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Community - We connect a sector-wide professional community
Community - We connect a sector-wide professional community

Community - We connect a sector-wide professional community

Voice - We champion the value of outdoor learning to society
Voice - We champion the value of outdoor learning to society

Voice - We champion the value of outdoor learning to society

Guidance - We collate and disseminate sector research, good practice and information
Guidance - We collate and disseminate sector research, good practice and information

Guidance - We collate and disseminate sector research, good...

Professional Development - We develop and accredit outdoor learning professionals
Professional Development - We develop and accredit outdoor learning professionals

Professional Development - We develop and accredit outdoor...

Current Initiatives - We work with others in the outdoor sector
Current Initiatives - We work with others in the outdoor sector

Current Initiatives - We work with others in the outdoor...

Institute for Outdoor Learning

We support individuals and organisations who use the outdoors to make a difference for others.

 

 

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About Outdoor Learning

What is Outdoor Learning and what benefits does it bring?

 

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For Individuals

We provide communities and professional development for instructors, leaders and teachers

 

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For Organisations

We provide a voice, guidance and free job & event listings for organisational members

 

 

Whether your Outdoor Learning is based in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales or further afield, the Institute for Outdoor Learning site provides access to the latest outdoor news, jobs, research, current initiatives, personal, organisational and professional development. Use it to explore what outdoor learning is and does, where you can purchase it, ways to get involved & help shape it and how to develop your career in it.

 

IOL Professional Practice and Accreditation

 

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IOL Accreditation.

RPIOL

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LPIOL

 

Current Initiatives

Find out more about what the Institute is currently doing, how it affects you and how you can get involved.

 

  • IOL - Chartered Institute
  • AALA Review
  • Employer Led Apprenticeships
  • Research Hubs
  • Outdoor First Aid Standards

At the October 2016 National Conference Institute members considered the next steps in delivering the IOL vision of ‘Outdoor learning as a highly valued form of development, education and employment in UK society’. Both the conference and an earlier meeting of the Institute’s Steering Group agreed that Institute’s Executive should work towards the establishment of a Chartered Body for Outdoor Learning as key element of delivering the vision. This commitment was made in the context of an evolving outdoor learning community that has developed both its impact and its diversity in recent years. There is much to be celebrated in this evolution including increased participation in outdoor learning, an improving evidence base and development of standards and qualifications. Whilst the growth of sector is to be welcomed there is a need for its range of offers to society to be better valued and for those offers to be more readily understood and accessed.

In creating a Chartered Body for the sector we are seeking to drive join-up and harness the combined resources and impact of the sector; develop clarity and recognition of value for those not based in our outdoor learning community; increase the influence we bring to bear on governments and policy makers and crucially to attract and retain talented people working in the outdoor learning community.

If you think you may have a role to play in developing a Charter Body in the outdoor learning sector please contact us

 

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The work by the HSE to establish a future approach to adventurous activity licensing continues. The findings from the survey conducted at the start of 2017 were recently shared on an HSE webinar and are being used to help inform the HSE’s dialogue with representatives of key stakeholders including the Institute these can be found at HSE update.
The HSE has stated it could support an industry led scheme provided it meets certain criteria as laid out in their update. A group representing a wide cross section of the adventure activity industry has been given until later in 2017 to bring forward such a scheme. It is worth noting that a HSE endorsed non-statutory scheme will effectively have the same implications for the sector as the current licensing regime. HSE would continue to prosecute under the Health & Safety at Work Act (no prosecution has ever brought under adventure activity licensing legislation) and any non-compliance with a non-statutory industry led scheme would expose a provider to the same potential prosecution. Look out for further consultations in the coming months.

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The outdoor sector has been given permission by The Department of Business Industry and Skills (BIS) to create a new Employer Led Apprenticeship for the outdoor sector. The new trailblazer apprenticeships are being created by an employer group with IOL providing Project Management and administration support.

The employer working group has developed a draft ‘Apprenticeship Standard’ for individuals working within the outdoor learning sector. The first draft standard focuses on those individuals who are wholly new to our sector and will work in very structured environments. The standard:

  • Will be appropriate for the full range of job specialisms making up the Outdoor Sector
  • Will meet the needs of the full range of delivery models in the sector
  • Will be appropriate for employees working in Outdoor Education; Recreation; Adventure; Tourism and any other aspects
  • Will be based heavily on current known and valued in-sector training and assessment courses

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Following the publication of the Blagrave report in 2015, highlighting the need for better join-up between academics and practitioners and better co-ordination of research activity in the sector, the Institute is supporting the establishment of regional research hubs through 2017 and funding a research co-ordinator role.

Pilot regional hubs will draw together research that has been carried out and is ongoing as well as identifying the current and future research needs of practitioners in Outdoor Learning. The intention is to support high quality, frequent and progressive Outdoor Learning (OL) for children and young people, by enabling a more integrated approach to research and practice at a local level. Working with a range of partners we hope to provide a more unified voice for Outdoor Learning to influence policy and practice, and to establish a broader platform on which to seek further funding to extend the research evidence base.

The initial pilot hubs are in the North West contact Chris Loynes at the University of Cumbria, South West contact Alun Morgan at Plymouth University and Scotland contact Natalie White at East Ayrshire. If these pilot hubs are successful, it is likely that research hubs will extend to other areas of the UK.

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First Aid Competence is an essential part of operating as an outdoor learning practitioner. The Institute for Outdoor Learning recognises and supports the provision of Outdoor First Aid training that is delivered at the appropriate level, by trainers with outdoor knowledge and assessed in a fair and relevant way. The Institute is working with First Aid Training Providers, National Governing Bodies of Sport and Regulatory and Representative Bodies to agree core content of 1 day and 2 day Outdoor First Aid Courses. IOL has also developed a questionnaire for new Outdoor First Aid Trainers to demonstrate their ability to deliver relevant and informed Outdoor First Aid training.

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