23 October 2014

Successful 1st EU Guide & Instructor Summit

During IMBA Europe’s first MTB Guide & Instructor Summit, experts and developers of  trainings programs for  mountain bike guides and instructors across Europe gathered in Davos (CH) and agreed on the next steps towards the development of a European MTB guide and instructor certification. 

The summit kicked off with the presentation of nine different guiding & instruction programs from  seven different countries and clearly showed the differences and similarities between  these programs. Although the identified differences in a number of areas were significantly (duration, educational focus, target group), all participating organizations managed to agree on a draft job description and set of required skills & competences. 

The conversation was continued on the bike while riding some of the sweetest singletracks around Davos. Brainstorming about guidelines for MTB instructors and guides also brought up some new questions with regard to scales in trail difficulties and  collection of mountain bike tourism related data. 

The second day of the summit was marked by the example of ski instructors and mountain guides and their strategy to come to a European framework of professional qualifications. Various options were explained, ranging from a voluntary standard (brand) to an industry standard (ISO, NEN etc.) and an EU reglemented profession (European ‘Cartes Professionelles’ Licences). 

The Davos meeting was the first time experts and developers of trainings programs across Europe worked together and shared their knowledge and experience for a greater purpose:

  • An improved status & public image of MTB guides and instructors throughout Europe
  • Freedom of movement
  • Creation of a community of guides/ instructors > having colleagues in cool places
  • Convenience and quality assurance for employers
  • Safety for the consumer
  • A readymade solution for countries who do not yet have a guide/instructor training  

Outcomes: 

  • Draft job description / set of required skills & competences
  • Creation of  a committee within IMBA Europe to harmonize MTB guiding & instructor programs
  • Set up of different – thematic -  working groups (e.g. final certification, trail difficulty scale, EU funding, collecting market data)
  • Next stop, IMBA Europe Summit 2015 in France (April)

Partipating organisations: 

Swiss Cycling, Moniteur Cycliste Français, IMBA Europe, Deutsche Initiave Mountain Bike, Deutscher Alpenverein, Slovenian Cycling Federation, British Cycling, CTC, NTFU, POMBA

A big thank you and compliment goes out to Swiss Cycling and Moniteur Cycliste Français who developed and moderated a great program and the communities of Davos, Engadin/St. Moritz, Lenzerheide and Flims/Laax for their hospitality during this event and its extended program.