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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.

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. 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.

INclusivity in the OUTdoors - 2021 Raising our Game Webinar Series

The 2021 Raising Our Game webinar series provided an opportunity for the Outdoor Sector to explore a range of themes around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in the outdoors. Over 9 webinars running between January and June 2021, our vision was to stimulate conversation and collaboration on EDI, inspiring action on broadening participation and strategic leadership, particularly within the Outdoor Learning community.

The free to attend webinar series was a collaboration between IOL, AHOEC, MOSAIC Outdoors, The Outward Bound Trust and the University of Cumbria. The series saw 1348 live attendees across the first 9 events and over 1,200 YouTube views of the recordings (by 22 September 21).


  Webinar Videos & Resources


The webinar series provided opportunities to gather information about where the sector is at on a wide range of EDI themes. Despite the topic being a ‘conversation’ within the sector for 40+ years there was an appetite to make change happen with 46% of attendees wishing to “help shape the system and change EDI in the outdoors”. The Raising Our Game Webinar Series Report includes The Outdoor Learning for Everyone Report and The Webinar Series Report, and gives insights, recommendations and examples of action.


Insights and recommendations from the 2021 Raising Our Game Webinar Series Report


  • Aims and overview of the webinar series
  • The Outdoor Learning for Everyone Report
  • The Webinar Series Report
  • Six Key Findings
  • A Framework for Inclusion
  • Five Key Principoles
  • Examples of Actions for Change
  • Next steps for the field
  • Inclusivity in the OUTdoors Phase 2



Image representing the Insights and recommendations from the 2021 Raising Our Game Webinar Series



Image representing the EDI - INclusivity in the Outdoors Full Report



Image representing the INclusivity in the OUTdoors Phase 1 - The Webinar Series Report

Download accessible version of this report



Image representing INclusivity in the OUTdoors Phase 1 - Outdoor Learning for Everyone



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 Institute for Outdoor Learning Logo



The Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres Logo



The Outward Bound Trust Logo



University of Cumbria Logo



Mosaic Logo



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


Celebrating Action

There has been a range of projects, research and other organisational or local scale initiatives connected to the themes of equality, diversity and inclusion over the years. More recently it has been noticeable the number of new initiatives emerging which are led by people within previously underserved communities, with the aim of inspiring and connecting people with shared identities to get into the outdoors.

Many public bodies and sports governing / awarding bodies are committing to change too. The outdoor media are featuring more diverse voices and imagery. Partnerships are forming. These actions are worth celebrating but it's vital to acknowledge that real and positive EDI shifts across the sector also require genuine strategic change which sustain over time. This is at the heart of INclusivity in the OUTdoors plans for Phase 2.

In addition to the 2021 Raising Our Game Webinar Series, other recent larger scale collaborative initiatives have included:

  • The Outsiders Summit (organised by Phil Young, The Outsiders Project and Soraya Abdel-Hadi, All the Elements. Including invited representatives from Colour Up, Black Trail Runners, Swim Unity, We Go Outside Too, MTB Colour Collective, Swim England, British Cycling and Mountain Training. Supported by Patagonia and HF Holidays.)
  • Your Movement Matters (Association of British Climbing Walls, British Mountaineering Council, Camping and Caravanning Club, National Indoor Climbing Award Schemes, Mountain Training, Outdoor Industries Association, Plas y Brenin, The Ramblers ).
  • Changing Landscapes – Actioning Change Symposium (Backbone CIC, NatureScot, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Cairngorms National Park).
  • Generation Green (Access Unlimited coalition - YHA (England & Wales), The Outward Bound Trust, Scouts, Girlguiding, Field Studies Council and the 10 English National Parks).

One project can make a positive difference for some, but one project won’t fix the problem. If we are to achieve a culture of inclusion in outdoor learning, and in the wider outdoor sector, future projects must be collaborative, sustained, and grounded in a desire for real change. The field must continue to celebrate our successes and promote all the groups, projects and initiatives that are making a difference.



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