International Mountain Leader – Summer Assessment

Your assessment takes place over four days, it will take the form of a 3 day hut based journey with overnights in high mountain huts and gites and a day walk.

Plas y Brenin

4 Days

Instructor Ratio4:1


Plas y Brenin


4 Days

Instructor Ratio


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You’ll be assessed on your practical application of leadership, environmental knowledge, route choice, group care, navigation and many other skills, as well as your fitness.

You’ll also complete a home paper, prepare two 10-minute ‘on the hill’ environmental presentations, a route planning exercise and present your Leader’s resource file.

You’ll need to be at the top of your game for this expedition-based assessment – fit, acclimatised and familiar with all aspects of the syllabus. Please come with a packed rucksack, food and drink, and dressed for a day walk in the local area.

You’ll also need with you your logbook/DLog, first aid certificate, leader’s resource pack, home preparation paper, and travel insurance.

The Objectives 

The International Mountain Leader scheme (IML) provides comprehensive training and assessment for individuals who aspire to work as leaders in Europe and further afield. It integrates training, experience and assessment in a variety of realistic situations. The scheme provides training and assessment in the skills required for leading and educating groups worldwide in summer conditions and also on easy snow-covered, rolling, Nordic-type terrain in the “middle mountains” in winter conditions.

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What to Expect

There’ll be a course welcome and full briefing at 9.00am . The assessment is based in Switzerland – Villars sur Ollon – Vaud. Please arrive with your logbook/Dlog, leader’s resource pack, home preparation paper and travel insurance

After this you’ll head out for a day walk in small teams with an instructor. The areas of syllabus you will be continually assessed on are

  • Leadership
  • Navigation
  • Broad environmental knowledge
  • Client care in a variety of environments
  • Personal movement skills and fitness
  • Response to emergency scenarios
  • Emergency use of rope to include dealing with fixed equipment
  • Route choice, hazard awareness and management in a variety of terrain
  • Organising clients in overnight accommodation

Whilst this is a 4 day assessment, we will try to provide an opportunity for some training on summer snow patches, subject to availability of a suitable summer snow patch

At the end of each day, there is an opportunity for feedback from the assessor

Experience Required

You must have;

  • Completed an IML Summer training course and successfully passed your TIMED NAVIGATION TEST
  • Gained further experience as required before assessment
  • You should be 18 years old to attend this course.
  • You also need to be familiar with, and prepared to demonstrate all aspects of the International Mountain Leader syllabus.
  • A copy of the syllabus can be downloaded from the Mountain Training website.

How Should I Prepare?

You should be physically fit for four days walking. As a guide to the level of fitness required, the syllabus states that candidates ‘must be capable of sustained physical effort over approximately six hours, whilst carrying a 10kg rucksack and gaining between 1300 and 1600m of ascent at the rate of 400 to 500m per hour’. The assessment will take place at altitude so you need to be suitably acclimatised to operate at approximately 3000m.

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Why Plas y Brenin?

Plas y Brenin is at the forefront of outdoor instruction. Whether you are starting a career in the outdoors, or just want to take an adventure holiday, PYB is the place for you.

We inspire explorers. We train trainers. We’re internationally recognised. We’ve been around since 1798, with our earliest guests including Queen Victoria. Since then, we’ve focussed on providing the best customer experience, working alongside some of the greatest, 007 included.

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Expert Tuition

You’ll receive expert supervision from fully qualified and psyched instructors, creating the perfect environment to learn and enjoy something new!

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Explore Eryri

Your experience will take place in the heart of the extraordinary Eryri National Park. Our National Outdoor Centre features accommodation, a bar, dining, and more. And while you’re here, why not check out some local gems?

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Develop a Passion

Everyone at Plas y Brenin, from staff to visitors, is excited about adventures and inspired to get outside. Our guests return year after year to experience all that North Wales offers.