14 August 2014

European MTB Guide &Instructor Summit - Davos

The city of Davos will host the first European MTB Guide & Instructor Summit from the 26th – 28th of September. The event is initiated by IMBA Europe, Swiss Cycling and Moniteur Cycliste Français (MCF).Main objective is to bring experts (trainers) and developers of existing (national) MTB guide, instructor or leadership programs for the first time together to discuss and develop a  future European (legal) framework for mountain bike guide and instructor certification. 

On the European level, there’s a lack of coordination and collaboration in the field of training programs / courses for mountain bike guides and instructors. As a result, job descriptions, profiles, duration, content and qualification criteria of such programs differ per country or sometimes even per region. Therefore,  comparison and transnational recognition of  these national qualifications is complex. 

This situation was regarded as undesirable by several national mountain biking organizations who attended IMBA Europe’s Summit in Cercedilla (March 2014). There’s a clear need for more coordination, more knowledge sharing between experts and developers in the field of MTB leadership, guiding or instructor programs. Especially now more and more guides and instructors work across borders and safety of participants / clients must be guaranteed at all times. 

The Summit in Davos can be seen as an exploratory step towards a European framework. Existing training programs will be presented and compared, followed by a broad discussion on common job descriptions and minimum training standards.  

Both IMBA Europe as Swiss Cycling and MCF acknowledge the complexity of the current work field of mountain bike instructors and guides and that harmonization will be a big challenge. There are many facets to take into account like working area (alpine vs. hilly landscapes), level of professionalism (professionals vs. volunteers within clubs) and whether or not existing qualifications are captured in a legal framework. Nevertheless, the approach  will be to move forward and work on a constructive relationship with all providers of MTB training programs. The Summit program is initially prepared by Swiss Cycling and MCF. As an umbrella association, IMBA Europe will have a facilitative and independent role in this process. All participating organizations are expected to have a proactive input. In the end, they determine the success of this first European summit. 

For more information, please send your email to one of the following contact persons:

MCF - Julien Rebuffet 
Swiss Cycling - Claude Balsiger 
IMBA Europe – Mark Torsius  

Register here