The UIAA unites 80 organizations in 50 countries with about 1.3 million individual members. The UIAA was founded in Chamonix, France in 1932 and is now headquartered in Bern, Switzerland. It represents the interests of rock climbers, ice climbers, skyrunners, mountaineers and mountain enthusiasts. A shared love for the mountains connects the members of both the UIAA and the IFMGA. The two associations have been collaborating in a loose way for many years and support each other on specific topics.
The UIMLA was founded in November 2004 in France. UIMLA is the umbrella organization for 24 national associations of mountain leaders. Mountain leaders differ from mountain guides in that mountain leaders are qualified to lead treks in all mountain environments except glaciated terrain, permanent snowfields, and places where ropes are required. Those environments necessitate the techniques of alpinism that fall under the mountain guiding profession. The UIMLA’s training for certified mountain leaders meets IFMGA standards. The UIMLA and IFMGA are the only acknowledged worldwide umbrella associations that certify mountain leaders and mountain guides internationally.
The ICAR is an independent, worldwide organization based in Kloten, Switzerland and founded in 1948. ICAR serves as the global exchange platform for mountain rescue know-how. In close collaboration with mountain rescuers and rescue equipment manufacturers, ICAR enhances the global knowledge base on mountain rescue in support of people who have experienced an accident in the mountains. Members of the IFMGA participate periodically in ICAR courses. Some national mountain guides associations are members of ICAR.
The association MountainSafety.info includes the associative members International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA) and the scientific member SLF/WSL Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research. The NATO Center of Excellence of Mountain Warfare is an institutional affiliate. The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) is in collaboration with MountainSafety.info. The project has been initiated by Manuel Genswein and has evolved together with the "Best Practice in Avalanche Rescue" pioneer workgroup.