Jordan is the latest country to receive training from the UIAA Training Standards Panel.
UIAA Training Standards Chair Steve Long reports that three courses were held for the mountain communities of Ajloun, Dana, Karak and Wadi Rum on the request of UIAA associate member Jordan Tourist Board.
The Jordan Tourist Board selected candidates from the local communities for the first round of training course under the direction of Long and a team of trainers from France, UK, Catalonia and Turkey.
Each course lasted a week and took place throughout December.
The training followed a successful induction and site visits in April 2014.
Trainees began working towards creating “entry level” qualifications for mountain activities by providing a series of training courses based on the UIAA standards for hillwalking and rock climbing as well as piloting a training course for canyoning leaders.
Long said the long-term goal is to encourage the development of an association for active participants in mountain activities that can manage these qualifications and accredit trainers and assessors.
“It was evident that trek leader training is a necessary pre-requirement for qualifications in other mountain activities, due to the rugged and arid landscape,” said Long. “The Jordan Tourist Board is now assisting the candidates to organize mountaineering adventures to gain further experience in preparation for assessment and subsequent tutor training.
“It is anticipated that unqualified but experienced leaders from urban areas such as the capital city Amman will also be able to join the programme once the scheme becomes better established,” said Long.
This project was made possible by funding from the Petzl Foundation and will continue in 2015 provided the previous candidates gain suitable experience as recommended in the course debriefs.