PMBIA LEVEL 1
3-day beginner-intermediate instructor course
COURSE CONTEXT & LIMITATIONS
The Level 1 course is designed to train new instructors to teach and guide mountain biking:
- to beginner to intermediate riders
- on green and blue, single track terrain
- in a “front country” environment, no more than 1hr away from emergency medical care
- during small group lessons, ranging from 2 to 3 hr teaching blocks (a full day could be two, 3hr lessons)
- for an established mountain bike school, club or coaching service
Course Duration: Three days + pre-course reading and worksheet (2-3hrs), totalling 24 hrs, including assessment.
The Level 1 course trains both new and experienced instructors to skillfully teach and guide beginner to intermediate mountain bikers, in both cross country and downhill environments. New instructors learn the tools they need to safely and effectively teach, while experienced instructors will increase their level of skill and understanding in teaching and riding theory, that the PMBI Certifications uniquely provide.
A strong focus is given to learning teaching skills in their own right, to develop a sense of this all important part of a mountain bike lesson. As you learn and practice proven, modern teaching skills through the course, you’ll see how being a good rider is only one part of being a professional instructor.
Each day of the three day course, instructor candidates will learn riding skills and theory, have plenty of time to practice, and receive personal feedback for your own improvement. Additional PMBI Workshops covering topics such as bike-fit, mechanics and first aid, take place at the start or end of each day, to further build your knowledge and skill set during the course.
For information on re-certifying, re-tests and crossing over from other certifications, please see our FAQ page here.
Why take this course?
- Develop your passion for teaching: Any professional instructor must have a passion for teaching as much as they do for riding. This course will give you the essential tools you need to become a professional instructor. You’ll learn how much teaching is a skill in it’s own right, and how important this is in becoming a fun, safe, effective instructor and guide.
- Improve your riding skills: learn the all-important, fundamental skills you need to rail corners, gain confidence on technical climbs & descents, and master maneuvers such as front and rear wheel lifts, or rolling drops. Learn how to gain control in any situation to build confidence, safety and fun on your bike.
- Some key things you’ll learn: How to ride better and why the skills you learn work, how to plan and execute professional, skills and maneuver-based, mountain bike lessons in both cross country and downhill settings, and how to guide MTB groups safely on technical terrain during your lessons.
- Become more skilled, versatile and adaptable as a rider and instructor
- Have fun: it’s 3 days of riding bikes, learning and getting stoked!
- Become your own coach: Through a greater knowledge of riding skills and learning theory, your increased understanding of the sport will help you analyze your own riding and enable you to teach yourself!
- Recognized Certification from the best: Gain the industries most widely available and globally adopted mountain bike instructor certification, the PMBI Certification.
- PMBI Ride Guide course an asset, but not mandatory
- Confident riding at trail speed on technical, intermediate terrain, including green, blue and “light” black trails.
- Completed Level 1 Worksheet (available upon registration)
- A minimum of 36 months mountain biking experience.
- 40hr Wilderness First Aid Certification, or equivalent, strongly recommended (but not required to take the course)
- The minimum age for the Level 1 is 15 years old. However, the PMBIA does recommend Level 1 instructors younger than 17, work with an assistant coach of age to help deal with any personal, first aid or emergency situations, should they arise.
READING MATERIALS & WORKSHEET: 2 - 3 hrs
The pre-course workshop is essential to prepare for the Level 1 course, so you can get the most of your PMBIA Training. It involves reading the PMBIA Reference Guide and completing the Level 1 Worksheet. Please note the reading and worksheet takes approximately 2 - 3 hrs to complete.
PMBIA REFERENCE GUIDE: This is the complete, detailed Instructor Reference Guide to be used for course preparation before the course, during the course and for continued learning after the course.
Prior to the course and in order to complete the Level 1 worksheet, candidates should read the following sections, as a minimum:
- Guiding Skills
- Teaching Skills
- Riding Skills
Other recommended sections include:
Level 1: Beginner to Intermediate (yellow section)
LEVEL 1 WORKSHEET: Candidates must complete the Level 1 Worksheet, prior to the course commencing. This worksheet acts as the “written assessment” portion of the course.
Please print or copy (neatly handwritten is fine) this worksheet, along with your answers, and submit to the course conductor on the morning of day one of the course.
LEVEL 1 COURSE BOOKLET: This provides an outline of the three-day course, including the agenda, and summary of the key information and workshops presented during the course. You do not need to print the course guide, because you will be provided with a hard copy of this course guide on the course.
To view these three items, first register for a course and then access the "Member's Login" link under the "Membership" drop down menu, on our website, www.pmbia.org. To log in to this area you will need to use the email address and password you used to register for the course. Please keep any login details for private use only.
RIDING & TEACHING STANDARD
Below are some of the main examples of the riding and teaching skills required on the PMBI Level 1 course. Candidates should be able to guide students safely, while effectively teaching using the PMBI Skill System, teaching models and terminology.
- Consistent Position & Balance skills through the ‘Climbing”, “Neutral” and “Ready” Positions, combined with a good range of movement.
- Consistently maintains an efficient cadence and straight chain line
- Can brake without skidding on loose terrain, using both brakes.
- Consistent trail scanning for smooth, efficient riding.
- Can begin to show bike-body separation through some angulation and rotation skills.
- Climbing and descending on technical, single track (strong intermediate) terrain
- Banked and flat corners on various terrain surfaces
- Maintain chosen line in technical (rooty/rocky/uneven) terrain
- Front & rear wheel lifts - standing
- Seated front wheel lift, using a pedal stroke (very basic wheelie)
- Switchbacks - slow, tight turns
- Basic ladder bridges/raised trails
- Prioritizes safety and guiding over teaching, at all times.
- Consistent use of Lesson Format & Training Wheel for well structured, safe and effective lessons.
- Clearly Explain & Demonstrate techniques
- Choose safe, appropriate terrain for student Practice
- Assess students and provide positive, simple feedback to continue learning
- Can begin to use the “I.D.E.A Progression” to improve organization and delivery to lessons.
- Basic mechanics: adjusting a bike to fit, suspension sag and rebound set-up, flat tires, broken chains, replacing brake pads, adjusting headsets, correct cleaning and maintenance.
In order for candidates to successfully gain a PMBI Level 1 certification, they must pass both a riding and teaching evaluation during the course. Candidates must be comfortable riding all day long on intermediate single track, terrain, while providing safe, effective lessons on green and blue trails.
TEACHING ASSESSMENT: Candidates must plan and execute safe lessons, guiding students on appropriate terrain, managing the class safely, while showing a clear understanding and use of all aspects of the Training Wheel. Candidates will get four or more chances to practice teach and must show the standard of teaching in at least three of the 10 - 20 minute practice sessions. The specific teaching competencies are outlined in more detail in the Level 1 Course Booklet.
RIDING COMPETENCIES: Candidates must show consistent, comfortable and correct riding technique on green and blue technical trails, to effectively demonstrate the Six Skills of Mountain Biking. The specific riding competencies are outlined in more detail in the Level 1 Course Booklet.
WRITTEN ASSESSMENT: Candidates must read the PMBIA Reference Guide, Level 1 Course Booklet and complete the Level 1 Worksheet, prior to the course commencing. The reading and worksheet takes approximately 2 - 3hrs and acts as the written portion of the candidates assessment.
JUDGING FORMAT: The PMBIA works hard to ensure consistent training and assessment standards are maintained from course to course, location to location and from one Course Conductor to another. The PMBIA makes this possible through regular Course Conductor training, constantly refined and updated Course Conductor materials, plus extensive and detailed riding and teaching competencies, for each course. Every PMBIA Course Conductor has the full confidence of the PMBIA to consistently and accurately assess candidates on any course, at any location.
However, like with any human interactions and practical, performance-based assessments, there will always be the “human factor”. Candidates should therefore understand and fully accept that at the end of the day, their riding and teaching performances are ultimately being judged by another person. Given the significant difference in riding, teaching and instructor training experience between candidates and Course Conductors, try to also remember that a candidate’s impression of their own or a fellow candidates’ riding or teaching skills, may often differ to that of the Course Conductors.
All course assessments are final and should be respected, given the extensive and ongoing, professional training and experience held by each and every PMBIA Course Conductor.
For more information on course logistics, re-certifying, re-tests and crossing over from other certifications, please see our Level 1 FAQ page here.
Please read through the details below for information on common questions, before emailing us:
- GENERAL QUESTIONS - age, first aid requirements, rain, never taught before, etc.
- COURSE LOGISTICS - booking travel, times, weather, lunch, first aid requirements and equipment.
- RE-TESTS - if a candidate fails a portion of the course.
- RE-CERTIFICATION & MEMBERSHIP - how to re-certify, what’s included in the membership
- CROSSING OVER - from other certifications
- INJURIES - before a course
- WHAT’S THE MINIMUM AGE FOR THE COURSE?
The minimum age for the Level 1 is 15 years old. However, the PMBIA does recommend Level 1 instructors younger than 17, work with an assistant coach of age to help deal with any personal, first aid or emergency situations, should they arise.
- DO I NEED MY FIRST AID CERTIFICATE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COURSE?
No. While the PMBIA strongly recommends all instructors be a minimum 40hr Wilderness/Outdoor First Aid certified before working as an instructor or guide, you do not need a first aid certificate, prior to participating in the course.
- WILL THE COURSE RUN IF IT’S RAINING?
Yes, the course runs rain or shine. Mountain bike instructors and guides work in the outdoors. If clients want to ride in the rain or heat, within reason, the instructor or guide has to. With the exceptions of extreme weather and/or lightning, the course runs so make sure you are dressed appropriately and have spare clothes, if required. Spare socks and gloves go a long way on rainy, cold days.
- WHAT RIDING SKILLS ARE REQUIRED?
For the Level 1 course, you should be comfortable on technical green, blue and single black diamond trails. Be aware that these trail ratings are based off technical, B.C. trails that are often more challenging when compared to other riding destinations. For example, a Whistler - grade blue trail, may be more similar to a black trail, somewhere else.
Riders should be comfortable climbing and descending intermediate, rough terrain, with roots and rocks, cornering with speed and performing basic maneuvers such as front and rear wheel lifts, pedalling wheel lifts and small roll-down style drop-offs. For more details, check out the Riding & Teaching Standards, here.
- I’VE NEVER TAUGHT BEFORE, IS THAT OKAY?
The Level 1 course is designed to train people who have never taught before, all the way to coaches who have be teaching biking for years. Some people pick up teaching straight away, teaching more clearly and simply than others who have taught for years. It all depends on the individual, their life experiences and their willingness to learn new skills.
- CAN I TAKE THE LEVEL 1 AND 2 IN THE SAME YEAR?
The PMBIA recommends teaching for at least a season, between passing the Level 1 and signing up for the Level 2. This helps consolidate all the teaching and guiding skills that are presented on the Level 1. The Level 2 also requires more advanced riding skills, which may take some Level 1 instructors one, two or even three years to learn.
However, an experienced instructor (for example, they are a Level 2 or 3 Snowboard Instructor) who is also a strong, experienced mountain biker, might be able to successfully pass both courses in the same season. Technically, once you have the Level 1 you can sign up for the Level 2 straight away… just be sure you are ready and you take into account the PMBIA’s recommendations.
- WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION, IF I’M TRAVELLING?
PMBI courses require minimum numbers to run and while most courses do run, some do not. It is therefore very important you do not make any travel arrangements, until the course is confirmed to be happening. Simply registering for a course is not a confirmation that the course will ultimately run.
- COURSE TIMES/WEATHER/LUNCH?
Course times vary by location but typically start at 8.45am and finish close to 4.30pm. Be ready to ride for three days, regardless of weather. Please be punctual. We will take up to an hour for lunch each day, between approximately 12pm - 1pm. Please bring food, or money for food, depending on course location.
- EQUIPMENT? BIKE & HELMET RECOMMENDATIONS
The Level 1 Course is held in different locations, all over the world. Regardless of location or terrain, the Level 1 course trains instructors how to teach and guide in both downhill bike park and cross country trail network settings. You will therefore need a bike that is best suited to the course location you are attending:
Level 1 Courses in lift accessed downhill bike parks (e.g. Whistler Mountain Bike Park). Full face helmet, knee pads and gloves. A good working, modern “Enduro” bike (slack head tube angle) is ideal, with 6 inches of suspension front and rear and downhill/heavy casing tires (to avoid pinch flats associated with harder terrain and higher speeds in bike parks). Downhill bikes can be used for Level 1 courses in lift-accessed bike parks, but are not mandatory.
Level 1 Courses in cross country trail networks (e.g. Lost Lake Trails, Whistler). Modern helmet and gloves essential, knee pads optional. A good working cross country or modern enduro bike is ideal.
Downhill bikes will NOT be suitable for Level 1 courses held in cross country trail networks.
- OTHER EQUIPMENT?
You will need to bring the following things...
- pen and paper
- small backpack to carry these things...
- spare tubes and puncture kit
- tire levers and pump
- multi tool and chain tool
- rain jacket/spare clothes based on weather
- water & snacks
- lunch, or money for lunch
- IF I FAIL THE RIDING OR TEACHING PORTION OF THE COURSE, HOW DO I RE-TEST?
Re-testing is always an opportunity to learn and continue to improve. As much as we never like to see someone not completing a course, we strongly urge them to finish the training process and return for a re-test.
- Riding re-tests can return for only the second day of the Level 1 course and involve candidates riding for the day with the group while being assessed by the PMBIA Course Conductor. Or you can submit a video of your riding for review. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- Teaching re-tests must return for only the second day of the Level 1 course and involve candidates teaching one maneuver-based lesson and one skills-based lesson. Please see your PMBIA Course Conductor first thing in the morning with any questions or concerns you may have.
- Cost: All re-tests cost $85 +tax
- Timeline: Level 1 re-tests have one calendar year to complete the re-test. Failure to complete the re-test within the deadline will require the candidate to take the full Level 1 course again.
- Successful re-tests will receive a certificate dating from the time they first took the full, Level 1 Course and not the date of the re-test.
Please make sure you have taken the appropriate time and practice to genuinely improve your riding or teaching, before signing up for a re-test. Not taking enough time and/or not being aware enough of your own progress, are by far the most common reasons why re-tests are not successful.
To register for a re-test, please email email@example.com with the subject “RE-TEST: insert course level, insert course dates”.
- HOW LONG DOES MY PMBI CERTIFICATION LAST? DO I NEED TO RE-CERTIFY?
The PMBIA certification is valid for three years. If you wish to remain up to date you must re-certify before your certification becomes older than three years and expires. This also ensures our members maintain a minimum level of competency and skill, to ensure the PMBIA upholds a professional standard within the industry.
- HOW DO I RE-CERTIFY?
Simply sign up for a one-day re-certification course and brush up those skills! For more details, check out the course page here.
- I TOOK MY PMBI COURSE MORE THAN THREE YEARS AGO, WHAT COURSE SHOULD I TAKE?
Any Level 1 instructor that took a course more than three years ago, will need to sign up for the three-day PMBI Level 1, at a discounted rate. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org before registering for the course, to claim the discount.
Three years is a long time and this is a perfect opportunity to refresh your knowledge, brush up your teaching skills and make sure you can be the best instructor or guide, possible.
- HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO RENEW MY MEMBERSHIP & WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
To be a member, you must have a current PMBI certification (see above) and pay for a yearly membership. Annual PMBIA membership will allow you to enjoy it’s many benefits including access to all the latest teaching materials, pro-deals, newsletters, training tools, and more.
The memberships fees also help genuinely support the PMBIA. These fees go directly towards paying for the administration of the association, developing new course materials, website and resource improvements, researching new locations, building new industry partnerships, and a whole lot more!
- WHY DO I NEED TO START WITH PMBI LEVEL 1, IF I’M ALREADY IMBA/ICP CERTIFIED?
In a nutshell, the PMBI Level 1 course is more akin to the IMBA/ICP Level 2 course. This is also the same for some other certifications out there. The PMBIA have had many course participants over the years and have consistently found that even Level 2’s from other certifications (often from their own feedback), still benefit most from the taking the PMBI Level 1, first. Teaching mountain biking is inherently dangerous so the PMBI expects more from our Level 1 instructors, to ensure any future beginner and intermediate students are looked after accordingly.
The other thing to consider is not just the Level 1, but also the Level 2. The PMBI Level 2 is a truly advanced instructor course and requires instructors to be knowledgeable and consistent with the teaching methodologies and materials from the PMBI Level 1 course, specifically. It builds directly from the PMBI Level 1, so without that prior knowledge, people struggle to benefit properly from the PMBI Level 2.
The continuation of knowledge from Level 1 to 2 is paramount to candidates gaining the most from the PMBIA training. We want anyone crossing over to PMBIA to gain the most from their training with us and it’s with this logic and our previous experience, that these recommendations have been formed.
The PMBIA has always worked hard to raise the standards for mountain bike instructor and guide training, and this still drives us today.
- I HAVE HAD AN INJURY OR CONCUSSION THAT IS STILL AFFECTING ME. SHOULD I DISCLOSE THIS INFORMATION IN THE REGISTRATION PROCESS AND SHOULD I STILL PARTICIPATE IN THE COURSE?
The PMBIA strongly recommends not registering or attending a course if you are not 100% physically and mentally capable; this is especially important if you have recently suffered a concussion.
Please let us know if you have any prior injuries, before registering for the course.
You will be riding and thinking (a lot) for multiple days. The PMBI courses are physically and mentally demanding. Please consult your physician for a professional opinion on your physical condition, should you have any concerns.
- I HURT MYSELF RIDING AFTER I REGISTERED (BUT BEFORE THE COURSE) AND CAN NO LONGER ATTEND THE COURSE. WILL I GET A REFUND?
This sounds like an obvious thing to say, but if you’ve paid your money and signed up for a PMBI course, you should be taking it easy and making smart decisions so you don’t get hurt riding, before the course. It is your responsibility to make sure you are healthy and ready to participate.
If you have a doctors note and the cancellation is made 15 days or more prior to the start date of the PMBI course, you will be offered a 50% refund, or space on another course.
Cancellations within 14 days of the PMBI course start date, regardless of whether you have a doctors note, will not be offered a either a refund or space on another course.
PMBI courses require minimum numbers to run. They also require many logistics, including trail permits for specific dates, detailed scheduling, travel and accommodation of course staff, and are confirmed two weeks prior to the start date. It is for these reasons this refund-injury policy exists to ensure the not-for-profit PMBIA and it’s course participants, do not suffer from last minute cancellations.
RE-CERTIFICATION & MEMBERSHIP
CROSSING OVER FROM OTHER CERTIFICATIONS
- NEW ZEALAND
- UNITED KINGDOM
- SOUTH AFRICA
- GRANDE PRAIRIE
- June 1st - 3rd register
- WHISTLER BIKE PARK
- May 25th - 27th register | June 15th - 17th register | July 13th - 15th register | August 24th - 26th register | September 21st - 23rd register
- WHISTLER VALLEY (Lost Lake Trail Network)
- May 4th - 6th register | May 11th - 13th register | May 18th - 20th register | June 1st - 3rd register | June 29th - July 1st register | July 27th - 29th register | August 10th - 12th register | September 7th - 9th register
- NORTH VANCOUVER
- February 23rd - 25th register | March 9th - 11th register | March 23rd to 25th register | May 25th - 27th register
- April 6th - 8th (PRIVATE COURSE) register | April 13th - 15th register | May 12th - 14th register | June 1st - 3rd register | June 22nd - 24th register
- MOUNT WASHINGTON
- July 17th - 19th register
- SILVER STAR BIKE PARK
- June 29th - July 1st register
- SUN PEAKS BIKE PARK
- July 13th - 15th register
- PANORAMA BIKE PARK
- TBA in early 2018
- FERNIE / COLLEGE OF THE ROCKIES
- May 13th - 15th To register please contact COTR directly
- May 25th - 27th register
- WILLIAMS LAKE
- April 6 - 8 - PRIVATE COURSE
- BLUE MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK
- June 8th - 10th register | July 6th - 8th register | August 10th - 12th register | September 7th - 9th register
- GLEN EDEN/KELSO
- May 11th - 13th register | May 14th - 16th register | July 20th - 22nd register | October 5th - 7th register
- BOLER MOUNTAIN
- TBA in early 2018
- SAULT ST. MARIE
- May 7th - 9th register
- MONT STE ANNE
- June 15th - 17th register
- MONT TREMBLANT
- July 23rd - 25th register
- April 27 - 29 - PRIVATE COURSE
- SKYPARK BIKE PARK
- April 27th - 29th register
- SANTA CRUZ
- TBA in early 2018
- June 8th - 10th October 1st register
- MOUNTAIN CREEK BIKE PARK
- July 6th - 8th register
- February 9th - 11th register
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
- CANBERRA, MT STROMLO
- January 5th - 7th register
NEW SOUTH WALES
- February 23rd - 25th register
- GREEN VALLEYS BIKE PARK
- June 8th - 10th register
- January 19th - 21st register
- MAYDENA BIKE PARK
- March 2nd - 4th register
- MELBOURNE, LYSTERFIELD
- TBA in early 2018
- MT. BULLER
- TBA in early 2018
- December 22nd - 24th (2017) register
NEW ZEALAND 2017
- October 19th - 21st register
- CARDRONA BIKE PARK
- TBA in early 2018
- October 13th - 15th register
- QUEENSTOWN BIKE PARK
- TBA in early 2018
- May 5th - 7th register
- Quito, Parque Metropolitano (Guanguiltagua)
- February 16th - 18th register
- April 28th - 30th register
- May 4th - 6th register
- ZONA ZERO
- September 28th - 30th register
- 2018 dates coming soon
- 2018 dates coming soon
- 2018 dates coming soon
- 2018 dates coming soon