Employers Guide to Accreditation
 | Search
Employers Guide to Accreditation

The benefits of the IOL Accreditation scheme for employers
  • Accreditation is about all aspects of the person. It recognises experience from other aspects of a persons life/career which are drawn upon to provide evidence of competence.
  • All these awards are for experienced practitioners and accreditation at any level indicates that nationally recognised standards within the outdoor learning profession have been met. 
  • Gaining accreditation at any level demonstrates a commitment to the professionalism of the outdoor sector and a person's eagerness to progress their career in the outdoors.
  • The scheme is managed by the IOL Professional Development Team including a Professional Development Manager and regional Professional Development Coordinators. It is administered through the IOL office.
  • An experienced team of dedicated mentors, assessors and interviewers support an accreditation participant throughout the process.
  • Organisation members of IOL get an annual allocation of free job adverts on this website. (between 1 and 10 per year depending on the level of membership) But, if your job advert requires that the applicants hold RPIOL, APIOL or LPIOL it will not be deducted from your free job advert allocation.
The Accreditation scheme:
  • is based upon and supports the development of reflective practice
  • provides a framework for development
  • provides evidence of how the accreditation achiever has integrated and applied their knowledge, values, and skills into their practice
  • complements National Governing Body Awards
  • recognises the complete range of skills required for effective outdoor learning practice (not just those relating to technical and safety issues)
  • indicates a commitment to personal development and the profession
  • demonstrates the person's level of understanding and experience to clients and employers
  • provides a route for engagement with the profession outside a person's own practice

Levels of accreditation

  • Registered Practitioner (RPIOL) - for practitioners who have consolidated experience of independently facilitating sessions with developmental aims in controlled situations. RPIOL is administered through local centres, each of which has a trained Internal Facilitator, who is an APIOL Mentor.  Quality is assured by a regional team of External Facilitators who interview participants, and moderated by the IOL Nation Professional Development Coordinators.
  • Accredited Practitioner (APIOL) – for practitioners who have consolidated experience of independently facilitating outdoor learning programmes (as opposed to sessions) with developmental aims in challenging situations.
  • Leading Practitioner (LPIOL)  – for senior outdoor professionals who are making a significant contribution to outdoor learning at regional level.
  • Fellow (FIOL) - for senior practitioners who have made an outstanding, strategic contribution to outdoor learning at national level.  (Accreditation at this level is also awarded without application to outstanding contributors to the field from time to time)
To read profiles of current Accredited Practitioners click here APIOL and LPIOL
  • Please note that accreditation at LPIOL and Fellow levels can only be embarked upon after accreditation at APIOL level has been achieved.  You need to be an individual member of IOL in order to apply for any level of accreditation.