UK cycling bodies launch Europe-wide Association of Mountain Bike Guides Licence
After a very productive work-group meeting in Finale Ligure (Italy), Slovenia just became the third country to synchronise its MTB instructor-guide training system to the EO-MTBInG European Standard!
The group also worked on the content of the upcoming Foundation module of EO-MTBInG Train the Trainer (TtT) course for the project countries without a current training program, which starts on February the 2nd in the Netherlands. Here, the Netherlands, Poland and Norway will begin the process required to start their own EO-MTBInG-approved programmes, which should be operational as early as autumn 2017.
In case this all sounds like we worked too hard, we also rode some awesome trails together with the expert guiding of Lucas from Bike and Sun Finale. We also had some interesting talks with local MTB instructor-guides including Enrico Guala (Enduro World Series and Super Enduro Founder) about delivering the EO-MTBInG training standard in Italy. Watch this space !
Some Quick Background on EO-MTBInG:
EO-MTBING is the European Organisation of Mountain Bike Instructor-Guides. We owe our existence to the first ever collective pooling of skills, knowledge and experience from leading MTB training organisations across Europe, creating the world’s foremost source of expertise on the subject of MTB instructor-guiding. Our goals are to help define, develop and represent the profession of mountain bike instructor-guide on a national and international level.
Our first main project is the CAPS-MTB (Creating a Professional European Standard in MTB Instructor-Guiding): creating a standard qualification level for MTB instructor-guides across Europe, with the EO-MTBInG European licence. The project is being jointly funded by our partner organisations and the Erasmus+ scheme from the European Commission. The Scheme is open to both countries with an existing MTB instructor-guide training program and also countries without an existing program.
The EO-MTBInG-approved schemes will still be delivered by existing national training organisations. Our role is not to provide the training directly ourselves but to work with our member organisations to ensure that their own schemes all reach a common European standard. Students who successfully qualify to their highest national level will then be able to proceed to a final EO-MTBInG examination, held twice a year in Europe, to obtain their EO-MTBInG European licence.
November saw an EO-MTBInG technical meeting at Bikenomad in Slovenia. Aside from the incredible trails, food and hospitality shown to us by Anej and his family, the three day meeting also saw us make big advances on the project.
As a reminder, since securing Erasmus+ funding from the European commission, the first EO-MTBInG project is called Creating a European Professional Standard for Mountainbike Instructor-Guides (CAPS-MTB).
1. Structure of the scheme: Each national organisation will still deliver their own training scheme. Students who reach the top level, approved by EO-MTBInG, will be entitled to attend an EO-MTBInG examination, held 2 times a year at various locations in Europe. The exam will test practical elements of guiding and instruction based skills as well as a theory exam. The main examination language will be English with other languages available depending on the students attending.
2. Quality assurance, aside from the shared final exam and training content, will also involve reciprocal visits between evaluators from member countries.
3. For countries with no existing scheme, ‘train the trainers’ training courses are underway in early 2017 (Jan-April) – Holland, Poland and maybe Norway. The goal is to have their first generation training schemes being delivered in their countries by the end of 2017 – fast work!
4.Organisations who already have training schemes will also be delivering EO-MTBInG approved courses by the end of 2017 – France, Switzerland, Slovenia for sure and hopefully DIMBS and the ABMG (UK).
4. There is lots of interest from other organisations and from individual instructor-guides in non-member countries. The main challenge within each country will be to organise yourselves to the point where you can join the scheme as part of an organisation.
Great news this month as our main project, the creation of a European MTB guide-instructor training standard, was awarded funding from the European Commission. The project partners are IMBA Europe, the MCF (france), Swiss Cycling, NTFU (Netherlands), POMBA (Poland) and the Slovenian Cycling Federation.
Training courses are already planned for 2017 so that the first EO-MTBInG approved courses will be ready for pilot delivery in autumn 2017. Progress is fast!
You can now register for the EO-MTBInG annual summit, which will take place as part of the IMBA Europe Spring Summit from April 22-24th 2016 at Sram HQ in Schweinfurt, Germany. You can learn more about the summit, and register, here.
See you all there!
The 2016 EO-MTBInG meeting will provisionally take place on the afternoon of Friday April 22nd. As usual, it will be attached to the excellent IMBA Europe Spring Summit. The summit will run from 22-24th April at Sram HQ in Schweinfurt, Germany.
It will be an essential date too see what we’ve been up to during the year and to plan our next steps. Sram also have their own pump track so we won’t get too serious!
More details will be available soon, both here and on the IMBA Europe site. See you all soon!
December 2015 saw a key step in the progress of the EO-MTBInG adventure take place: The first two fully active members of the project, Switzerland and France, met over three days to establish the first version of the standard EO-MTBInG training content.
What is this? It is a detailed, hour by hour breakdown of what subjects need to be covered by a training organisation to meet the EO-MTBInG standard. It also includes some basic elements that must be covered during evaluation of students.
Of course, this model will continue to evolve just as our beautiful sport continues to evolve. As each new country/organisation joins EO-MTBInG, they too will have input to help decide how the training content evolves in the future.
Critically, this new training standard will also work as the base model for helping countries/organisations to develop new instructor-guide training programs. By joining EO-MTBInG, they will save many years and massive amonts of money in developing a top level training program.
The end of September saw some EO-MTBInG members meet in Newcastle for the 2015 Nature and Sports Euromeet. 5 days of clear blue skies surprised the locals as much as it did the delegates. We tagged a meeting onto the main conference and were very lucky to have some colleagues from the European Network of Outdoor Sports (ENOS) attend. We mainly discussed the final assessment standard of the EO-MTBInG license and how it will be quality assured, along with aspects of funding on a national and European level.
The main outcomes of the meeting were:
MEMBERSHIP- will be available initially (for phase 1 of the project) at two levels (open to Federations, national bodies and non-profit MTB groups)
1. Key Partner (one per country)- commitment to annual meeting and work on main/subsidiary work groups. €2000 investment fee.
2. Supporting Member – commitment to annual meeting, possibility to work on subsidiary work groups. €200 investment fee.
For phase 2 (roll-out) funding will switch to individual membership from candidates who wish to attain the EO-MTBInG license
The main working groups for this autumn are:
Defining the Standard
Achieving National Support
Achieving European support
Quality Assurance: future project for core group
Benchmarking existing schemes: future project for core + subsidiary groups.
– EO-MTBING will be setting a European level which will not interfere in existing national schemes.
– Candidates would be required to follow their own national schemes, in their own country, as far as they go before moving on to any ‘bridging course’ that might be necessary for a European license.
all systems are now go! This autumn/winter will see huge advances in the project so keep in touch!
The second meeting of the European Instructor-Guide Project was a great success. Attached to the IMBA Europe conference, the project drew the provisional support of mountain bike federations, unions and user groups from 13 European countries.
It was agreed that in order to move forwards in a meaningful way we needed to first establish our basic structure and network. With these foundations laid we can then move onto the specific tasks involved in making the project a success.
The start of something big! We had a really good first meeting in Davos where we exchanged program information and had a in-depth discussion about the skills set of a professional MTB guide and MTB instructor. It was a huge amount of information that came to us but also a necessary conversation to identify our future challenges. Guess we can say that we’re still confused but on a much higher level.
Although it’s difficult in this stage to draw up a realistic planning, here’s a proposed calendar
- Now until April 2015 work in small subgroups (steps 1-4)
- April 2015: 2ND IMBA EU Guide and Instructor meeting in France
- Between April 2015 & February 2016: Elaboration of the contents (steps 5-7)
- September 2015: Special MTB Guide & Instructor meeting
- February 2016: Submission of an Erasmus+ application
- March/April, 2016 : IMBA EU meeting
- September 2016: Special MTB Guide & Instructor meeting
- Beginning of 2018: End of the works and beginning of the steps to obtain a professional
European ID card
- End of 2018: Birth of the professional ID card European for MTB Guides and Instructor in