Local Cave and Mine Leader Award ( LCMLA )
This is the benchmark scheme which allows you to become a professional cave and / or mine leader instructor within the UK.
Undertake your training and assessment in one of the best locations for group venues for mine exploration within the UK. Our mines in North Wales are steeped in history, give a real feeling of exploration and offer some fantastic trips and classic trips.
I offer training and assessment courses for the mine-based scheme in North Wales only and those who are looking to take groups into the relevant disused mines in North Wales. I work alongside Dave Baines and Nigel Atkins who course direct courses and deliver courses with assistance from me. Dave and Nigel are approved trainers and assessors for the BCA mine leader scheme.
Currently I am working to become a fully trained and approved trainer and assessor for the BCA mine leader award scheme.
I am a member of the North Wales local cave and mine leader trainer and assessor panel and North Wales cave rescue team.
I also work as a guide for Go Below Adventures and Blue Peris Mountain centre using the local mines.
Having had a passion for mine exploration and education for over 25 years I have explored a huge variety of the Welsh mines and seen many aspects of mine history. I believe taking groups of school pupils underground is such a unique and fulfilling experience and the main reason I became a trainer and assessor. This view is backed up by many centres in Wales as they often take groups underground and therefore, are in need of qualified mine leaders.
There are two separate pathways one for caves and one for mines. Both these involve a series of stages as set out by the BCA. The scheme can look complex and difficult to fully understand what is required and how to proceed.
Pathway to becoming a mine leader
1 – Apply to the BCA to register upon the scheme as a whole. There is a one off cost for this and once accepted you will be given a logbook and can proceed further.
2 – Attend an approved BCA Mine Leader Training ( usually 2 days )
A ) Ideally attend a training course in the area you wish to work. Therefore, if you wish to work in North Wales, ideally attend a training course in that region. If you wish to work in the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Mendips, Cornwall or South Wales then ideally attend a course there.
B ) Attend a training course in the type of venue, you wish to work, either cave or mine. If you wish to work in both cave and mine, you have 2 choices ;
1 – Chose a 2-day cave or mine training and later in the scheme at assessment level you can transfer from cave to mine or vice versa.
2 – Or attend a 3-day combined cave and mine training. However, there are fewer of these courses available. Later in the scheme at assessment level you can transfer from cave to mine or vice versa.
Sounds complicated ? Yes, I agree either visit the BCA website, call the BCA or get in touch with me and I can explain in detail if required.
3 – Gain the relevant experience you require for assessment and for the mine venues you wish to work in.
4 – Attend a Mine Leader core skills assessment and pass. ( you need to hold a relevant 16-hour first aid certificate at this stage also )
5 – Attend a Mine leader group day assessment and pass ( you need to hold a relevant 16-hour first aid certificate at this stage)
6 – You’re now a qualified Mine Leader ( old style Level 1 ) and can lead trips in the mines of your choice within your area.
At this stage if you wish to work in other mines in another area ( i.e. the Peak District ) then depending on your experience within that area you can add those Peak District venues to your qualification.
Finally, If you wish to move onto the Vertical Mine Leader Award ( old style Level 2 ) award, then you repeat numbers 2, 3, 4 & 5 above but this time following the Vertical Mine Leader Award syllabus.
Do you require Mine Leader Award orVertical Mine Award
Mine Leader Award ( used to be called Level 1 )
This is for leading groups in mines that are mainly horizontal and have slopping inclines or rock steps that are walkable and which link up the different floor levels in the mine. These rock steps may include the use of simple rope work in order to safely look after group members.
Classic work venues in North Wales would include
- Rhiwbach ( with no vertical pitches ) but appropriate inclines and slopes.
- Wrysgan ( with no vertical pitches ) but appropriate inclines and slopes
- Cwmorthin Level 4
Vertical Mine Leader ( used to be called level Two )
This allows venues to be used where in order to make progress, vertical skills such as abseiling, lowering customers down pitches and the use of caving ladders to make ascent are required ( Maximum of 18m pitch lengths )
Classic trade routes for instructors in North Wales would include
Wysgan Floor 3 traverse and round circuit between floor 1 and 2
Rhiwbach Climb up and lower on floor 2
Cwmorthin Various sections ( excluding all cables sections )
Questions I often get asked.
Q- Do I need to follow and pass all aspects of the Mine Leader Award before being able to work as a Vertical Mine Leader ?
A – Yes, Before working as Vertical Mine Leader you need to have completed all stages of the Mine Leader award and have passed that award.
However, on route to becoming a Mine Leader holder, you can undertake your Vertical Mine Leader training course before you have passed your Mine leader award. This allows you to practice your Vertical Mine Leader skills whilst working towards your Mine Leader assessment/s.
Q – Do I need to have all my own equipment to attend a Mine Leader and Vertical Mine leader training ?
A- No, you do not need all your equipment but contact me for full details.
Q – Do I require all my own ropes for Mine Leader and Vertical Mine Leader assessment ?
A – If you do not have ropes or enough, I provide these as part of the course costs.
All courses use a base within the Betws y Coed area and venues used will be in the surrounding area. This area of the UK has some of the best group venues for mine exploration within the scheme.
All technical equipment for all training courses is provided. I find most customers have a selection, but not owning any equipment does not mean you have to purchase before attending a course.
Still unsure just drop me an email