The future success of the club depends on maintaining and increasing the leadership pool. The club actively encourages members to take part in Mountain Skills courses that it organises from time to time.
Each year the COC organises different courses in mountain skills and leadership for members, depending on demand.
The basic course for anyone interested in becoming self-sufficient and confident on an Irish mountain in varying weather conditions is the Mountain Skills course that may be taken over two weekends or over four days. The course is divided between MS1 and MS2 and basic skills such as map reading, compass work, ascent and descent of steep ground, equipment, first aid, weather, etc. are taught with the objective of acquitting the student with the knowledge to lead himself or herself safely in Irish mountains. Having completed MS1 and MS2 and combined with a record (log) of walks and evidence of experience the candidate may apply to sit a Mountain Skills Assessment or MSA. Once this is passed, and provided he/she holds a current First Aid certificate, one may then register with BOS to become a Registered Mountain Leader.
Basic First Aid and Rescue Emergency Care
As stated above it is a requirement of BOS to hold a current First Aid Certificate and to have passed the MSA before being accepted for registration for the ML course.
Any first aid course will suffice at this stage e.g. those conducted by St John’s Ambulance, the Knights of Malta or Civil Defence, or by a registered nurse or approved trainer employed in the workplace or as part of an Adult Education Course with the VEC or equivalent training authority.
Alternatively, and preferably, one may also take part in a 3-day intensive Standard (mountain) First Aid course, under Rescue Emergency Care (REC) Scheme guidelines, usually at an approved centre e.g. Tiglin, the National Outdoor Training Centre, in Ashford, Co Wicklow or at the Burren OEC in Turlough, under the auspices of a Registered REC First Aid Provider.
A candidate who wishes to obtain a Mountain Leadership Award will comply with the following (transcribed directly from BOS guidelines):
A. REGISTRATION AND TRAINING