Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education

Cycling UK and the Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education (SAPOE) have formed a partnership to deliver both Mountain Bike Trail Leader and Technical Mountain Bike Leader courses across Scotland

Course outcomes

Mountain Bike Trail Leader

Mountain biking is one of the most accessible, enjoyable introductions to group cycling. Cycling UK's Mountain Bike Trail Leader course enables you to lead groups on gentle terrain less than 600m above sea level and without the need for riders to steer a path around obstacles. 

The course includes tuition for your own off-road skills, and assessment of your new-found skills.

  • Lead groups of adults, young people and children on rides
  • Manage groups with a range of riding experience
  • Prepare for rides, anticipate and minimise safety factors
  • Develop and apply risk assessments, operating procedures and dynamic risk management
  • Provide fun, engaging and developmental sessions for your participants
  • Understand access rights across the UK and beyond
  • Complete and review rides, using self-reflective principles

Technical Mountain Bike Leader

Extending your knowledge and skills from your Cycling UK Mountain Bike Trail Leader course, the Technical Mountain Bike Leader course enables you to guide riders into technical and demanding terrain.

This course is widely recognised as one of the benchmarks of competence with the outdoor education and activity industries.

  • Riding on technical ground
  • Managing your group in technical terrain
  • Developing skills and identifying hazards
  • Navigating accurately and in detail
  • Dealing with mechanical incidents with a wide variety of trailside repairs and fixes
  • Motivating, engaging and educating your group members
  • Delivering skills development sessions for your participants as part of rides

Key content

Cycling UK and the Scottish Advisory Panel for Outdoor Education (SAPOE) have formed a partnership to deliver both Mountain Bike Trail Leader and Technical Mountain Bike Leader courses across Scotland

SAPOE is the forum for representatives from Local Authorities across Scotland to consider and debate best practice in the development and safe delivery of Outdoor Learning.

It aims to:

  • Support Local Authorities in the development of Outdoor Learning as part of the Curriculum for Excellence
  • Promote and develop consistent good practice across Scotland for off-site visits through the implementation of Going Out There
  • Support the provision of Adventure Activities and residential Outdoor Centres

As an accredited course provider Cycling UK will look after the registration, certification and provide course literature for SAPOE participants, there is a £50 registration fee attached for processing all bookings. SAPOE will deliver all training via their accredited tutors. 


Mountain Bike Leader Expedition Module : Extend the remit of your award to be able to run overnight camping and bike-packing trips.

Mountain Bike Leader Night Ride Module: Extend the remit of your award to be able to lead rides in night time conditions. 

A new award has been developed with the European organisation of Mountain Bike Instructors - Guides (E0-MTBInG) and in association with the Association of British Mountain Bike Guides.

Cycling UK has mapped across the awards together with MIAS, MBCUK to develop a European Licence for MTB Guides.

Expedition module - new for 2017. This module covers all aspects of multi day riding.

Course details

3 days
Mountain Bike Trail Leader Non-technical riding - relatively smooth tracks and trails. Technical Mountain Bike Leader technical off-road terrain, inc. rocks, roots and bumps
Fitness level
Basic - Moderate
£50 registration