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Local Cave Leader Training For Scout Leaders

bograt

Active member
Could I ask (or dare I) if the Scout Movement have their own qualification for hill walking or climbing (an equivalent for the MLC?), or is this policy caving specific?

I have extensive historic experience of Scouts/Guides caving leadership in Derbyshire---!
 

badger

Member
Bograt, I am by no means up to speed on this, however as I am aware there is different levels summer/winter, and heights above sea level
what you need to be an assessor I don't know
what you have to demonstrate to show you are compedent I also don't know, but suspect it would be something similar to the caving one
 

Smiley Alan

New member
Paul Greenfield said:
It is a shame that Scouting keeps doing this - it destroys all ceribility for Scouting Activity Authorisations in the world outside of Scouting.

agree . seems weerd that theres a  natonal asessment sceme by bca wich could  be used by scouts but isnt .

if the scout asessments run  inhouse by them are different how are  they any good?
 

phizz4

Member
The Scout Association designates terrain in the UK as T0, T1 and T2. To cut a long reply a little shorter, T1 is below 500 metres and requires no specific permit. T1 is 500 m to 800 m (with other criteria needing to be applied), and a person wishing to lead groups in this terrain would be assessed to the (old) Walking Group Leader standard. T2 is over 800 metres and assessment is to ML standard. In our county an assessment would be carried out over a long weekend by at least 3 different ML holders, all of whom have attended an assessor's weekend course run by Plas y Benin.
 

badger

Member
so a CIC caver can assess me better than a lcmla 2 in taking YP into goatchurch, what can the assess any better? I have witnessed CIC cavers taking 16 plus into goatchurch, is this what the CIC teach you?
TSA has a system in place that you have to able to demonstrate, so turning up and the assor ask whats the weather forecast, simple, but how many cavers go caving without getting one, and please don't tell me everyone.
TSA, uni clubs, professional cavers take the next are the places where YP are introduced to caving, hopefully finding the next cavers to push the sport forward, they all do a good job, do we need these, well judging by the mean age hidden earth I would say more than ever.
so we can go tit for tat my assessment is better than yours, my assessment is better cause its in the dales blah blah, so you might be CIC caver but does that make you more capable than me, well from what I have seen from some, well leave that upto you, I have also seen some scout leaders who I think could do better, but least they doing something.
as for listing everyone, unfortunately scouting has to abide by the Data protection act, not I hasten to say a scout law but one we all have to abide by, i.e I cannot give you anyone of my running clubs names
 

bograt

Active member
Steady on Badger, that last post was a bit rambling and disjointed, but I think I got the gist; I think that CIC holders have to have experience in all regions, someone will correct me if I'm wrong. (That was the old NCA system at least-)

Other points raised by you will be addressed later----.
 
badger said:
Bograt, I am by no means up to speed on this, however as I am aware there is different levels summer/winter, and heights above sea level
what you need to be an assessor I don't know
what you have to demonstrate to show you are compedent I also don't know, but suspect it would be something similar to the caving one

To assess for hillwalking (in terrain 1 or 2) as a "county assessor" - i.e. internal appointed assessors by the scout county - you need to have the relevant mountain leader award (summer or winter). For external assessors - they need the Mountain Instructor Award.

There's a checklist for the sort of thing they're meant to be assessing here. When I did mine we had a 2-day assessment in the Glyders - I was quizzed on emergency procedures - scout rules - weather conditions and forecast etc. We had to plan a route suitable for a group and then carry out the plan - and we were assessed on our party management (people in the party were given various instructions to be e.g. nervous scout / overconfident / trying to wander off etc.). The ones being tested for terrain 2 were also tested on ropework - confidence roping - Thompson knot (although that's no longer on the ML syllabus I think - it was when I did my assessment) - classic abseil etc. On the other day we were tested on micro-navigation - as well as in low visibility - which we ended up doing at night because the cloudbase was too high.

Getting the full ML qualification will be prohibitively expensive for many volunteer scout leaders who maybe only want to run a few hillwalking sessions a year - but the county ran both training and assessment inexpensively, with the nagivation element designed to be tested to the same standard.
 

badger

Member
sorry bograt, I don't know why I let these people get to me, I just get fed up with people scout bashing when clearly they only half the facts :read:
the post that only a CIC could assess my ability when a CIC caver takes 16 plus into a cave as being a safe practise. :confused:
anyway I know my ability, and I know the ability of the people who assess me and am quite happy. (y)
 

adamgeens

Member
Oh heck where do I start? Richard I don't think you're helping your case. You are confirming that assessors in scouting hold the same quals as an instructor would be required to have to run the activity i.e. Lead climbing and MIA, SRT with gorups and CIC. Still not a level up.

Suggesting in defence of scouting that a leader might only want to run one or two mountain days / cave days etc. a year is not confidence inspiring, sorry, and is definitely not a reason for lowering standards. If your child dies on an organised caving activity are you going to behave differently if it is a scout trip or an AALA licensed trip? Probably not. And the crux is that the courts will commission an expert witness that will without doubt be NGB to top level potentially stating that the scouting permit scheme is insufficently robust.

There is funding in scouting for leaders to undertake quals. In my area, PYB gives a 50-75% discount, and my county have  a specific budget that would most likely pay the rest. My stance is either take it seriously or don't do it. There are plenty of professionals that can take scouts on adventurous activities.

Are we saying that the BCA is over the top in requiring CICs (but only with additional training and assessment) to deliver LCMLA L1 training and assessment? If so then that is the discussion to be had, not why scouts only require an LCMLA L1 to do the same thing.

At the risk of releasing an other load of worms, my issue has always been the lack of monitoring of scout permit holders. A permit lasts for 5 years and it is feasible that no one of suitable 'experience' will observe a single session. At the end of that five years, the permit is often just re-issued. Employers would observe regularly and even self-employed should be observed via AALA.

For clarification in case you're wondering I'm holder of several scout permits, an LCMLA L2 (with AALA through my OEC), Outdoor Education Adviser, and until recently an Assistant District Commissioner for Activities - a role I withdrew from due to the above concerns.

My belief is that there is no reason to not require the relevant NGBs to deliver scouting activities but the association don't seem to agree.
 

Pete K

Well-known member
Not all qualifications are equal and the real knowledge about whether they are suitable or not requires understanding the nature of the qualification.
SPA, ML & LCMLA awards are all excellent leadership qualifications. A candidate will be assessed in their remit terrain and need to prove that they can competently safeguard people and teach basic skills to aid progression. For these awards you are only expected to be able to demonstrate one or maybe two different methods of achieving a particular rescue or set up etc... In the case of the LCMLA awards you are limited to use only sites that you are assessed in and even at Level 2 (vertical skills) you need only demonstrate safe practice and an appropriate method for rescue. The LCMLA (& SPA and ML) awards are great LEADERSHIP awards but they are no certification of an individuals' ability to coach, train up to that level or give a deep background knowledge of all hazards and conservation issues. No doubt there are a some LCMLA holders, like Gollum, with huge additional knowledge beyond their certificate but the assessed knowledge difference between the LCMLA and CIC (or SPA and MIA) awards is huge.
A CIC or MIA is an instructor qualification. Both awards require an in depth knowledge of every aspect of the sport and have a large coaching component. The governing bodies for the sports recognise that these higher level awards are the only ones appropriate for teaching those who will lead others in hazardous environments.

I think the scouting movement is an excellent thing and yes, higher qualifications would push some volunteers out, but the CICs (and MIAs) are out there. I bet if the BCA was asked publicly about how they felt about an LCMLA L1 holder assessing someone to do the same job they would not entertain the idea. Your LCMLA qualified volunteers may have the personal ability to teach and assess other leaders but their LCMLA qualification does not even come close to certifying them for that.
 

PaulW

New member
Assessment skills

As well as having the required technical knowledge, County Assessors also require the skills to be able to assess. This training and validation is provided through the activity assessor?s version of Module 25 Assessing Learning (Adventurous Activities) of The Scout Association?s Adult Training Scheme.
 

bograt

Active member
You raise some interesting points Adam -  if, for instance, a claim in court related to caving was raised, who would the authorities refer to as the recognised National body? -- The BCA.
They would also ask if the person in charge was recognised as a suitable leader by that recognised body,---?

In the '70's, early '80's I was the only guy in my area of Derbyshire with an official NCA CLC who was not a 'professional' so was regularly called upon to be available for Scout/Guide badge, etc. assessments, this I accepted without complaint, considering it was my Kismet to introduce youngsters into the great underworld, It really pains me to see the way non-cavers have introduced bureaucracy and upset the happy status quo.

I do remember a few of the Viking Venture Scouts, (near Derby) being superb cavers - any of them here???
 

JoshW

Member
yes in an ideal world all scouting cave leaders would do CIC or whatever and the people assessing would be of a higher 'level', however couldn't a judge of the current system be the results.

The fact is that scout caving right now is done in a safe, enjoyable, challenging manner, that leaves the kids wanting more.

The only bad situation that's happened recently in respect of scout trips anywhere as far as I'm aware (there may have been others around the country, but definitely with WSCC) is where someone with caving experience dislocated his knee, in sidcut swallet. This could have happened with a leader with CIC/LCMLA/piss all qualifications.

It's very easy to judge externally the scouting methods, but for the difficulty of caves being undertaken, they absolutely fit the bill.

It seems from some of the comments that people seem to think it's almost mates signing off mates on their permits irrespective of their actual skills as both a caver and a leader. Well it's not like that, and I urge anyone who has that opinion to come along for one of our caving weekends and see the 'unqualified' leaders that we have in action.
 

bograt

Active member
JoshW said:
and if you can only be assessed by someone who's a higher level than you, who assessed them?

The 'new' system of BCA qualification originated from the NCA Cave Leader Training Board (CLTB), who offered upgrades to existing qualified cave leaders for a fee of ?40, being qualified but not a professional, I declined the offer, I recall Ben Lyon, Paul Ramsden, and Dave Elliott being amongst the 'originals'.

I find it ironic that the original NCA CIC's and CLC's where organised and run via the Scout Association through their caving centre at Whernside Manor--. (Ben Lyon, Paul Ramsden et al.)
 

Paul Greenfield

New member
Looks like I have opened a `can of worms`
I am definitely not `Scout bashing,` I have great respect for Scouting and all the volunteers who make it so successful; but I keep being told that all Scout Activity Authorisations are assessed "to the same standard" at National Governing Body qualifications.
This is very frustrating as it is blatantly not the case:- Richard (above) states that he was assessed for the Scout version of an M.L. in 2 days on the Glyders by a Scout assessor holding an M.L.
For a genuine M.L. assessment he would be on the hill for 5 days and be assessed by a Course Director / Provided with (minimum) M.I.A. & Winter M.L.
If Scouts insist on running their own activity assessment scheme, perhaps they should be more open with the membership (and their Parents) about what their standards really are.
Everyone else in the outdoor community uses M.I.A. and C.I.C. as the minimum technical qualification to be an assessor; voluntary / commercial / amateur / professional. Only the Scouts allow an assessor to assess others to his/her own technical standard.
Perhaps a highly experienced LCLMA 2 holder could assess someone else to use a low risk cave (Goat Church), but his assessment will have no credibility if he is authorising others to visit Long Churn; perhaps a highly experienced SPA holder could assess someone else to use a specific climbing wall, but his assessment will have no credibility if he authorises others to use all the crags in the Peak District !

 

cap n chris

Well-known member
Paul Greenfield said:
Perhaps a highly experienced LCLMA 2 holder could assess someone else to use a low risk cave (Goat Church), but his assessment will have no credibility if he is authorising others to visit Long Churn

The LCLA scheme (as mentioned previously) does not make one an assessor. L2 is not a higher level award than L1 at core skills such as conservation, navigation, group management etc., and it certainly does not enable the holder of this award to officially preside over the competencies of someone operating at L1 level. The LCLA scheme is relevant for specified sites, and serves as a bona fide of competency, as required by a putative contracting organisation, for leading groups in those specified sites, be they L1 (horizontal) or L2 (vertical up to 18m, not including SRT).
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
JoshW said:
and if you can only be assessed by someone who's a higher level than you, who assessed them?

There are many levels of CIC, so a base level CIC can indeed by assessed by a 'higher level' CIC. The levels are determined by whether a lowly CIC subsequently becomes a:

CIC Probabtionary T/A for L1
CIC Qualified T/A for L1
CIC Probationary T/A for L2
CIC Qualified T/A for L2
CIC Probationary T/A for CIC
CIC Qualified T/A for CIC
etc..
 

JoshW

Member
yeah but at some point someone must have assessed someone of their level else there would never be anyone at any level..  :tease:
 
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