IOL Insights - June 2016
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IOL Insights - June 2016

Author:IOL FE
Date Added:22 June 2016

IOL Insights - June 2016


  • National Trust

With dialogue at both a regional and national level the Institute is working to ensure that the current National Trust pilot to develop an outdoor activity license scheme, does not have a negative impact on access to outdoor learning provision, whilst also developing good practice around sustainable approaches to the use of popular locations. The pilot is due to run until September 2016 so please contact your IOL regional executive or the national team if you think further regional dialogue might be helpful. See IOL website for contact details.

  • English Outdoor Council

The institute continues to support the work of the English Outdoor Council. The current project led by the EOC chair, Martin Smith, is developing clear articulation of the value of Outdoor Learning for use in lobbying and influencing activity and to gain further support from members of parliament. It lays out the role of outdoor learning in helping to meet some of the challenges faced by UK society including health & wellbeing, educational achievement and employability.

  • National Citizens Service

The Institute continues to provide guidance to the NCS Trust in its work to expand and refine its Cabinet Office funded programme for 15-16 year olds in England.


  • A Learning Away legacy activity

The Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded work to follow-up on the findings of the Learning Away project looking at the benefits and features of residential education interventions, is getting under way. IOL will support the continued dissemination of findings and related CPD activity, as well as helping to steer further research work into the design and benefits of residential provision.

  • AALA InfoLog : Jacob’s Ladder broken spar
Following the failure of a spar (despite no indication of a potential problem during routine inspections) the latest AALA InfoLog recommends that providers should ensure that anyone inspecting their challenge course, ropes course of similar structures are aware of this incident and arrange for natural tree spars to be inspected closely for any evidence of rot, knots or wide growth rings. The full report can be found on the IOL website Guidance and Adventurous Activity section.

  • FSPPG at Geographical Association Conference

Following a successful annual conference in January 2016, the IOL Field Studies Professional Practice Group sent representatives to GA annual conference in Manchester in April. The Group continue to develop their approach to encouraging wider use of good practice in field studies under their new chair Tom Davis.

  • Scottish Adventurous Activity Forum

Members of the IOL Scotland executive presented to June’s meeting of the Scottish Adventurous Activity Forum at Glenmore Lodge, providing insight into the Institute’s vision and work to develop standards and encourage participation in outdoor learning.

  • Supporting Outdoor Learning in Ireland
Working with members based in Eire, the Institute has extended guidance and support to a wider population of practitioners through consultation at a conference in April in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The event was organised by GMIT and Tralee Institute of Technology and hosted by GMIT. There was a good deal of support for the establishment of a body to promote and develop outdoor learning in the Republic.
  • IOL National Conference

The IOL team continue to work on preparations for the 2016 annual conference 14/15th October at Yarnfield conference centre near Stoke. The event which is being held jointly with AHOEC for the first time, has attracted a great cross section of experienced presenters for masterclasses and practitioner workshops. See IOL website for the latest details of the programme.

  • New employer led new apprenticeships

IOL has worked closely with a small group of the sector’s employers to submit an application to BIS to develop a new employer led suite of apprenticeships. This recent call for support from employers across the outdoor learning sector has led to BIS granting permission for development of the first level of proposed apprenticeships. Expect further levels to follow. There will be opportunities in the coming months to contribute to the development of the delivery and assessment elements of the apprenticeship. See ‘Professional Matters’ for more details of the join up between this work and a comprehensive review of IOL Professional accreditation scheme.

    • Leadership workshop
    The latest IOL leadership workshop saw 13 experienced practitioners from across the UK gather in the Peak District for 2 days of input, challenge, reflection and skill development. The programme covers leadership skills and knowledge, insight to the key strategic issues in the sector and structured use of action learning sets. It is delivered by the Institute’s Professional Standards Manager and Chief Executive.

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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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