This is what UIMLA is about

The Union of International Mountain Leader Associations (UIMLA) was founded in November 2004. UIMLA is an international governing body based in France which is representing the IMLs from Andorra, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, Croatia and Peru. One of the most important targets for UIMLA is to represent the profession at the international level as well as setting equal standards of qualifications for all International Mountain Leaders IMLs. UIMLA also promotes the profession and supports the cooperation between IMLs from different countries.

The UIMLA International Mountain Leader and the IFMGA Mountain Guide are the only internationally recognized qualifications in the mountains in Europe.

What is an International Mountain Leader?

An International Mountain Leader (IML) is a person that has been trained and assessed against the challenging requirements of the UIMLA. These requirements are specified in a document called "A common platform standard". The IML qualification lets the holder lead groups in different mountains all over the world, where the skills of alpinism are not required. IMLs can not provide tours on glaciers and permanent snow, and where the planned use of a rope is necessary. However IMLs can work with groups on high altitude treks as well as lead groups on snow shoes. IML's, from every member country, have to maintain International Continuing Professional Development (ICPD) to ensure that members are kept up-to-date with the latest developments in mountain leadership.

Only qualified International Mountain Leader has the badge and the carnet of The UIMLA organization.

A brief history

1989 - representatives from the national and professional mountain organisations of Austria, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland and Italy met with the common objective of harmonising the content and standard of training for the profession of Mountain Leader. At this point in time the "European Mountain Leader Commission - EMLC" was formed. 

1992 - representatives from Belgium, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy and Spain met to ratify the "Community Standard for Conditions of Access to and Practise of the Profession of European Mountain Leader". Between 1992 and 2004 it became clear that the title of European Mountain Leader EML did not accurately reflect the increasingly international nature of the work being undertaken by Mountain Leaders. Nor did it take in to account Mountain Leaders living and working outwith the European Union. 

2004 - representatives from Andorra, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Spain and Switzerland met at Plas y Brenin in North Wales, with the common objective of agreeing a constitution for the new "Union of International Mountain Leader Associations - UIMLA". The union replaced the EMLC and opened up membership to all nations with an interest in the profession of International Mountain Leader - IML. The UIMLA Constitution was formally signed in Chambery, France, November 27th.