ML Holder Issue

I have held mountain leader for 12 years. (I’m not actually a cwo anymore…not for 21 years anyway)

There is a Mountain Leader in my wing who is completely out of date. She is now severely overweight, no way near fit enough for the qual, has massive gaps in knowledge and I do not think she should still hold this qual. I have complained to the WATTO & RATTO multiple times to no success. Does anyone know if it is possible to complain to the qualification providers to have her re-assessed as i genuinely believe her to be a danger to cadets she takes out.


I rather doubt Mountain Training would be interested (I may well be wrong) as the responsibility for managing currency of a qualification holder would sit with the deploying organisation (us). Any degradation of performance, currency etc should be monitored via the WATTO through the annual currency assessment process.

What is it that makes you say they are out of date and have massive gaps in knowledge? Presumably from your statement the qualification holder is still actively using the qualification?

From the Mountain Training FAQs page:

A current Mountain Leader will be regularly using the skill set required to lead groups in the mountains. They will also be up to date with good practice and this can come from attending workshops or peer-led events in order to discuss ideas and gain feedback. Mountain Leaders should also have a valid first aid certificate and should continue to log their personal and group days.

As far as I’m aware the only thing anyone requires to maintain their qualification is a first aid certificate, so if anything the person in question sounds like they perhaps just need a refresher? Is there any organisation-applied restrictions?

Kind of true, in that Mountain Training don’t enforce a minimum amount of CPD in the way that British Canoeing do, however it is suggested that you join the Mountain Training Association as a method of tracking and demonstrating CPD in using your qual.

In addition to that they have the FAQ above which states you should be up to date with best practice and regularly using the qual. There is an organisational expectation of currency in using a particular qual - checked annually by the WATTOs - and at some point in the future there is likely to be a more detailed currency & competency (inc CPD) requirement coming in for qualification holders.

All people using a qual of any sort should be Qualified, Current and Competent. It sounds like this person might not be all three of those.

Speaking as a duty holder (until recently) I would want to know about this and would be seeking assurance that this has been investigated properly, as it would fall under whistleblowing policies if there is a genuine safety issue. Of course the outcome of an investigation could be no action - you’ve got to do this fairly.

Have you spoken to anyone else about it? I don’t know if you’re in uniform or not but I’d be inclined to escalate this up the Chain of Command until it reaches the RC. I know the ATC is very CoC oriented (in the CCF I’d simply go straight to the Head) so maybe best to speak to the WExO then write to OC Wg but ultimately it must reach the duty holder as it’s their neck on the block if there’s an incident.

That said… I’ve known very competent and current MLs who were a bit porky. As long as they can keep up with cadets (and trust me, that’s often not much of a challenge) then there isn’t an issue. Gaps in knowledge are more of a concern.


The sooner this is sorted the better, at the moment it seems very hit & miss as to what extent WATTO’s are keeping tabs on currency.

The more I think about it the more I wonder how there isn’t a fully swept-up list of currencies for any qual that has risk involved. You could have an ML on a squadron doing in-house stuff very no supervision other than potentially a wing AT officer coming round and asking questions every once in a while. Same goes for climbing, kayaking etc etc. At what point is someone considered current?

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Yes, lots of nuances here. For example, if someone who is ML walks up a Munro every weekend but only every on their own, would they claim to be current with respect to group management skills?

That’s why there is a currency & competency ACATI in the works that will give a much better outline of what people need to do to be considered current, and how much CPD they have to undertake. Currently it’s on the judgement of the WATTOs.

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Roger. Any idea if there is a standard that WATTOs use, or is it based on personal judgement? Any ML worth their salt (:wink:) has a comprehensive logbook, but I know many that don’t! Surely those people would not be permitted to train, so the OP shouldn’t be worried about this uncurrent ML?

Mostly personal judgement I would guess however when I was in the role I set out a document describing the minimum number of sessions expected which would make a user ‘current’, which was agreed at the Wing AT panel.

It’s actually quite a difficult thing to define in black and white, and will always include a level of judgement based on a logbook check, especially for those who hold multiple qualifications. Certain activities (e.g. a generic coaching theory course) can count for CPD in multiple disciplines etc, but then you have to be practising the ‘hard’ skills in each environment as well.

I think this is the best practical advice of how to deal with this. As @tmmorris says if you’ve had no joy with the RATTO/WATTO then the duty holder probably needs to know if you are genuinely concerned. Just be careful that you are certain they are not meeting THE standard as set by Mountain Training, rather than YOUR standard.