MGA 201 & 202
The OAG Mountain Leading Course was established to promote the safe enjoyment of Ghana’s hills and mountains. The programme provides training and assessment in the technical and group management skills required by Mountaineering Explorer and Mountaineering Ranger Adventure Guiding Certification candidates who wish to lead groups in the mountains, hills and outcrops of Ghana in all weather conditions. It integrates experience, training and assessment in what could be challenging and testing conditions in mountainous areas.
The Mountain Leading Course offers the opportunity to gain technical competence in leading backpackers and hikers in hills and mountains. It does not provide a rock-climbing or abseil guiding qualification, nor does it cover the skills required for the planned use of ropes. Completion of a training course, without a pass mark during assessment, is not a
qualification in itself. The Course is a combination of technical skills, wide experience and personal leadership qualities, which form the basis for effective group management, and the programme assesses all of these aspects.
The training syllabus for the Mountain Leading qualifications include:
Registration: To register for the Course you must be at least 18 years old, have at least a year’s worth of experience in the hills and mountains and have an interest in leading groups or running adventures in Ghana's mountains. When Course dates are announced, you will be able to register online and make payments.
Course Duration: The Mountain Leading Course is delivered by OAG-licensed Frontier and Master Guides in a variety of formats and will include a minimum of 72 hours contact time. It emphasizes those skills which a candidate may have difficulty in learning without expert guidance. Some aspects of the syllabus may not be covered as fully during the training course and candidates should be able to deal with these items themselves. At the end of the course the course director will complete a course report and record your attendance. Once this has been completed you will have a record in the training tab in your adventure certification folder.
Candidates are reminded that attendance on a training course must not in any way be construed as a qualification in its own right. This is only achieved by passing the Mountain Leading Adventure Certification Assessment and written Examinations.
The Mountain Leading Course costs 1,000-GHC and covers transportation to the training locations, food, water, training fees and use of group gear and equipment.
Candidates are expected to pack the following in order to survive the training:
- A 40-litre backpack
- A 10-litre day pack
- 1 good outdoor tent
- A pair of good hiking boots
- Outdoor walking sandals
- A cap or hat
- 3 water bottles
- 3 sets of outdoor clothing
- 1 sleeping bag or thick blanket
- 1 sleeping mat
- Wash kit – small towel, sponge and soap
- 1 bowl for meals
- A can of insect repellent
- A box of matchsticks
- Rain coat
- 1 machete
- Hiking poles
- A compass
Consolidation: During the period between training and assessment, candidates are expected to gain personal experience in mountain areas. This should include some practice in leading parties in easy to moderately difficult hill areas. Working under the guidance of a suitably experienced Guide in more difficult terrain is also recommended. Every opportunity should be taken to practice the skills learned during training.
Assessment: Before you book a Mountain Leading Assessment, make sure you have done the following:
- You have attended a Mountain Leading training course (or have been granted exemption)
- You are familiar with the syllabus
- You have logged a minimum of 40 Quality Mountain Days in three different hill and mountain areas of Ghana.
- You have passed the written examinations.
- You hold a current first aid certificate relevant to your work as a Mountaineering Explorer or Ranger
- You have logged at least 8 nights camping, including at least 4 nights wild camping
Attend or organize an assessment course: Candidates should be familiar with all aspects of the syllabus before assessment, even if some parts were not covered in detail during training. Assessment courses provide at least 60 hours of contact time between candidates and assessors and candidates are tested in accordance with the syllabus.
Following the Assessment the course director will complete a course report which will record one of three possible results:
Pass: awarded where the candidate has demonstrated appropriate knowledge and application of the course syllabus and has shown the necessary experience and attributes of mountain leadership.
Defer: awarded where the candidate has generally performed well and has shown the necessary experience and attributes, but where complete proficiency has not been attained in certain aspects of the syllabus or where a lack of experience has been identified.
Fail: awarded where the candidate’s performance has been generally weak, or the necessary experience and attributes have not been shown. A complete assessment course will need to be subsequently attended.
In the case of a deferral, candidates will generally return to their original assessment provider. They may however be reassessed by any appropriate provider. Practical reassessments cannot take place within three months of the initial assessment to allow sufficient time for practice and preparation. All deferral reassessments must be completed within two years.
Additional training: All Mountain Leading Courses are based on the current and relevant experience of the individual license holder. Holders of this license may, through additional training or breadth of experience, have competencies over and above those assessed as part of this license. If license holders are to be deployed to operate beyond the strict scope of this license, then the employer or organizing authority should develop a strategy for managing such deployment. This management should include the involvement of a suitably experienced and qualified Master Guide who can assess the suitability of the license holder to operate on specific venues, routes or activities and testify to their competence to do so.
First Aid: For a Mountaineering Explorer or Ranger, first aid is an essential skill and the Mountain Leading certifications require the presentation of a current first aid qualification. The minimum requirement is that such a course must involve at least two full days or sixteen hours of instruction and include an element of assessment. Candidates are further expected to
undertake such additional elements of first aid training as are consistent with their work in wild and remote adventure locations, including emergency assistance and evacuation techniques. It is the responsibility of license holders and/or their employers to evaluate their likely work and the type of situations that they can reasonably expect to encounter and to maintain current appropriate first aid training and qualifications.
Exemptions: Candidates who already have substantial personal experience in mountainous areas as well as experience in the leadership of groups may apply for exemption from training. To qualify for exemption candidates must, at the very least, meet the minimum experience requirements for attendance at an assessment course. They should also have at least three years recent experience of leading groups and wild camping in the mountains of Ghana. No exemption is granted however from the examination and from assessment.