FAQ - Crossovers

If you have a certification from another organization or you’ve been coaching and/or racing for a while, and want to find out if you can skip the PMBI Level 1... find out the answers below!

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’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.