IOL Insights - March 2015
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IOL Insights - March 2015

Author:IOL FE
Date Added:25 March 2015

A quick tour of some of the activities undertaken by those working on your behalf for IOL and the outdoor sector. IOL meets its charitable objectives by working with the contributions of a wide range of folk across the UK, many of whom are voluntary.  Below is a sample of contributions in the last quarter.  A big ‘thank you’ to all who have been helping deliver the IOL charitable aims of increasing access to outdoor learning and developing quality of outdoor learning.


INFLUENCING beyond the field & REPRESENTATION of membership and the Outdoor Learning field

  • Simon Hart MP’s Learning Outside the Classroom group meets to identify how best to influence Westminster government and IOL continues to represent and contribute on behalf of outdoor practitioners and organisations across the UK.  Plans are being drawn up to ensure a healthy profile for outdoor learning with the post May 2015 government.
  • Ensuring representation for outdoor learning with the Sports & Recreation Alliance.  Meeting with a wide cross section of associations from leisure, sport and learning to shape messages to government and promote and protect all outdoor disciplines.
  • Ensuring a continued profile for the Adventure Activity Industry Advisory Committee through securing a web presence and disseminating the findings from the recent review of Adventuremark.
  • Continued guidance to the education and youth work sectors through supporting the publication of the updated English Outdoor Council booklet High Quality Outdoor Learning.  The previous booklet High Quality Outdoor Education is used extensively in teacher and visit leader training.
  • Contributing to a review of research practice at a workshop held by The Kings Research Group which identified a need for research to be much closer to practice in order to continue to develop standards.
  • Provision of guidance to SkillsActive (our Sector Skills Council) as it develops new ways of working with the outdoor sector following significant funding changes.  Further details will be circulated and opportunities created for employers to provide feedback to SkillsActive.
  • Providing speakers for Activity Industry Mutual’s AGM reflecting the partnership between the two organisations as they both seek to promote good practice across the sector.
  • Other representation & influencing activity includes: AALS, English Outdoor Council, Scottish consultation, NCS Trust, Learning Away Legacy.

PROFESSIONAL Development and CPD Activity
In addition to a range of regional and SIG based CPD activity....

  • North West Regional Conference attended by 200+ practitioners and students, saw a very wide range of workshops with great learning to be had despite some particularly wet conditions.  The IOL AGM was also held at this conference.
  • The Adventure for All SIG is assimilating guidance on the use of adaptive climbing equipment with people with disabilities and is calling for examples from the sector.  A note of guidance will be published and findings incorporated into future conferences and workshops.
  • The Institute’s Regional Executives and officers continue to provide a range of CPD activity across the UK to support the development of practitioners and strengthen the value of the sector.
  • On-going development of a CPD framework for the sector to ensure that CPD regimes with different associations and NGB’s recognise each other’s CPD activity and to provide guidance to the sector on maintaining currency of practice.
  • Continued provision of introductory workshops for teachers, developing basic confidence and competence in outdoor learning.  The workshops known as Enabling Outdoor Learning are designed to enable to teachers to delivery more effectively some basic forms of outdoor learning and derive more value when they engage outdoor learning practitioners.
  • The Institute  works with FACE (Farming & Countryside Education) to provide those using outdoor learning on working farms insight into the wider outdoor learning community and to identify potential opportunities to develop new practice.

Accreditation & Quality Assurance

  • IOL Outdoor Adventure Therapy SIG is considering how its work fits with existing professional bodies such as The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy.  Such identification of outdoor based specialism in the context of other established standard holders and developers is an important function for the Institute.

IOL DEVELOPMENT of new projects/services
  • lThe members of the National Association of Field Study Officers have voted to integrate with the IOL and form the Field Studies (NAFSO) Group from April 2015.  This new group will seek to develop and disseminate standards in Field Studies as well as influencing government and policy makers.  Membership is open to all members of IOL.
  • lRecognising the increased access to IOL’s web based services we have produced an App to allow easy use of the Institute’s more popular online services.  The App is freely available in the main formats for mobile devices.
  • The 2015 AGM was held at the NW conference and included updates on the Institutes work from officers and Trustees as well as a review of the finances.  Election of Trustees also took place.

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The Institute for Outdoor Learning supports practitioners and providers of Outdoor Learning. Our mission is to increase participation in outdoor learning in the UK and to recognise and improve the quality of outdoor learning in the UK. - See more at:
The Institute for Outdoor Learning supports practitioners and providers of Outdoor Learning. Our mission is to increase participation in outdoor learning in the UK and to recognise and improve the quality of outdoor learning in the UK. - See more at:
The Institute for Outdoor Learning supports individuals and organisations who use the outdoors to make a difference for others.

Our mission is to increase participation in Outdoor Learning in the UK and to recognise and improve the quality of Outdoor Learning in the UK.

By representing and lobbying on behalf of our members, both organisational and individuals, and the outdoor education and recreation sector we can help ensure the development and progression of outdoor learning.

IOL supports your work and career whether you are a professional outdoor practitioner, field study officer, instructor, teacher, youth worker, outdoor leader, management development trainer, student or anyone involved in learning outdoors.

Whether you enjoy recreation, expeditions, bushcraft, adventure, therapy, teaching or learning in the mountains, hills or wilderness, on water or land, in rural or urban areas, there will be benefits to you to visit this site or to become an active member. IOL Membership offers you the opportunity to widen your horizons of influence and networks, develop your outdoor career and gain access to deals on outdoor learning publications, gear, training and more.

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