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Professional Development

Professional Recognition and Accreditation Awards

Professional Recognition distinguishes a level of education and experience working in any area of outdoor learning


Associate Professionals in Outdoor Learning


Have at least one years' experience delivering outdoor learning plus relevant qualifications at RQF/CQFW Level 3 / SQCF Level 6 or higher


Professionals in Outdoor Learning


Have at least five years' experience in a position of responsibility for outdoor learning plus relevant qualifications at RQF/CQFW Level 5 / SQCF Level 8 or higher


Membership organisations within UK Outdoors offer professional recognition to existing members following the same requirements and process. Submitted evidence such as certificates and statements of support are assessed against set requirements.

To apply you need to be a current member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL) or the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC).



IOL Accreditation Awards recognise the values, understanding and leadership approach of reflective practitioners





RPIOL holders plan, prepare and lead safe and engaging outdoor learning sessions to achieve planned outcomes




APIOL holders design, facilitate and evaluate purposeful outdoor learning programmes with individuals and groups




LPIOL holders influence and shape outdoor learning practice with a strategic focus at a regional or national level



Open to all IOL Members, candidates get quality time with an Accreditation Coach to reflect on all aspects of their training and experience in outdoor learning so far, and plan where they are going next.

Each candidates written application and professional discussion is assessed against nationally recognised criteria.



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