PMBIA Level 3

PMBIA LEVEL 3

REFINED – ADVANCED INSTRUCTOR | MODULAR CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

COURSE CONTEXT

The Level 3 Certification is designed to produce refined, versatile mountain bike instructors capable of teaching beginner to advanced riders of all ages and disciplines, in any location. 

  • Refined instructors that are able to teach all abilities, ages and disciplines. 
  • On any terrain up to 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, weekly programs, or weekend skills camps 
  • for an established mountain bike school, club or coaching service
  • for their own business

Course Duration: Following the Level 2 Certification, the Level 3 requires an additional five days (4-day Intermediate to Advanced Instructor Course and 1-day Kids Module) + pre-course reading and worksheet (2-3 hrs), totalling 43 hrs, including assessment.

DESCRIPTION

The modular Level 3 Certification requires instructors to complete both the 4-day AIR Instructor Course and the 4-day TECH Instructor Course, plus the Kids Module. The purpose of this modular approach to the Level 3 Certification is to provide a training pathway that builds a diverse, adaptable and refined, advanced instructor that can truly benefit the mountain bike industry. A PMBI Level 3 Instructor will be able to work to a high degree of competency in a wide variety of mountain bike programs and industry positions.

PMBIA Level 3 Pathway
KIDS MODULE

For more information on the Kids Module, please visit the webpage here.

AIR & TECH COURSES FOR LEVEL 3

Following the Level 2 Certification, candidates will need to register for the specific Intermediate to Advanced Instructor Course that they have yet to complete. For example:

  • A Level 2 AIR Certified Instructor will need to complete the 4-day TECH Instructor Course and the Kids Module, to complete the Level 3 Certification. 
  • A Level 2 TECH (previously named “TRAIL”) Certified Instructor will need to complete the 4-day AIR Instructor Course and the Kids Module, to complete the Level 3 Certification. 

While most Level 2 AIR instructors work in lift-access bike parks and Level 2 TECH instructors work in cross country trail networks, Level 3 instructors will have the skills and knowledge to work in any trail network or environment. Instructors will also benefit from the Kids Module which continues to develop their teaching and guiding skills, while introducing concepts that are included in the Level 2, 3 and 4 Certifications. 

PMBIA Level 2 Air & Tech

Teaching advanced maneuvers inherently comes with more risk and complexity. By taking both courses as part of the modular, Level 3 Certification, the PMBIA can ensure the necessary depth and detail is given to each specific environment to ensure the safest, most effective teaching practices possible.

The AIR and TECH Intermediate – Advanced Instructor courses both focus on teaching and guiding intermediate to advanced riders. While both courses focus on developing Skills-Based teaching concepts for descending, steeps, rocks rolls, cornering and technical terrain, the AIR course spends more time with a focus on descending and cornering lessons, while the TECH course also includes the skills-based concepts for teaching technical climbing and pedalling.

The Maneuver-Based teaching component of the courses focus on training instructors to teach jumps and drops or technical maneuvers, 

  • The “AIR” course trains instructors how to introduce intermediate riders to jumps and drops.
  • The “TECH” course trains instructors how to introduce intermediate riders to technical maneuvers, such as wheelies, manuals, endos, nose pivots or bunnyhops. Instructors will also learn how to introduce students to natural roll downs and small drops up to approximately 2ft high.

The value and challenge of the Level 3 Certification is to gain a much deeper understanding of teaching intermediate to advanced riders, by taking both 4-day courses. This inherently provides much more time for instructors to practice, refine and develop their teaching, guiding and riding skills, prior to attempting the Level 4 Certification. 

The Level 3 Certification is the ideal program to increase an instructor’s ability to adapt to any discipline, environment or student, providing them the time, training and broad range of knowledge and skills, to truly become a professional, career mountain bike instructor. 

HOW DOES THIS MODULAR APPROACH WORK?

  1. COURSES: Once a PMBIA member has successfully completed both the AIR and TECH Intermediate – Advanced Instructor Courses, plus the Kids Module, they will be certified as a PMBIA Level 3 Instructor. Candidates can choose to take these programs in any order, although the Kids Module can act as great preparation and further training, after completing the Level 1 course and prior to completing either the AIR or TECH Intermediate – Advanced Instructor Courses. 
  2. ASSESSMENT: When an instructor takes their first Intermediate – Advanced Instructor Course as part of the Level 2 Certification, they must show a ‘consistent’ level of skill to pass the teaching and riding assessments. However, when an instructor takes their second Intermediate – Advanced Instructor Course as part of the Level 3 Certification, they must show an ’autonomous’ (refined) level of skill, to pass both the teaching and riding assessments. This is based on PMBIA’s progressive marking system known as PRE-CAP, which stands for:
PROCESSING EMERGING CONSISTENT AUTONOMOUS PROFICIENT
Cognitively processing, first time attempting skill Skills are beginning to emerge but still inconsistent in easy conditions Skills are consistent in easy conditions, but lack refinement and are inconsistent when challenged: LEVEL 1 & 2 Skills are mostly refined and consistent when challenged: LEVEL 3 Skills are now showing creativity and always refined in all situations: LEVEL 4

This process provides an additional challenge to instructors when attending their second Intermediate – Advanced course, to not only learn the specific information and techniques relevant to that course, but to also show a higher degree of competency when it comes to their riding and teaching skills, thereby creating a truly challenging and valuable Level 3 process. 

This marking system and the course expectations are explained in more detail during each of the AIR and TECH Intermediate – Advanced  Instructor Courses, so participants will have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, when, and why. 

For information on recertifying, retests and working with the new 2022 Level 3 Pathway, please see our FAQ page.

WHY TAKE THIS PROGRAM?

  • Broaden and diversify your skill set to give you the tools to become a truly well-rounded, professional mountain bike instructor.
  • Progress from Level 2 by taking your riding skills to the next level by learning how to excel in both bike park and cross country trail environments.
  • Gain a deeper understanding on teaching intermediate to advanced students in a variety of terrain by more than doubling the potential tools and lesson plans at your disposal, compared to Level 2.
  • Practice and develop the tools provided in Level 2 even further, by learning how to use and adapt them in different ways, while challenging yourself to execute better, more refined lessons and demo’s.
  • Build the skills you need to make mountain bike coaching a viable career and build the foundation you need to potentially start your own business

WHO IS THIS COURSE FOR? AM I READY?

  • Confident, advanced mountain bikers who are passionate about teaching and keen to develop their riding and teaching skills to teach intermediate to advanced students. 
  • Instructors with experience teaching beginner to intermediate students, in a variety of terrain.  
  • Instructors who are comfortable riding with refined skills and technique on advanced, technical, single black trails and who can consistently perform the advanced maneuvers:
    • AIR: small to medium tabletop jumps, approximately 6 – 12ft from lip to landing and drop-offs up to 5ft high using a variety of techniques  
    • TECH: basic bunnyhop, wheelie and manual (approx two bike lengths), endo, nose pivot, natural rolls downs and small drops approximately 2 ft high using a variety of techniques
    • Remember, the primary goal of these courses is to learn how to teach these skills… therefore when considering the Level 3 riding and teaching standards, these skills should ideally be consistent, if not refined, prior to attending the courses.
  • Riders who are comfortable riding with and leading groups in an outdoor environment, in challenging terrain in all conditions, while being responsible for the welfare of other adults and children. 

PREREQUISITES

  • PMBI Level 2 Certification mandatory
  • 4+ seasons teaching experience is highly recommended, but not mandatory.
  • Confident riding at speed with consistent form and technique on technical and flowy intermediate to advanced terrain; including green, blue and black trails. 
  • 40hr Wilderness First Aid (or equivalent) expected but not mandatory.
  • A minimum age of 17 is required for Level 3. Guiding and teaching mountain biking is inherently dangerous, especially at the intermediate to advanced level of riding. Because of the greater risks associated with teaching on harder terrain and/or at higher speed with more advanced students, this warrants a higher, minimum age for Level 3 certified instructors.

READING MATERIALS & WORKSHEET: 2 – 3 HRS

The pre-course workshops are essential to prepare for the AIR Instructor Course, TECH Instructor course and Kids Module, so you can get the most out of your PMBIA Training. Prep for both courses involves reading the comprehensive PMBIA Reference Guide and appropriate Course Booklet, before completing a mandatory worksheet. Please note the reading and worksheet for each course takes approximately 1 – 3 hrs to complete.

COURSE LOGISTICS

To learn more about course logistics, such as booking accommodation, weather protocols, timing and equipment requirements, please visit the L3 FAQ page.

WHAT RIDING SKILLS ARE REQUIRED?

Both the AIR and TECH Instructor Courses require instructors to be comfortable riding at speed on technical blue and single-black diamond trails. Be aware that these trail ratings are based on 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 to a black trail, somewhere else. Note: green and blue trails in North America are equivalent to blue and red trails in Europe, depending on location. 

Regardless of the course, riders should be comfortable climbing and descending steep, rough terrain, with roots and rocks, cornering with speed on flat and bermed corners, while managing varied terrain such as drops, rollers and loose surfaces.

AIR instructors must be able to perform advanced maneuvers such as jumps and drop offs, while TECH instructors should be able to perform basic manuals, wheelies, bunnyhops and rear wheel pivots. For more details, check out the Riding & Teaching Standards, below.

RIDING & TEACHING STANDARD

PMBI Level 3 instructors must be able to comfortably ride with refined skill level on 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 AIR and TECH Intermediate – Advanced Instructor Courses. With the Level 2 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.

RIDING SKILLS

  • Autonomous (refined) Position & Balance skills to maintain a strong, efficient, mobile position regardless of speed/terrain and can utilize range of movement when riding technical terrain and/or at high speeds.
  • Autonomous (refined) Cadence & Pedaling Technique to ensure efficiency, traction and smooth shifting technique on technical terrain and climbs.
  • Autonomous (refined) Braking skills to show smooth speed control without skidding on steeps, rock rolls and under heavy braking. 
  • Autonomous (refined) Trail Scanning at higher speeds and on more challenging terrain, while showing varied, creative line choice and smooth, efficient riding.
  • Autonomous (refined) Angulation/Inclination/Rotation skills applied to cornering in flat, off-camber & banked corners (berms), while consistently carrying speed through the corners. 
  • Autonomous (refined) use of Pressure Control skills to manage pressures from rough terrain and high speeds, while also allowing the rider to create/release pressures to pump and unweight the bike for more flow and speed. 

AIR RIDING MANEUVERS

  • Autonomous (refined) use of Position/Pressure/Timing to clearly demonstrate “Point of Commitment, Press & Absorb” on small to medium table top jumps
  • Autonomous (refined) use of Position/Pressure/Timing to demonstrate a variety of drop off techniques using different combinations of “Point of Commitment, Press/Absorb/Poke”, based on the Speed, Shape and Size of drops, up to 5 feet high. 
  • Small to medium tabletop jumps, approximately 6 – 12ft from lip to landing and drop-offs up to 5 ft high using a variety of techniques
  • Refined Emergency Stop; maintains a strong, stable position with minimal to no skidding, front brake only. 

TECH RIDING MANEUVERS

  • Autonomous (refined) use of Position/Pressure/Timing to demonstrate a variety of drop off techniques using different combinations of “Point of Commitment, Press/Absorb/Poke”, based on the Speed, Shape and Size of natural roll downs and small drops, up to approximately 2 feet high.
  • Consistent bunnyhop, wheelie and manuals (approx three bike lengths), endos and nose pivot (both directions above 45 degrees).
  • Refined Emergency Stop; maintains a strong, stable position with minimal to no skidding, front brake only. 

TEACHING & GUIDING

  • Autonomous (refined) Guiding & Risk Management Skills through the Safety Rules, Class Management & Terrain Communication Protocols, when teaching & guiding intermediate to advanced terrain. 
  • Consistent use of Skill-Blending (teaching two skills together) during both skills-based and maneuver based lessons, to produce efficient, detailed, yet simple lessons. 
  • Autonomous (refined) lesson structure using the Lesson Format and Training Wheel teaching models, including a strong understanding of the different components of the Training Wheel and how to adapt them, to best suit the scenario. 
  • Autonomous (refined) use of the I.D.E.A Progression teaching model in both skills-based and maneuver-based lessons
  • Consistent, technically sound lesson content with a safe and efficient use of drills, tactics or tasks to generate genuine skill development
  • Refined People Skills & Instructor Traits required to provide a fun, student-tailored learning environment.
  • Refined, specific, technically sound and well structured Explanations.
  • Refined use of 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.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

In order for candidates to successfully gain a PMBI Level 3 certification, they must pass both a riding and teaching evaluation during both the AIR Instructor Course and TECH Instructor courses. In addition, candidates must also complete the Kids Module, although this course has no official pass/fail component. 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 AIR and TECH Course Booklets.

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 advanced maneuvers to clearly demonstrate jumps and drops (AIR) or technical maneuvers (TECH). The specific riding competencies are outlined in more detail in the AIR and TECH Course Booklets.

WRITTEN ASSESSMENT: Candidates must read the PMBIA Reference Guide and the relevant AIR or TECH Course Booklets, and complete the appropriate worksheet. 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 candidate’s 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 3 FAQ page here.

Please read through the details below for information on common questions, before emailing us:

GENERAL QUESTIONS

PRIOR TO MAY 16th, 2022, I HAD COMPLETED MY LEVEL 2 AND WAS WORKING TOWARDS MY LEVEL 3 AND HAVE ATTENDED VARIOUS MODULES. IN THE NEW 4-TIER SYSTEM, HOW DO I NOW GAIN THE LEVEL 3 CERTIFICATION? WILL I RECEIVE IT AUTOMATICALLY?
Please review the table below carefully to find out what you need to do in order to be certified Level 3 in the new 4-tier system. 

Members have until October 31st 2022 to satisfy these requirements, to be certified Level 3.

After that date, members must follow the requirements of the new 4-tier system, regardless of any modules or courses they have previously taken. 

YOUR CERTIFICATION & COURSES PRIOR TO MAY 16th 2022

COURSE(S) YOU’LL NEED TO COMPLETE, TO BE CERTIFIED ‘LEVEL 3’ IN 2022

Level 2 Air, Kids Module

2-day TECH Module

Level 2 Trail, Kids Module

2-day AIR Module

Level 2 Air, Trail Module

Certified Level 3 but must complete Kids Module prior to signing up for the Level 4 Course

Level 2 Trail, Air Module

Certified Level 3 but must complete Kids Module prior to signing up for the Level 4 Course

Level 2 Air, Trail Module, Kids Module

Certified Level 3

Level 2 Trail, Air Module, Kids Module

Certified Level 3

WHAT’S THE MINIMUM AGE FOR THE LEVEL 3 CERTIFICATION?
The minimum age for Level 3 courses is 17 years old. Guiding and teaching mountain biking is inherently dangerous, especially at the intermediate to advanced level of riding. Because of the greater risks associated with teaching on harder terrain and/or at higher speed with more advanced students, this warrants a higher, minimum age for Level 3 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 outdoors. If clients want to ride in the rain or heat, within reason, the instructor or guide has to. With the exception of extreme weather and/or lightning, the course runs so make sure you have 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 more details, check out the Level 3 Riding & Teaching Standards, here.

COURSE LOGISTICS

WHEN SHOULD I BOOK MY TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION, IF I’M TRAVELING?
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.
WEATHER
Be ready to ride every day of the course, regardless of the weather; be sure to dress appropriately for conditions and bring spare clothes as required. The course will not be canceled due to rain or hot/cold weather. Only severe weather conditions such as heavy rain (which damages the trails), heavy snow, lightning storms or extreme heat, may result in a course being rescheduled.

To view our Booking & Cancellation Policy, please click here: pmbia.org/policies

TIMING
Please be punctual and arrive ready to listen, learn and ride! Plan your journey to the course location and if in doubt, take extra time to avoid being late. 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. Days typically finish between 4-5pm.

To be eligible for a PMBIA certification you must attend all the courses in full, including the pre-course reading and worksheets.

EQUIPMENT
AIR Instructor Courses in lift accessed downhill bike parks (lift up, ride down):

The AIR Instructor Course includes riding on green, blue and black, mountain bike trails, with tabletop jumps and drops. We therefore recommend participants are comfortable riding at this level and over these features, before attending the course. The PMBIA recommends a good working downhill or modern “Enduro” bike, with approximately 125 – 160mm (5 – 6 inches) of suspension front and rear, quality disc brakes (180 or 200mm rotors) with downhill or enduro casing tires; to help avoid pinch flats associated with harder terrain and higher speeds in bike parks. 

A good condition, full face helmet that fits correctly and knee pads, are mandatory. Gloves, elbow pads and spine protection are recommended, but at the discretion of the individual.

TECH Instructor Courses in cross country trail networks (no lifts, ride up and down): 

The PMBIA recommends a good working, modern “Trail” or “Enduro” bike, with approximately 125 – 160mm (5 – 6 inches) of suspension front and rear, quality disc brakes and trail or enduro casing tires; to ensure maximum grip and speed control. Downhill bikes will NOT be suitable for TECH Instructor Courses held in cross country trail networks. 

Pedal recommendations for courses in lift-accessed bike parks and trail networks: Candidates can choose to use either flat pedals or clipless pedals on PMBIA courses, whatever they are most comfortable with. However, for teaching, demonstrating and learning purposes, if possible, the PMBIA does recommend using a flat pedal, combined with an MTB-specific shoe, like Five Ten.

A good condition, modern helmet that fits correctly, is mandatory. Knee pads are strongly recommended. Gloves and elbow pads are recommended, but at the discretion of the individual.

OTHER EQUIPMENT?
You will need to bring the following things…

  • working phone
  • pen and paper
  • small backpack or hip-pack to carry these things…
    • spare tubes and patches/tubeless puncture kit
    • tire levers and pump
    • multi tool and chain tool
    • first aid kit
    • rain jacket/spare clothes based on weather
    • water & snacks
    • lunch, or money for lunch

RETESTS

IF I FAIL THE RIDING OR TEACHING PORTION OF THE COURSE, HOW DO I RE-TEST?
Retesting 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 retest. 

Please visit the Retest page here, to learn more.

WHAT’S THE OPTION IF I WAS UNSUCCESSFUL WITH BOTH RIDING & TEACHING ASSESSMENTS?
While this can be a tough pill to swallow, we are with you on this! Every person moves through the process at their own rate so try to stay positive and focus on your own personal progression, rather than comparing your own performance to others. If you were unsuccessful with both riding and teaching as a Level 3 candidate, you can retest via the two-day AIR or TECH Modules.

Please note; candidates can only retest on the same type of course. For example, if a Level 3 candidate was unsuccessful during the four-day AIR Instructor Course, they can only retest via the AIR Module.

RECERTIFICATION & MEMBERSHIP

The PMBI Association currently offers a variety of recertification pathways, depending on the level of certification. The PMBI Association requires instructors to re-train every three years. This system is key in ensuring the PMBIA member’s maintain consistent, professional teaching and guiding practices within the mountain bike industry.

Please visit the Recertifications page here, to learn more. 

CROSSING OVER FROM OTHER CERTIFICATIONS

CAN I SKIP LEVEL 1 AND 2 AND GO STRAIGHT TO THE LEVEL 3… I’M REALLY GOOD!
We love that you’re awesome, but no. This is because a) the Level 3 is a modular process so the Level 2 is an integral part of the Level 3 Certification, and b) you can’t skip to Level 2 without doing the Level 1; see below. 
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. PMBI Level 1 is a mandatory requirement before signing up for Level 2. The PMBIA also recommends a year of teaching experience after the PMBI Level 1, before taking 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 Certification 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 Level 1. The Level 1 course will still provide plenty of tools to help you analyze your riders technique, develop lesson 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 has 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 life 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/BICP LEVEL 2 CERTIFIED?
In a nutshell, the PMBI Level 1 course is more akin to the IMBA/BICP 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 taking the PMBI Level 1, first.

Teaching mountain biking is inherently dangerous so the PMBIA 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 Level 1, but also Level 2. PMBI Level 2 is an 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.

INJURIES

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.

For any injury related cancellations, a doctor’s note will be required and you will be offered a 50% refund, or space on another course. Please contact us as soon as possible if you think you will not be able to attend due to injury at info@pmbia.org.

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 its course participants, do not suffer from last minute cancellations.

Click here to view the 4-day AIR Instructor Course schedule and to register

Click here to visit the 4-day TECH Instructor Course schedule and to register

Click here to visit the 1-day Kids Module schedule and to register