The School For Mountain Leadership

The School For Mountain Leadership

Who's qualified and how do I know?


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Our guiding section:
The Mountain Guide
When you're participating in hazardous activities it makes sense to ensure that the people you're entrusting your life to are properly trained, qualified and (where necessary) registered. How do you do that?

Training and instruction
If you want to do a mountaineering-related course the best place to check is with the MDT. They accredit trainers for rock-climbing (which includes abseiling) and for mountain walking (or hiking). You can check on their website and see what the level of training/qualification is for anyone who is offering climbing, abseiling or hiking training. If you want to do a course that follows and MDT syllabus or results in an MDT certificate then you can also check that the person offering the training is MDT accredited to offer MDT training / assessments.

Adventure Activities
If someone's going to be leading an activity (eg: taking your school group abseiling) then you can check on their qualifications with either the MDT or with THETA (who administer the Tourism and Guiding part of the NQF, including adventure-guiding qualifications).

Qualifying as a guide
If you want to become a mountain guide operating in South Africa you will need to gain both a generic guiding qualification (which every tour guide needs). and specialist mountain guiding qualifications (unit-standards). The only qualifications / unit standards acceptable for registration as a mountain guide in SA are SAQA unit standards issued by THETA, either as individual standards or as part of a Skills Programme / Learning Programme. This means that although you can acquire these skills in any way you like, you can only be assessed by an accredited assessor. You can check your assessor's status through THETA. The company or organisation offering the assessment must also be registered with THETA . (If you want to check on our accreditation status, look under 'Adventure Qualifications Network', which we form part of for NQF training and assessments)

Mountain Guides
How you can check on mountain guides:
  • The MDT will be able to tell you if someone's qualified to conduct the activity.
  • Check with THETA that the person has the required qualifications to register as a guide.
  • Your provincial tourism registrar will be able to tell you whether your guide is registered.
  • The quickest option is to ask your guide to show you their registration card. The back of this card will list what activities and/or areas they are permitted to guide.

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