Caving | Pennine Outdoor Pursuits

Descending into the cave.

BCA Local Cave/Mine Leader Assessment Scheme

These are run in most of the major caving regions in the UK including the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, North and South Wales and Somerset.

The courses start at 9.30am on the first day and end at 5.00pm on the final day with a formal de-brief and a look at assessment procedure.

Cavers will be expected to have their own caving clothing and equipment for the training courses but I can provide anything that people are short of. Some sessions will be held outdoors so suitable clothing will be needed for this.

Registration and Logbooks

An application form can be obtained by contacting the Training Administration Service Provider or down loading one from the British Caving Association web site.

The completed application form should be sent with the current registration fee to the Training Administration Service Provider. The registration fee covers the administration costs of Level 1 and Level 2 assessments, it does not cover the subsequent addition of other sites and areas, revalidation or the Cave Instructor Certificate scheme. Neither does the registration fee cover the cost of Trainer/Assessors' services.

There is no lower age limit on registration or gaining prior experience. However, there is an age limit on progressing through the scheme.


The applicant will be registered with the scheme and be given a logbook and registration number, which should be referred to in all correspondence.

The issued logbook contains the following pages:

  • Enrolment (yellow)
  • Purpose of Logbook (white)
  • Contents (yellow)
  • Outline of LCMLA Scheme (yellow)
  • Experience (white)
  • Summary of LCMLA Training Courses, Assessment and Revalidation (yellow)
  • Associated Awards and Courses Record (white)

Candidates with a lot of experience, perhaps going back over many years may find it difficult to give exact details. Candidates should attempt to demonstrate their breadth and depth of experience with the more historic experience summarised. Multiple entries of trips to the same cave or mine with similar groups may also be summarised. Only the most recent experience should be included in more detail.

Additional experience pages may be obtained from the Training Administration Service Provider or photocopied.

If a candidate subsequently registers on the Cave Instructor Certificate (CIC) Scheme pink pages will be issued for enrolment and partial assessment reports.


A copy of the Syllabus can be down loaded from the BCA web site -details in Directory. A free copy of the syllabus will be provided at registration. Further copies may be obtained from the TASP on payment of a charge to cover printing costs.


"Protect Our Caves", "Bats Underground", "Weils Disease", Speleoscene and "Cave Conservation Policy - Summary" are normally sent out with registration forms. Further copies may be obtained by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope to the Training Administrator.

This material is also available at BCA Training web site.


A copy of Speleoscene, the British Caving Association newsletter, is sent out with the logbook. Speleoscene is a source of up to date information about the scheme, access changes etc. All candidates are encouraged to obtain the publication regularly. It is obtainable from some shops or by subscription.

Medical Conditions

Caving is a strenuous activity and emergency situations (e.g. carrying out a hoist on a climb or pitch) can be both physically and mentally exhausting. It is the responsibility of the LCMLA leader to ensure that he/she is physically able to carry out their anticipated and unforeseen roles in caring for their groups/clients. Medical advice should be sought if a condition or disability may limit the ability to perform these roles. During training or assessment it is essential that candidates do not put themselves or others at risk and therefore must notify the trainer/assessor of any condition which may significantly affect their caving activities.


A training course is a compulsory part of the Local Cave and Mine Leader Assessment scheme at both Level 1 and Level 2. There are no compulsory training courses for the optional Modules 5 and 6.

Prior Experience - Level One

The only requirement is that the candidate has a basic level of competence as cavers or mine explorers.

The minimum experience prior to undertaking a Level one training course is 12 cave or mine exploration trips.

Candidates with less than 12 trips experience can be accepted on specially designed courses. However the training report issued to the candidate at the end of the course should note this fact and advise the candidate that more training may be required before assessment.

Prior Experience - Level Two

The only requirement is that the candidate has done some vertical caving.

Candidates must have completed a Level 1 training course.

Course directors shall have the right to refuse attendance on a training course if the candidate has insufficient experience. The candidate shall have a right of appeal to the Training Officer.

Minimum Age

Candidates must be over 18 years old to undertake a Training Course.

The candidate can attend a training course anywhere, as they are not area specific. The course must be run by a British Caving Association approved Trainer / Assessor. The candidate is at liberty to contact any currently approved Trainer/Assessor.

The candidate should advise the Trainer / Assessor if s/he has any medical problems that may affect their own or other persons safety.

Lists of Trainer / Assessors are on the British Caving Association's web site and can be obtained from the Training Administrator. Details of some forthcoming training courses are advertised in Speleoscene, on the British Caving Association's web site and elsewhere.

The candidate should be advised by the Trainer / Assessor, preferably in writing, of the basic details of the course.

Duration Of Training Course - Levels 1 And 2

The minimum requirements are 2 days (16 hours) for each course. At least 6 hours should be spent underground. Trainer/Assessors may take into account appropriate vertical rope work qualifications held by candidates and reduce the duration of Level 2 training courses e.g. Mountain Leader Training Board, (Mountain Instructor Assessment).

Tuesday, August 21, 2018