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Professional Recognition

Gain Professional Recognition in Outdoor Learning

Professional Recognition

 

As we move towards a more coherent sector, and in order to improve the strength of our support and voice inside and outside the sector, we are creating standards to recognise the professionals within UK Outdoors member organisations.

Professional recognition benchmarks a level of education, responsibility and experience working in any area of outdoor learning.

After several years of research and consultation, the professional recognition process takes the sector forward towards establishing a chartered body for outdoor learning professionals.

  1. Having professional recognition clearly benchmarked against other established professions will strengthen our lobbying and representation activity with UK and Home Nation Governments.
  2. Professional membership through a UK Outdoors member organisation will be a required gateway for accessing pathways to individual Chartered Professional status

 

Professional Recognition Flowchart

 

Professional Recognition Benchmarks

Professional recognition is in addition to each individuals’ specialisms and qualifications, e.g. instruction/coaching awards, association memberships, teaching and/or management qualifications, etc.

It also brings expectations and responsibilities including a commitment to safe, ethical practice, evidence of completing CPD annually and being up-to-date and connected to current good practice.

 

Associate Professional Recognition Professional Recognition

Responsibility for leading safe and engaging outdoor learning sessions in order to achieve intended outcomes.

One years' outdoor learning work experience plus relevant qualifications.

Regulated qualification at RQF/CQFW Level 3 / SQCF Level 6 or higher (or RPIOL)

e.g. Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship, Mountain Leader Award, Forest School Leader, etc.

Statements of support confirming experience in instructing / leading / coaching in any outdoor activity.

Responsibility for shaping effective outdoor learning by exercising autonomy and judgement within medium / long term parameters.

Five years' outdoor learning work experience plus degree level learning or equivalent.

Regulated qualification at RQF/CQFW Level 5 / SQCF Level 8 or higher (or equivalent)

e.g. Relevant Degree, Masters, Diploma in Management, QTS, QTLS, etc. Equivalent experience process for those without relevant degree.

Statements of support confirming experience as an outdoor learning specialist, manager or advisor - or the teaching / development of the workforce.

Professional Recognition Process

Attaining professional recognition will further demonstrate your commitment to professional practice and your own continued professional development.

 

UK Outdoors Member Organisations offering Professional Recognition

  • Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL)
  • Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC)

Each member organisation of UK Outdoors will offer professional recognition to existing members following the same requirements and process.

 

Professional Recognition Process

 

Submissions will be reviewed by an application review team against the published requirements. Depending on your eligibility, you may need to:

  • Provide details of your outdoor learning work experience (template provided)
  • Provide statements of support that confirm your experience (template provided for signature by peer or senior manager)
  • Provide copies of certificates of relevant qualifications at the required level
  • Provide evidence of an equivalent, existing professional membership at the level, e.g. Full membership of AHOEC

If required, additional information will be requested from applicants before a decision is reached.

It is envisaged that Professional Recognition will define an individual’s membership level of UK Outdoors as organisations with our sector come together.

Associate Professional Recognition

Recognition as an associate professional demonstrates you have experience working in outdoor learning and a commitment to professionalism and your own continued professional development.

  • Benchmark your level of knowledge, skills and education to lead outdoor learning sessions
  • Demonstrate your experience to customers and employers, and the value you bring
  • Help improve the strength of our representation and voice inside and outside the sector

 

UK Outdoors Member Organisations offering Professional Recognition

  • Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL)
  • Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC)

 

Associate Professional Application Routes

APR ROUTE 1
RPIOL or APIOL
APR ROUTE 2
Suitable qualifications.
Copy of RPIOL or APIOL award certificate One statement of support that confirms your experience
Copy of certificate of a suitable qualification
Self-declaration of suitable experience on application form

 

Suitable Qualifications:

All qualifications and awards that are directly relevant to your work in outdoor learning and are at RQF/CQFW Level 3 / SQCF Level 6 or higher may be suitable.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship
  • MTE Level 3 Rock Climbing Instructor
  • MTE Level 3 Award in Lowland Leadership
  • MTE Level 3 Award in Mountain Leadership
  • Level 3 Forest School Leader
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma in Sport and Outdoor Activities

IOL recognised qualifications and awards aligned to Outdoor Activity Instructor Occupational Standard at Level 3 can be found here.

 

Suitable experience

Associate professionals in outdoor learning have a total of at least one years' experience delivering outdoor learning with responsibility for:

  1. Leading safe and engaging outdoor learning sessions
  2. Organising resources and deliver within agreed programmes
  3. Preparing for and achieving planned outcomes

Work experience can be full time, part role or volunteer in any area of outdoor learning as an instructor, teacher, facilitator, coach etc in any outdoor activity.

 

Professional Recognition

Recognition as a professional in outdoor learning values your experience and will further demonstrate your commitment to professionalism and continued professional development.

  • Benchmark your knowledge, skills and education at a level matched to other professions
  • Demonstrate your level of experience to customers and employers, and the value you bring
  • Achieve the gateway for accessing future pathways to individual Chartered Professional status
  • Help improve the strength of our representation and voice inside and outside the sector

 

UK Outdoors Member Organisations offering Professional Recognition

  • Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL)
  • Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC)

Professional Recognition Application Routes

PR ROUTE 1
Suitable qualification PLUS APIOL or LPIOL award
PR ROUTE 2
Suitable qualification PLUS member of AHOEC
PR ROUTE 3
Suitable qualification PLUS statement of experience
One statement of support that confirms your experience One statement of support that confirms your experience List of outdoor learning roles, responsibilities and dates
Copies of certificates of suitable qualifications or statement of equivalent learning Copies of certificates of suitable qualifications or statement of equivalent learning One statement of support that confirms your experience
Copies of certificates of suitable qualifications or statement of equivalent learning
Self-declaration of suitable experience on application form

 

Suitable qualifications:

All qualifications and awards that are directly relevant to your work in outdoor learning and are at RQF/CQFW Level 5 / SQCF Level 8 or higher may be suitable. For example:

  • First or Higher Degrees in Outdoor Adventure Leadership, Outdoor Adventure Education, Geography, Environmental Science, Management etc.
  • Level 5 Certificate / Diploma in Management and Leadership, Level 5 Certificate / Diploma in Effective Coaching and Mentoring
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training, etc.
  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS)

Suitable qualifications should include a period of learning (total qualification time) sufficient to gain the breadth and depth of knowledge, thinking and understanding required to support professional competence in outdoor learning.

Statement of equivalent learning:

Equivalent learning can be recognised for those NOT holding a suitable qualification as above.

A Statement of Equivalent Learning should demonstrate relevant knowledge, thinking and understanding at least equivalent to RQF/CQFW Level 5 or SQCF at Level 8. It is in two parts:

  1. Professional Development Record (signed by a supporter)
  2. Personal Statement showing that you clearly meet the professional recognition experience requirements

 

Suitable experience

Professionals in outdoor learning have a total of at least five years' experience in outdoor learning including at least two years in a position of responsibility for:

  1. Shaping effective outdoor learning by exercising autonomy and judgement within broad parameters
  2. Building programmes of learning using outdoor experiences by drawing on relevant research
  3. Thinking and operating medium / long term and planning and developing courses of action
  4. Initiating and leading complex tasks and processes and positively influencing the work of colleagues
  5. Delivering value to customers and the profession and role modelling professional practice

Experience may be full time, part role or volunteer in any area of outdoor learning, as either a practitioner or academic, and include the responsibilities of one or more of:

 

Outdoor Learning Specialist

Facilitators, Practitioners, Teachers, Coaches, etc.

 

Manager in Outdoor Learning

Leaders, Managers, Advisors, Consultants, etc.

 

Workforce / Profession Developer

Trainers, Lecturers, Researchers, etc.

 

 

Apply for Professional Recognition

Professional Recognition recognises a certain level of education, training and relevant work experience in outdoor learning. It complements each individuals’ specialisms, e.g. teaching qualifications, instruction/coaching awards, IOL Accreditation, association memberships, etc.

To apply for Professional Recognition you need to be a current member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL) or the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC). Current discounted membership rates for IOL:

  •  Annually £66.00
  •  Annual Direct Debit £57.72
  •  Monthly Direct Debit £4.81

There is no additional cost for Professional Recognition

 

 

 

 

 

  Send Application Forms for Review

 

 

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