Accredited Practitioner of IOL (APIOL)
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Accredited Practitioner of the IOL (APIOL)

Are you an experienced facilitator of outdoor learning with a consolidated breadth of experience?

The APIOL Award

APIOL is an award that recognises how people use their skills, knowledge and experience to design outdoor learning solutions for individuals and groups.

 APIOL award holders will have worked in challenging or unique environments and have experience planning, leading and evaluating programmes with a range of activities.

APIOL logo

For the participants on your outdoor learning programmes the APIOL award

  • Demonstrates you are an Outdoor Learning professional
  • Shows commitment to standards and good practice in Outdoor Learning
  • Assures them you can balance activity, learning and leadership
For practitioners APIOL accreditation provides:
  • Formal designation and credibility as a provider of Outdoor Learning
  • 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

Benefits of APIOL accreditation to employers

  • Recognition of experience against national criteria
  • Enhances and supports career progression of your staff
  • Promotes the experience and expertise of your organisation and staff
What experience do I need to complete APIOL?

Typically, an Accredited Practitioner has been involved in Outdoor Learning programmes for 3-5 years or more as an employee, freelancer or volunteer. For example, instructor, tutor, teacher, lecturer, youth worker, senior trainer etc.
  • APIOL award holders have a range of experience - not based around one activity, location or client group
  • APIOL award holders can work with clients and provide needs analysis, programme design, outdoor learning delivery and programme evaluation
  • APIOL award holders have an experienced or higher level of skills and knowledge in the activities and subjects that are core to their outdoor learning provision
APIOL requires applicants to have consolidated experience delivering outdoor learning programmes.  It does not 'retest' specialist skills, it recognises competence as an outdoor learning practitioner.

APIOL is not for practitioners with limited or narrow experience, who have mainly delivered programmes designed by others, or have only operated in familiar locations.

Do I need to have completed RPIOL first?

No. You can register for APIOL whether you have an RPIOL award or not.

Do I have to complete APIOL before I can apply for LPIOL?

Yes.  LPIOL requires you to have already evidenced meeting the APIOL criteria.  If you have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience you can go straight to LPIOL as soon as you complete APIOL.

The APIOL Accreditation Process for Candidates

The first stage is to read through the APIOL Information Pack, look at the APIOL Criteria and APIOL benchmarks and talk to APIOL award holders about how you can evidence meeting them.

  Register with IOL

APIOL Induction
  Complete your Application

External Assessor Interview 

Next Steps

If you want to
You will need to
Find out more about APIOL Read the APIOL Accreditation Information Pack
Read the APIOL Criteria
Look at the APIOL Benchmarks
APIOL Information Pack
Download APIOL Criteria
Download APIOL Benchmarks
Complete APIOL for yourself candidate

Be a member of IOL
Self-assess your competence against the APIOL benchmarks
Complete the APIOL registration form (£50)
Pay the APIOL fee following Induction event (£400)
Download APIOL Registration Form
Get hold of an APIOL
Application Form

Register for APIOL
Complete an APIOL Induction
Go to the Accreditation Documentation Page (IOL Members only)
View Accreditation Documentation Page
Be an APIOL Coach
Hold an APIOL award
Complete an application form with 2 proposers
Download APIOL Criteria
Download APIOL Benchmarks
View IOL Coach & Assessor Page
Be an APIOL Assessor
Hold an APIOL Award
Complete an application form
Attend an accreditation moderation event
Download APIOL Criteria
Download APIOL Benchmarks
View IOL Coach & Assessor Page
Highlight your APIOL award

Request a copy of the APIOL logo and guidelines for use on websites, brochures, etc.
Contact Fiona at IOL
Talk to someone about APIOL Contact the IOL Professional Development Team IOL Professional Development Team Contact Details