Training is one of the core services offered by the UIAA. In  particular, the UIAA Mountain Qualification Label (MQL), managed by the UIAA Training Panel, is 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 Associations wishing to use the original four standards. The regulatory body is today called the UIAA Training Panel.



Organisations/associations/bodies and other entities not-affiliated to the UIAA cannot apply for UIAA Training Qualifications. It is strictly forbidden for non-UIAA members to present any courses as being UIAA training certified.


Member associations are reminded that while they are encouraged to use UIAA membership branding in their communications, it is absolutely forbidden to use it on any certification for skills, leadership or instruction until or unless they have completed UIAA accreditation for qualifications.  If any member wishes to use the UIAA logo on certification, they need to register for the MQL and complete the accreditation process. For further details please contact the UIAA Office. In addition, skills courses should only be delivered by qualified instructors, and candidates must register for UIAA Good Practice personal skills if they wish to have a UIAA certificate for their course.


The UIAA accreditation for personal skills training confirms that students have competed a training course which met UIAA recommended standards for contact hours, syllabus, suitable venue and personally directed by a qualified tutor holding the appropriate UIAA accredited mountain activity qualification. It should be remembered that skills fade over time so the candidate should continue to practice after competing a skills training programme. These are delivered by the member organisation following UIAA recommended guidelines. Unlike skills courses a qualification involves a process of experience, training, consolidation, assessment and revalidation.

Leaders and instructors holding a UIAA accredited qualification are deemed competent and current for working in the country where their member organisation is based. Some countries may wish to cross-accredit or fast-track UIAA accredited leaders; however this is entirely at the discretion of the national federation and subject to law in that country for volunteer and/or professional work. The UIAA supports UIAGM and UIMLA members as the only qualified professional leaders and guides with universally accepted international scope and remit.


1. Harmonise the training qualification programmes / schemes of the UIAA Member Federations, in order to achieve a minimal training qualification level recognised worldwide;
2. Support UIAA Member Federations who do not have the means to establish their own national training qualification programme/schemes;
3. Professionalise and expand the existing qualification service to other institutions: expert cutting-edge advice is provided in several languages, and a range of state-of-the-art teaching resources is available to assist developing federations.

For further details: Frequently Asked Questions

Types of Qualification Label

The Mountain Qualification Labels are grouped under eight categories:

1. Mountain Walking and Trekking (summer)
2. Winter Mountain Walking and Snowshoeing
3. Sport Climbing (indoor and outdoor)
4. Rock Climbing (leader placed protection)
5. Canyoning
6. Ice Climbing
7. Alpine Climbing
8. Ski Mountaineering

How To Apply

A UIAA member federation wishing to apply to a Mountain Qualification Label should provide specifications for pre-training experience, skills and knowledge. Summaries of the requirements that should be the content of the scheme being proposed for approval can be found here.

Where appropriate the Mountain Qualifications Labels may be used in combination. If the proposed scheme includes activities at high-altitude, in tropical regions or avalanche terrain, it must be used in conjunction with the relevant additional qualifications.

Details on registering and accessing the UIAA Training Management System are provided below. Please click the button on the right for general enquiries related to UIAA training qualifications.

Label Application Steps

Step 1

Eligibility criteria

1. You must be a UIAA member (primary and associate) or a UIAA member delegated provider. UIAA Observer members are eligible to apply under specific conditions and shall pay an additional fee.

2. You must also have an educational programme for leaders and instructors or start to institute an education programme with a robust quality assurance system.

Step 2


The qualification must be specified as either a leadership or instructional qualification. A leader is a person who can take responsibility for other people (including beginners) and lead or supervise an activity. An instructor or tutor is a person who can teach people (including beginners) so they are competent to take part in an activity. For mountaineering activities an instructor is normally qualified to lead as a pre-requisite before completing pedagogical training.

In order to apply to start working towards accreditation, the administrative or training officer should register on the UIAA Training Management System, and complete an application form. Instructions for this are included in the PDF documents below.

Step 3

Assessment and Visit

The Training Panel will assess the application and propose a validator for the chosen scheme. The UIAA office will then send an invoice for registration. Once payment is received, an agreement will be signed and the process to begin the accreditation and site visits begins.

Step 4

Induction Visit

A site visit is required from the mentor or another visit of the Training Panel in order to properly evaluate existing systems, teaching sites etc in order to give meaningful advice about the on-going development. The association must arrange the mentor’s travel and accommodation. A recommended way to eliminate this cost is by hosting a Mountaineering Commission meeting and scheduling the induction visit to coincide.

Step 5

Validation and Accreditation

Dates for validation visit(s) will be by mutual agreement after which the validator(s) send his/their report to the Training Panel and UIAA office. If the criteria in evaluation checklist are met, the applicant will be issued a UIAA Mountain Qualification Label certificate valid for five (5) years.

For full details about revalidation, termination, the rights and obligations of a MQL holder and dispute resolution process please click here.

For details on pricing please contact the UIAA Office.

UIAA Training Panel

United Kingdom

Steve Long

Steve is chair of the Training Panel Chair. He is a validator and trainer for all activities and has been employed, since 2006 by the Mountain Training UK as Technical Officer. He is also Development Officer for Association of Mountaineering Instructors and mountain safety consultant, guide and coach.


Patrick Lamarque

Patrick is a validator and trainer for rock and mountain activities. He is a retired Aeronautics Engineering Specialist, a trainer and alpine instructor for the French Alpine Club (FFCAM) and participated in several expeditions which include the Andes, Nepal and Africa. He is a keen climber, trekker, sailor and traveler.

Catalonia, Spain

Jordi Magriña

Jordi is a validator and Director of Mountain Training with FEEC (Catalan Federation of Mountain) and Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada (FEDME) in rock climbing and mountaineering. He is a computer engineer and has climbed extensively on five continents.


Matjaž Šerkezi

Matjaž is a validator and trainer for all activities. He is the Legal Assistant/Trainer for Slovenian Alpine Club (PZS), an Information Technology specialist and Kamnik Mountain Rescue Board member. Matjaž is also a Trainee UIAGM and has taken part in several expeditions to Nepal and Ladakh.

Czech Republic

Jiri Vogel

Jiri is head of the Methodical Commission and a trainer for sport and alpine climbing at the Czech Mountaineering Federation (CMF). He is also responsible for the education of the CMF’s non-professional instructions. By day, he works as a software and electro engineer on industrial applications and is the owner of a small company producing special machines for the automotive industry. Jiri enjoys spending time in the Austrian and Slovak mountains, winter climbing and ski mountaineering.

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