British Cycling release guidance to coaches, leaders and instructors regarding the Ahmed vs. MacLean Case 

The Ahmed vs MacLean court case received significant media coverage and instigated discussion in the mountain biking and outdoors communities. It was widely discussed by delegates at our conference in November - just after the case decision was declared.

In recent months British Cycling (BC) have received questions from clubs and BC qualified coaches and leaders. As such, they wanted to provide guidance and support to everyone who helps to make mountain biking such a welcoming and inclusive activity.

Read the full case judgement.

Full Statement

This guidance is not an opinion on the outcome of the case, which has been determined by a Judge in full possession of the facts presented at the case. It is based only on the expertise within British Cycling and information available within the public domain.

1. British Cycling is commenting on our considerations of the potential implications for Coaches, Leaders and Instructors who hold British Cycling qualifications and where held, insurance through their British Cycling membership.

2. British Cycling is aware that falls from bikes happen and that sometimes these can lead to injury. We are also aware that there are risks inherent within mountain biking, and other forms of cycling activity and that it is one of the roles of Coaches, Leaders and Instructors to mitigate these risks to an acceptable level whilst enabling the ride or session to have value to the rider(s).

3. The responsibility to remain up to date with current practice lies with the Coach, Leader or Instructor. Refer back to your training and assessment content, to your course resources and British Cycling’s guidelines which are there to support your role. Current guidance is published on the appropriate section of the British Cycling website including:

4. It is important that all aspects of your role as a Coach, Leader or Instructor should be evaluated in light of ongoing practice; this should include any developments in cycling and through discussion with qualified and experienced peers in your environment. There are several primary areas of practice that should be considered including:

  • a. Good management of all documentation of rides or sessions including having and retaining relevant paperwork such as riders personal information, experience and ability disclosure, risk assessment, session plans and accident records.
  • b. Undertaking thorough and applicable risk assessments both prior to (documented) and during (dynamic) a ride or session.
  • c. Always delivering a pre ride or pre session skills/ability assessment in a non-technical environment. This should take as much time as necessary to assess the ability level of your rider(s) and explain the importance of this time to the rider(s), no matter what ability level they consider themselves to have reached. Ensure there is on-going observation and assessment of rider(s) skills and ability throughout the ride/session and prior to being introduced to more challenging environments, rider(s) skills and confidence are progressively developed and verified. 
  • d. Coaches, Leaders and Instructors should bear in mind that where a rider demonstrates a lack of confidence or skill required for a particular section(s) of the route or practice a suitable alternative should be used (i.e. getting off the bike and walking).
  • e. Reporting incidents to any third parties required and involved, including keeping your own record of any incident and your actions in advance and subsequent to it. All incidents should also be reported to British Cycling, where insurance is held through British Cycling membership.

5. British Cycling considers it the responsibility of the coach, leader, and instructor to make the decision about the level of ride or session that is appropriate for the level of rider(s) involved.