DIRTT Project


The DIRTT project (Developing Intereuropean Resources for Trail building Training) springs from the core of Europe’s mountain bike enthusiasts, volunteers, and professionals centered around the European branch of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA Europe). The aim is to develop an educational framework and professional training program for people active in the trail building sector, addressing the needs of professionals and volunteers in the field of of planning, design, construction, maintenance and management of mountain bike trails.


The partners in the project are from a number of backgrounds including advocacy organisations, sports associations, governmental- and educational institutions, tourism, as well as private enterprises in the MTB trail building sector. The countries involved are Switzerland, Portugal, Scotland, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. The three-year project is coordinated by lead applicant Fagskolen Tinius Olsen, a college of higher vocational education in Norway. The project has been granted €387,731 through the European Union’s ERASMUS+ programme.  The three year project aims to develop an educational framework and a professional training program for mountain bike trail builders.

  • Fagskolen Tinius Olsen – Norway
  • International Mountain Bike Association Europe – Netherlands
  • Scottish Cyclists Union / DMBinS – Scotland
  • Edinburgh Napier University – Scotland
  • BikePlan – Switzerland
  • DGI Outdoor – Denmark
  • Município de Águeda – Portugal
  • Opplysningskontoret for Terrengsykling – Norway


  • Defining needs from stakeholders relating to planning construction and management of MTB trails
  • Develop and define the ‘Educational framework’ version 1.0
  • Develop content of the educational framework version 1.0
  • Train key personal at the partnering institutions in the educational framework
  • Update the educational framework into version 2.0
  • Dissemination of project results


As part of the second work package, a MTB trail sector survey has been executed by Napier Edinburgh University to define the training needs of various stakeholders and identify possible skills & knowledge gaps. In total, 121 survey respondents (representing organisations that operate in the domain of trail planning, design, construction and management) from 16 different European countries provided data suitable for inclusion in this project. The main findings of this report are that there is clear demand within the mountain bike trail sector for certified training, and that particular priority is based on the construction and maintenance sectors. Key themes for training requirements included but were not limited to sustainability, safety, drainage, and documentation. The final report is available as download.

Fagskolen i Viken to launch first European Mountain Bike Trail Builder program.

The study programme for Mountain Bike Trail Planning, Construction and Maintenance is targeted to the competence needs of the new and rapidly growing sector of mountain biking (MTB). The course awards 30 ECTS when successfully completed. The syllabus for the study can be found by clicking here. The course is studied online with evening classes and tutorials scheduled online. However, during this study programme, you will be required to attend a total of four residential weeks. Two sessions (of one week) will be hosted in Geilo, Norway and one session (of two weeks) in Agueda, Portugal.

The study programme is split into three main areas with studies related to the themes of;
1. Mountain bike trail building in society
2. Trail design
3. Construction

All study programs at Fagskolen i Viken are public funded through Viken county. Study material such as books, laptops, photocopying etc. must be covered by the student. In addition, you will need to pay a study fee per semester.

Admission requirements:
To be admitted into the course the applicant must hold a relevant trade or journeyman’s certificate, or relevant experience validated as prior learning. Trade or journeyman’s certificate that gives right for admission is educational programme in construction within the vocation of:

  • Road and construction worker
  • Construction vehicle/machinery operator
  • Landscaper
  • Road constructor and maintenance worker or,
  • Educational programme in Agriculture, fishing, and forestry within the vocation of Forestry worker or Gardener

Relevant work experience that may be validated as prior learning, minimum 5 years:

  • Non-Certified experience from one of the above-mentioned vocations
  • Trail building

How to apply:

Apply through our application portal. Be aware that a few details are in Norwegian. To help you through the application process, here is a short guide on how to apply.
On acceptance you will receive further information directly from the school.

Course delivery methods:
Most of the course will consist of online learning. The online sessions will largely be pre-recorded allowing students to access them online at time of their choosing. There will be a 2-hour lecture per week with additional time allocated for direct learning and feedback with course tutors each week.

Geilo, Norway
The Geilo campus of Fagskolen i Viken will play host to the first physical meeting of the students and tutors. With existing mountain bike trails to explore and assess and an abundance of mountain and forest terrain Geilo provides both outdoor and indoor learning opportunities. We will spend 1 week in Geilo in early September.

Agueda, Portugal.
Located 1 hour to the South of Porto International Airport the city of Agueda and the surrounding mountains offer our outdoor classroom and training centre. With 350m of elevation and 18,000 sqm of space to utilize the sessions in Agueda focus on vocational, real-world training where participants will construct and maintain trails. The location and weather allow for all year-round training, the perfect escape from the wet and cold winter in Northern Europe! Sessions are scheduled for two weeks per group of 10 students from January 2023.