PMBIA LEVEL 2
4-day advanced instructor course
COURSE CONTEXT & LIMITATIONS
The Level 2 course is designed to train PMBI instructors to teach and guide mountain biking:
- to intermediate to advanced riders
- on green, blue and single black diamond (red in Europe), single track terrain
- in a “front to mid country” environment, no more than 2hrs away from emergency medical care
- during private or group lessons, ranging from 2 to 6hrs
- for an established mountain bike school, club or coaching service
- for their own business
Course Duration: Four days + pre-course reading and worksheet (2-3hrs), totalling 32 hrs, including assessment.
The PMBI Level 2 course focuses on teaching and guiding strong-intermediate to advanced riders. Skill development is typically much safer and easier when students learn techniques in terrain appropriate for their ability level. Candidates will learn how to further consolidate intermediate skills in their students, while introducing more advanced skills at higher speeds, mostly on green and blue terrain.
A strong focus is given to further analyzing the Six Skills of riding during the course, to ensure a deeper understanding of the physics, skills and biomechanics involved in riding at the advanced ability level. In addition, advanced teaching skills are also presented on the Level 2 course that require a consolidation of the Level 1 Teaching Material. Typically, at least a season of full time teaching is required between the two courses for a successful result.
This four day course is practical-based, spending each day riding and teaching on the trails, gaining valuable insight and feedback from the PMBI Course Conductor. Additional PMBI Workshops covering topics such as suspension set-up, skill development models, goal setting and performance factors, take place at the start or end of each day, to further build your knowledge and skill set during the course.
Split into halves, one side of the course looks at teaching the fundamental “Six Skills”, through skill-based lessons. The other side looks at teaching advanced maneuvers.
LEVEL 2 AIR VS. LEVEL 2 TRAIL
The Level 2 course is essentially the same course, regardless of whether it’s the “Air” or “Trail” Level 2. The Skill-Based Teaching part of the course remains the same, as well as the Teaching Theory, Workshops, Course Materials and Assessment Criteria. The only difference is during the maneuver portion of the course.
The “AIR” Level 2 maneuver module trains instructors how to introduce intermediate riders to jumps and drops.
The “TRAIL” Level 2 maneuver module trains instructors how to introduce intermediate riders to drops and technical maneuvers, such as wheelies, manuals, or bunnyhops.
Instructors can therefore choose which course will best suit their teaching requirements, based on where they live, teach and ride. Teaching advanced maneuvers, inherently comes with more risk and complexity. By offering two “types” of Level 2 course, PMBI can ensure the necessary depth and detail is given to each specific maneuver focus, to ensure the safest, most effective teaching practices possible.
Why take this course?
- Develop your teaching: gain more advanced tools to help analyze students, plan and execute truly fun, effective lessons at an advanced level of riding and teaching. Learn how to guide and teach high end riders so they can jump better, ride faster, explore harder terrain, stay safer and continue to push their skills.
- Improve your riding skills: learn to rail all types of corners, glide through technical, rough terrain, charge the steeps, float over jumps and tackle larger drop-offs consistently, efficiently, and safely. Learn how to “drive” the bike, create power and performance in your riding.
- Learn Coaching skills: advanced instructors often end up coaching... this course teaches you the difference between the two, and builds on your foundation as an experienced instructor to begin to learn how to coach.
- Become more skilled, versatile and adaptable as a rider and instructor.
- Have fun: it’s 4 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!
- Become Certified as The Best: Gain the industries most professional, in depth and toughest mtb instructor certification, the PMBI Level 2 Certification Course.
- PMBI Level 1 Certification (Mandatory Requirement)
- At least one season of teaching after the PMBI Level 1 is recommended, to consolidate and practice the Level 1 course material.
- Completed Level 2 Worksheet (available upon registration)
- Confident riding at speed on technical and flowy, intermediate to advanced terrain, including green, blue and black trails.
- 80hr Wilderness First Responder Certification (or equivalent) strongly recommended, but not mandatory. 40hr Wilderness First Aid (or equivalent) expected, as per the Level 1 recommendation. Neither are mandatory to take the course.
- A minimum age of 17 is required for the PMBI Level 2. Guiding and teaching mountain biking, especially to intermediate and advanced riders, is inherently dangerous and being legally responsible for other adults and children, warrants a minimum age for Level 2 certified instructors.
READING MATERIALS & WORKSHEET: 2 - 3 hrs
The pre-course workshop is essential to prepare for the Level 2 course, so you can get the most of your PMBIA Training. It involves reading the PMBIA Reference Guide and completing the Level 2 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:
- Teaching Skills
- Riding Skills
- Level 2: Teaching Beyond Intermediate
LEVEL 2 WORKSHEET: Candidates must complete the Level 2 Worksheet (at the back of the Level 2 Course Booklet), 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 2 COURSE BOOKLET: This provides an outline of the four-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
PMBI Level 2 instructors must be able to comfortably ride intermediate and advanced terrain so they can focus on their students’ safety and concerns, while executing an effective lesson.
Below are some of the main examples of the riding and teaching skills required on the PMBI Level 2 course. With the Level 1 teaching and riding skills previously consolidated, candidates should be able to guide students safely in green, blue or black terrain, while effectively developing their skills.
- Climbing and descending on technical, blue and black-diamond trails
- High Speed cornering in flat, off-camber & banked corners (berms)
- Steeps, rock rolls and technical terrain with roots and rocks.
- “TRAIL” Level 2 Maneuvers: Manuals, Wheelies, Bunnyhops, Short Nose Wheelies
- “AIR” Level 2 Maneuvers: Small to Medium tabletop jumps (“Crank It Up” style and size). Drop-offs up to 5ft high using a variety of techniques
- Strong Guiding & Risk Management Skills through the Safety Rules, Class Management & Terrain Communication Protocols
- Strong lesson structure using both the Training Wheel & I.D.E.A Progression Teaching Models
- Strong lesson content, through a clear knowledge and technical understanding of the Six Riding Skills.
- Strong People Skills & Instructor Traits are required to present a fun, student-tailored learning envi-ronment.
- Specific, technically sound and well structured Explanations.
- Uses a variety of Demonstrating techniques with consistent technique.
- Detailed analysis of student techniques and biomechanics
- Delivers positive, specific, technically correct feedback.
- Adaptability & in-depth knowledge of advanced riding, guiding and teaching skills
- Intermediate mechanics: suspension set up with sag, rebound, compression (high and low) for all types of bike, bike fit, BB and headset maintenance, brake bleeding, basic wheel truing.
In order for candidates to successfully gain a PMBI Level 2 certification, they must pass both a riding and teaching evaluation during the course. Candidates must be comfortable riding all day long on intermediate and advanced terrain, while effectively guiding and developing their students’ skills on technical and flow green, blue or black trails.
TEACHING ASSESSMENT: Candidates must plan and execute safe lessons, guiding students on appropriate terrain, managing the class safely, while showing a consolidated use of all aspects of the Training Wheel & IDEA Progression. Candidates will get four or more chances to practice teach and must show the standard of teaching in at least three of the 15 - 20 minute practice sessions. The specific teaching competencies are outlined in more detail in the Level 2 Course Booklet.
RIDING COMPETENCIES: Candidates must show consistent, comfortable and correct riding technique on green, blue and black technical and flow trails, to effectively demonstrate the Six Skills of Mountain Biking. Candidates must also consistently and correctly perform the Level 2 maneuvers to clearly demonstrate jumps and drops (Level 2 AIR) or technical maneuvers (Level 2 TRAILl). The specific riding competencies are outlined in more detail in the Level 2 Course Booklet.
WRITTEN ASSESSMENT: Candidates must read the PMBIA Reference Guide, Level 2 Course Booklet and complete the Level 2 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 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 2 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 2 is 17 years old. Guiding and teaching mountain biking is inherently dangerous, especially at the intermediate to advanced level of riding. Because the instructor is legally responsible for other adults and children, this warrants a higher, minimum age for Level 2 certified instructors.
- 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 2 course, you should be comfortable riding at speed on technical blue, black 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 steep, rough terrain, with roots and rocks, cornering with speed on flat and bermed corners, while dealing with drops, rollers and loose surfaces. Level 2 AIR instructors must be able to perform advanced maneuvers such jumps and drop offs, while Level 2 TRAIL instructors should be able to perform basic manuals, wheelies, bunnyhops and rear wheel pivots. For more details, check out the Riding & Teaching Standards, here. NEEDS LINK
- 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 2 Course is held in different locations, all over the world. Regardless of location or terrain, the Level 2 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 2 AIR 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 are also recommended for Level 2 courses in lift-accessed bike parks, but are not mandatory
Level 2 TRAIL Courses in cross country trail networks (e.g. Lost Lake Trails, Whistler). Modern Enduro-style helmet, gloves and knee pads. A good working, modern enduro bike is ideal. Downhill bikes will NOT be suitable for Level 2 Trail courses.
- 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 must return for only the second day of the Level 2 course and involve candidates riding for the day with the group, while being assessed by the PMBIA Course Conductor.
- Teaching re-tests must return for only the last day of the Level 2 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 2 re-tests have two calendar years to complete the re-test. Failure to complete the re-test within the deadline will require the candidate to take the full Level 2 course again.
- Successful re-tests will receive a certificate dating from the time they first took the full, Level 2 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 two-day, Level 2 Development Module Course to re-certify and brush up those skills! For more details, check out the L2 AIR and TRAIL Modules.
- I TOOK MY PMBI LEVEL 2 COURSE MORE THAN THREE YEARS AGO, DO I NEED TO TAKE THE WHOLE COURSE AGAIN?
Any PMBI Level 2 instructor who took the course more than three years ago, can sign up for a two-day Level 2 Development Module and complete the Level 2 Worksheet. The greater time, experience and skill level required to take the PMBI Level 2, exempts these instructors from having to re-take the whole, four day course again.
- 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!
- I’VE BEEN COACHING WITHOUT A CERTIFICATION AND/OR RACING FOR A WHILE, CAN I SKIP THE LEVEL 1 AND GO STRAIGHT TO LEVEL 2?
No. The PMBI Level 1 is a mandatory requirement before signing up for the Level 2. The PMBIA also recommends a year of teaching experience after the PMBI Level 1, before taking the Level 2.
The reasons are simple. Expert riding skills or amazing race results do not automatically qualify someone to be an effective instructor or guide. While a few people can, a good rider doesn’t automatically make for a good teacher, just as a good teacher doesn’t automatically make for a good rider.
The PMBIA courses are instructor courses, primarily designed to train people how to teach. Teaching is complex and requires a variety of skills and expertise. Being able to break down skills, communicate effectively, build lesson plans, analyze technique, find solutions and pathways for improvement, empathize with different ability levels, understand and adapt to different learning styles, guide students at the appropriate speed on the appropriate terrain… and so on, it’s a lot to do!
Teaching, like any other profession, is a skill that takes a long time to learn how to do well. Just as you may have spent a long time learning how to ride a bike well, it takes the same time and investment to develop your teaching skills. Imagine it the other way around. Should an expert teacher who has never ridden, skip the Level 1 and go to Level 2? No, they naturally need to spend the time learning about and building their riding skills, just as a racer might need to start from the beginning to develop and learn about teaching skills.
The other reason is the PMBI Level 2 builds directly from the PMBI Level 1 course content and materials. Even if you can or have coached in the past, without knowing and practicing the specific PMBI Level 1 content, the Level 2 will be even more challenging. As such, the continuation of knowledge from Level 1 to 2 is paramount to candidates gaining the most from the PMBIA training.
The PMBIA has seen many world cup racers, pro’s and professional teachers or coaches on the PMBI Level 1 courses over the years. These people, despite their incredible resumes or achievements, have all found the PMBI Level 1 a truly valuable experience.
- I’M ONLY GOING TO BE COACHING RACERS & ADVANCED RIDERS, CAN I START WITH THE LEVEL 2 COURSE, INSTEAD OF THE LEVEL 1?
No, you’ll still need to start with the PMBI Level 1 course. “Learn the fundamentals and do them well”. This is the mantra of any professional, career instructor, guide, coach or teacher… and to do this, you need to start with the Level 1. The Level 1 course will still provide plenty of tools to help you analyze your riders technique, develop lessons plans and improve their skills.
If you want to learn how to jump, you have to learn how to pump the bike first. If you want to learn how to run, you need to walk first. It’s the same for teaching. The PMBIA have been involved with training instructors for nearly twenty years. We have seen hundreds if not thousands of teachers, instructors and coaches from all walks of like and different sports, over the years.
The commonality, still to this day, is that all the top, most recognized and respected coaches in the world are the ones who started with a basic Level 1 course, continued training and gradually increased their certifications over time.
- WHY DO I NEED TO START WITH PMBI LEVEL 1, IF I’M ALREADY IMBA/ICP LEVEL 2 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
Please note, the PMBI Level 1 is a mandatory requirement before registering for the Level 2
WHICH COURSE ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?
LEVEL 2 "AIR" COURSE DATES
- WHISTLER BIKE PARK
- May 28th - 31st register | June 14th - 17th register | July 30th - August 2nd register | September 13th - 16th register
- SUN PEAKS BIKE PARK
- TBA in early 2018
- BLUE MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK
- TBA in early 2018
- MONT TREMBLANT
- TBA in early 2018
- ANGEL FIRE BIKE PARK
- September 2018
- June 26th - 29th register
- GRAND TARGHEE RESORT
- June 18th - 21st register
- MAYDENA BIKE PARK
- March 6th - 9th register
- MT. BULLER
- February 8th - 11th register
NEW ZEALAND 2017
- QUEENSTOWN BIKE PARK
- TBA in early 2018
LEVEL 2 "TRAIL" COURSE DATES
- GLEN EDEN/KELSO
- TBA in early 2018
- TBA in early 2018
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
- MT STROMLO
- January 9th - 12th register