Leadership Awards

The LCMLA and CIC Leadership Awards are nationally recognised and adopted award schemes for instructors and guides who lead groups underground. These awards are managed using our Qualification Management System (QMS) which you can access via the link below. Anyone can register an account free but in order to join the award schemes you must purchase a license. If you register the system will provide you will details of how to do this online. This license fee covers administration and support for the online system and scheme. Other fees will be charged by the Trainer/Assessors for training courses. Once qualified you will need to keep your award up to date by attending an update workshop every five years, for which there is an additional payment to the BCA.

The BCAs Qualifications Management Committee (QMC) manage a range of Nationally recognised leadership awards appropriate for those wishing to evidence their competence to lead groups underground.

  • Local Cave & Mine Leadership Awards (LCMLA)
    • Local Cave Leader
      • Award appropriate for those wishing to lead groups in caves
    • Local Mine Leader
      • For those wanting to lead groups in mines
    • Vertical Leader
      • A supplemental award for those wishing to lead groups in vertical systems (simple pitches up to 18m)
    • Includes optional additional awards: SRT for Leader & Tyrolean for Groups
  • Cave Instructor Certificate (CIC)
    • Award for those wishing to lead others in more complex systems

Latest News

With the easing of lockdown restrictions LCMLA award holders will be keen to get their qualification/s back on track. We have scheduled update workshops in all the main caving regions during September or November, so that those whose awards have expired or are due to expire soon can re-engage with the BCA award scheme.
Places can be booked on workshops through the candidate management system. If you have not engaged with the system yet, please contact the training administrator on 01629581113 or

Older news items can be found in the archive of Leadership Awards news.

LCMLA Blue Certificates

Do you have a blue LCMLA certificate? Have you engaged with the new online Qualifications Management System yet? Blue certificates are valid but no more are to be issued. To update it you will need to engage with the QMS – all certificates are now issued via this system. Even if your certificate has plenty of time before it expires help us by getting onto the QMS now. To do this call Mary on 01629 581113 or email

  • QMC Covid-19 Guidance
    New government restrictions across all four of our home nations have necessitated QMC to review advice to award holders, once again, with regard to work. The overriding message from the government is to ‘stay at home’ and although work is still cited as a reason for travel, most education and training is confined to an […]

Info for Military Personnel

Military caving award holders who wish to gain the BCA civilian LCMLA and CIC awards can gain exemption from training by:

  1. Registering with the BCA LCMLA and/or CIC scheme through the Qualification Management System
  2. Under “Credentials” within your profile click “add credentials”
  3. Select the appropriate credential for your course:
    1. Cave Leader Training for CVF
    2. Vertical Cave and/or Mine Leader Training for CVT
    3. Cave Instructor Certificate Training for CVI
  4. Follow the instructions entering the name of the T/A who delivered your course & date
  5. Upload a copy of your certificate to support your application

Once submitted your application will be reviewed within 30 days and, if successful, the training credential added to your profile so you may begin the assessment process.

Info for Trainers/Assessors

Trainers/assessors can find guidance, documentation, and resources on the Trainers/Assessors Info page [password protected].


Guidelines for Technical Advisors

Elliot and Ball Voluntary Youth Sector Grant

Grants are available for those working in the voluntary youth sector to help fund their training and assessment under these schemes.

These awards commemorate Dave Elliot and Nigel Ball, two inspirational cave instructors who were influential in development of caver training and of the BCA instructor and leader award schemes.