Instructors & Qualifications

Adventure Expeditions works hard to ensure that expeditions are as safe as possible without taking away from the unique experience of participants being self-sufficient in remote and beautiful places. We are firm believers in the benefits that these experiences can bring and are proud of the balance that we achieve in managing participants’ safety by virtue of the quality and experience of our staff team.

  • How does the AE staff team work?

    Adventure Expeditions has a core staff team of 5 full-time employees who design, manage, run and review all of the programmes that operate throughout the year.

    Lindy manages the office, oversees operations and heads up all open expeditions, residentials and DofE Business programmes. It is often Lindy that you will speak to if you give us a call.

    Cat and Andy are the AE directors and primary technical advisers. They ensure that all policies, procedures, safety and technical information are in place to allow your programmes to go ahead safely and are delivered to a high standard. Andy and Cat are both MICs and IMLs (read more about these qualifications below!) and so you may meet them out on the hill as well as in the office.

    Mark and Jake split their time between the AE office and programme design and management and working out on the hill to ensure they know exactly what is going on at all times! Mark takes overall responsibility for DofE programmes with specific focus on Schools and Groups. Jake provides support across all programmes and delivers training and technical courses for Adventure Expeditions and Adventure Expertise.

    We are proud of the fantastic instructor team that we work with to deliver your programmes. You can meet a lot of them in the Meet The Team section of our website and read more on their qualifications and what these mean below.






  • What qualifications do my instructors hold?

    All AE instructors hold the Summer Mountain Leader (ML) Award as a minimum requirement. We occasionally mentor instructors who are working towards qualifications but they work alongside experienced, qualified mentors.

    All instructors are personally known to Adventure Expeditions and have a diverse base of experience and expertise. Many of our instructors hold higher qualifications (as detailed below) and are among the top of their profession in the UK.

    The quality of our instructors ensures an exceptional balance between safety and adventure: participants benefit from high quality training that comes from direct experience.

  • What is a Summer Mountain Leader? What do all of the instructor qualifications mean?

    AE requires instructors to hold National Governing Body (NGB) award qualifications from Mountain Training. All awards require an instructor to attend a training course, gain further days to consolidate skills then attend and successfully pass an assessment course.

    Summer Mountain Leader (ML):  An instructor who can lead groups hill-walking anywhere in the UK under Summer conditions;

    Winter Mountain Leader (WML): An instructor who can lead groups hill-walking anywhere in the UK under Summer and Winter conditions;

    International Mountain Leader (IML): An instructor who can lead groups worldwide on non-glaciated terrain. The IML is a legal requirement for anyone leading groups in France, Switzerland and Italy and is recommended for working worldwide. All Adventure Expeditions instructors working on expeditions overseas hold this qualification.

    Mountaineering Instructor (MIA/MIC): The MIA is the highest award for working with groups in the UK in summer conditions. An MIA can take people hill-walking, scrambling, multi-pitch rock climbing and use ropes and technical equipment. An MIA can train and assess MLs and act as technical experts for groups and organisations. They are considered as the top of their profession in the UK. MIC can do all of this in Winter as well as Summer and so can work with clients ice climbing and Winter mountaineering for example as well.

    Read more on Mountain Training’s website here.

  • What is a professional association and why does it benefit me if my instructor belongs to one?

    Professional associations are the groups that instructors can join by virtue of the qualifications that they hold.

    AE asks instructors to join the professional associations that are appropriate for the qualifications that they hold – this ensures that instructors keep their training up to date via continuing professional development and receive important industry updates to keep their knowledge current.

    The professional associations that we look for are:

    Mountain Training Association (MTA): For Summer and Winter Mountain Leaders;

    British Association of International Mountain Leaders (BAIML): For International Mountain Leaders;

    Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI): For MIAs and MICs.


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