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Individual Accreditation

Recognising and encouraging good practice in Outdoor Learning

IOL Accreditation is designed for everyone who provides outdoor learning including instructors, youth workers, teachers, lecturers, teaching assistants, development trainers, therapists, facilitators, centre managers, advisors, etc.

For practitioners accreditation provides:

  • Formal designation and credibility as an Outdoor Learning professional
  • Continuing professional development (CPD) that enhances your practice
  • Recognition of how you uniquely combine and apply your range of experience, skills, knowledge, qualifications and awards

Core training, experience and reflective practice guided by a personal mentor or coach underpins IOL accreditation. Since 2005 more than 830 people have achieved accreditation with IOL. The awards are open to employees, freelancers or volunteers who provide outdoor learning.

RPIOL logo   APIOL logo    LPIOL logo 

Instructor or teacher of outdoor learning in specific environments or with specific groups

Facilitator of outdoor learning with a breadth of experience in challenging situations

Leader in the wider field of outdoor learning and champion of good practice and innovation

Five Areas of Accreditation
Each IOL Award accredits the knowledge, skills and experience of practitioners who are responsible for providing learning in an outdoors environment and where there is an inherent challenge (physical, emotional or educational) and when the uncertainty of the natural world is present.

 Outdoor Ambassador

Knowledge about, and a passion for, Outdoor Learning
 Guiding Approach

A clear personal attitude and approach to the delivery of outdoor activities in an inclusive and sustainable manner
 Professional Practice

Shows a commitment to professional and reflective practice and on-going development
 Designing Learning

Skills to establish needs, design learning, direct others, involve participants and evaluate results
 Facilitating Learning

Ability to facilitate outdoor learning; manage risk – benefit choices; lead individual and group development

Reflective practice is at the heart of the accreditation process. Guided by a personal Mentor or Coach participants get quality time to reflect on all aspects of their outdoor learning career so far and where they are going next. Each candidates written application and professional discussion is assessed against nationally recognised criteria.

IOL Accreditation is inclusive and recognises “how” practitioners have integrated and apply their skills and knowledge gained through core training and experience such as NGB Awards, Formal study (FE, HE) , IOL Accredited courses, CPD Courses or workshops, Discussions with peers, Reading books or journals, personal experience or on-the-job experience.

IOL Approved Mentors, Coaches and Assessors
IOL Mentors, Coaches and Assessors provide a vital and valued role in supporting the Institute to provide Individual Accreditation awards for its members. By volunteering to support IOL Individual Accreditation Awards you:

  • Show your commitment and give back to the Outdoor Learning sector
  • Support practitioners to achieve RPIOL, APIOL or LPIOL
  • Strengthen the professional practice of others
  • Further develop your reflective practice
  • Get recognition on the IOL website as an Approved Coach or Assessor

Contact Louise at the IOL Office to find out more about becoming an Approved Coach or Assessor.

Next Steps

The awards are designed for practitioners at the beginning of their career in the outdoors and seasoned professionals wanting to get their skills and experience formally recognised. The approval is indefinite but, as with any award, current competence relies on relevant experience and on-going CPD.

Visit the individual award pages to discover more

RPIOL logo    APIOL logo    LPIOL logo 
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