel of experts. Accredited UIAA member federations include representatives from over twenty countries on all six continents.
Improved access for mountain lovers to safe and inspiring leadership and instruction; safety, enjoyment and fulfilment in the world’s wildest places and encouragement for sustainable mountaineering and climbing practices. The MQL aims to help reducing accidents and develop best practices.
The labels were first adopted by the UIAA General Assembly in 1993 (Santiago de Chile) to assist member federations wishing to use the original four standards.
General purpose of the UIAA Training Commission:
- To support climbers and mountaineers gain access to high quality training, leaders and instructors.
- Develop, revise and upgrade international standards for qualifications and personal skills training courses.
- Advise member organisations on how to develop training programmes and qualifications
- Accredit qualifications that meet the standard of the UIAA’s Mountain Qualification Label.
The Training Commission’s activities focus on
- To develop Training Standards and Mountain Qualification Labels (MQLs) for all mountaineering and climbing activities, in order to minimise accidents and maximise sustainability.
- To periodically review these Standards and Labels, updating and improving them as this becomes necessary.
- To attract and develop a sub-committee of active trainers with management/development experience of national or international qualifications – “The Qualifications Panel”.
- Deploy the Qualifications Panel members to conduct and review validation inspections of qualifications programmes in order to accredit suitable schemes with the relevant Mountain Qualifications Label.
- To ensure that the validators that inspect mountaineering and climbing training/assessment courses are competent. These inspectors must be suitably qualified, experienced and inducted, in order to properly and impartially complete the inspections as stipulated by the UIAA Standards.
- To review mountaineering and climbing accidents, to determine if the existing UIAA Mountain Qualification Labels are adequate.
- To identify strategies to tackle poor technique or equipment misuse.
- To monitor any new types of mountaineering or climbing equipment, techniques or systems becoming available, and updating or adding new Standards and Qualification Labels as may be needed.
- To contribute to the UIAA programme that provides information and advice, regarding best practice when people participate in mountaineering or climbing.
- To develop a team of trainers who can assist UIAA member organisations set up qualifications be delivering training courses and pilot programmes at the request of the member organisation.
- To provide information to equipment manufacturers which will promote improved use of climbing and mountaineering equipment.
- To collaborate with the other UIAA Commissions, UIAA Federations and other worldwide external organisations, to achieve these objectives.
- Develop strategies to best disseminate the latest climbing equipment recalls and warnings information to the mountaineering and climbing communities.
Training Commission Membership
Date and Location TBC
United Kingdom (BMC)