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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion


High quality outdoor learning can be achieved through respecting and promoting the rights, responsibilities and dignity of individuals within all our professional activities and recognising the value of every person.


We believe every individual has the right to be treated with respect and dignity, to experience a learning environment which enables moving towards ones full potential. All outdoor learning professionals should recognise these rights and be aware of their role as a leader in ensuring that participants experience these rights.


The Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL) is collaborating with the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres (AHOEC) to encourage and guide aspirational and achievable action from outdoor learning specialists, leaders, managers and educators that will make a positive difference in our community.


Our aim is to create a more inclusive environment that respects the equality and diversity of those participating or working in Outdoor Learning to achieve the maximum benefit, enjoyment and fulfilment from the activity.


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We will work to ensure that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents.

No individual will be unjustly discriminated against because of the way they were born, where they come from, what they believe, or whether they have a disability. We will promote equality of opportunity by seeking to remove barriers and promote equal access to outdoor learning experiences, employment, education and training.



We recognise that, though people have things in common with each other, they are also different in many ways.

People from different backgrounds bring fresh ideas and perceptions into the workplace and outdoor learning arena, adding value to our work and the outdoor learning environment. The more diverse our workforce, the better we are able to respond to and reflect the individuals and communities we support.



We will encourage and champion a culture that allows people to be themselves where differences are not just accepted, they are valued.

Inclusive leadership, language and actions help ensure people feel involved, respected and connected. The greater the mix of people, the greater the mix of skills, experiences, perspectives and ideas that can be can drawn on.


Raising Our Game

IOL and AHOEC are working in partnership to join a number of threads together that support greater levels of equality, diversity and inclusion for those participating in, or working in, Outdoor Learning. We are building on the longstanding commitment of members of the IOL Adventure for All professional practice group, the IOL Managing Diversity Policy (part of the Code of Professional Conduct) as well as the initiatives and expertise of our members.

We aim:

  1. To keep a steady flow of articles, insights and discussion flowing around our community so that we start to create a common picture about what inclusion and diversity means to us all, and why it's so important.
  2. To better understand what members are doing to contribute towards a more inclusive and diverse sector, and to share that widely for others to learn from.
  3. To agree and promote a shared statement of good practice.
  4. To begin to map out a long term strategy (10 years +) for what we would like our sector to look like in the future and how we're going to get there.

Please get in touch to share resources, articles and research that can help us move our sector forward.


Project Partners




Project Goals

  • Sharing research, guidance, information and sources of expertise in this area to better our community.
  • Identifying good practice in the areas of equality, diversity and inclusion for Leaders and Managers in Outdoor Learning.
  • Determining some best-fit education and training options for all members of the Outdoor Learning workforce to be able to support greater levels of equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Encouraging further research initiatives.
  • Identifying aspirational campaigns and achievable action to increase equality, diversity and inclusion within our sector.

Supporting Organisations


The Outward Bound Trust


University of Cumbria




If your organisation would like to be involved and actively support this project please get in touch.


2021 Webinar Series - INclusivity in the OUTdoors

A webinar series OPEN TO ALL that provides an opportunity for the Outdoor Sector to explore a range of themes around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the outdoors.


The free to attend webinar series is brought to you in collaboration with IOL, AHOEC, MOSAIC Outdoors, The Outward Bound Trust and the University of Cumbria Outdoor Studies.


We want to build on the existing legacy of projects, initiatives and research with our sector and reach all those involved in facilitating individual, social and environmental learning through activities and experiences in the outdoors.


Our vision is to stimulate conversation and collaboration on EDI, inspiring action on broadening participation and strategic leadership, within the Outdoor Learning (OL) community.


  View Webinar Videos & Resources


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Updated 12/05/2021



2021 Changing Landscapes - Actioning Change Symposium

Backbone CiC have launched a 2021 Symposium and are inviting partners to join them on the journey in Changing the Landscape of BAME engagement at all levels of our Sector, through Actioning Change. The INclusivity in the OUTdoors project partners are delighted with the synergy between this symposium and the webinar series and we hope both events will be a catalyst for real change across the UK Outdoor Sector.

The Symposium will create a unique and safe space for a gathering of minds from a wide range of outdoor/environmental organisations (The Sector) and Black & Minority Ethnic (BAME) representatives. Together, through honest and meaningful conversations we will create a strategy based on Actioning Change in both BAME communities and across the Sector.

The concept for the Symposium was formed during the Black Lives Matter movement and more recently with the increased media attention to Diversity and Inclusion in the outdoors. The message to the sector is loud and clear - we need to do more to provide a balanced service that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve. It is uplifting to see an increase in BAME participation in outdoor activities, enjoying and learning about nature so they are better equipped to look after our fragile environment. This is a direct result of the fantastic inclusivity work that is currently going on between The Sector and BAME community groups. However, BAME representation in volunteering, employment and at Board/Senior level is still noticeably lacking.

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