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Leading Practitioner

Of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (LPIOL)



Leading Practitioners of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (LPIOL) are champions of outdoor learning and have a depth of experience and evidence of influencing the wider sector beyond their workplace or specialist interest area.


Leading Practitioner of IOL


LPIOL Member Map


LPIOL Submission Dates

When your LPIOL application is complete, please send a .pdf copy of your form to Louise Keir at IOL. A review team will check your application for completeness and then invite you to a face-to-face assessment interview.

LPIOL Submissions can be made at any time.

Neal Anderson the IOL Professional Development Manager is available to offer advice for LPIOL candidates. Get in touch with Neal if you have any questions regarding completing your LPIOL.


  • Is LPIOL for you?
  • Benefits for Individuals
  • Benefits for Organisations
  • LPIOL Core Competencies

A Leading Practitioner will have been involved in delivering Outdoor Learning for 10 years or more and is likely to have the role of senior instructor, tutor, teacher, lecturer, youth worker, trainer, facilitator, advisor, head of OE, deputy / centre manager, etc.

LPIOL holders can be described by the attitude and approach they take to their role in Outdoor Learning. They will be an experienced APIOL holder who operates with a medium to long-term focus, anticipating and shaping the future. They need not be in a management role but they will have a positive regional or national influence in their specific area of outdoor learning.

Recognises your skills, knowledge and experience in shaping outdoor learning.

Demonstrates your high-level professional approach.

Helps you reflect on your driving values, career and future direction.

Is flexible to fit your role in the sector – instructing, teaching, coaching, leading provision, advising or shaping practice.

Shows a commitment to national criteria in Outdoor Learning.

Enhances and supports the career development of staff.

Promotes the experience and expertise of the organisation.

LPIOL holders take a strategic approach and are adept at creating new initiatives, enabling others and influencing people who may have different and complex agendas.

Displays a personal passion and enthusiasm for outdoor learning. Influences and shapes practice at a regional or national level.

Is a champion of high standards of reflective and ethical practice. Promotes responsible and sustainable use of the outdoors.

Demonstrates an on-going commitment to and benefit from CPD. Develops the expertise of self and others to deliver outdoor learning.

Leads and innovates to extend the boundaries of outdoor learning. Uses a range of styles and approaches to engage and involve others and facilitate impactful change.


LPIOL Process

LPIOL Process

What is involved?

LPIOL is a self-led process with the support of an LPIOL Coach to reflect on what you have written and refine your application so it is concise, purposeful and truly represents you. Your application includes:

  • A record of the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) you have completed following APIOL and key events/people that have shaped your LPIOL mindset.
  • A personal statement showing the relationship between your values and how these have influenced your work, as well as the factors in the sector/society that have impacted your work.
  • Two examples for each criterion showing experience and leadership against the four LPIOL criteria.

An assessment interview with two assessors confirms that you can show you meet all the LPIOL criteria and have the professional attitude of an LPIOL award holder.








Professional Accreditation Document Store

Log In to access all of the LPIOL documentation


How Do I?..


Be a member of IOL

Complete APIOL

Complete an LPIOL registration form

Get a Strategic Approach to my Leadership

Attend the IOL Strategic Leadership workshop.

Get a personal coach or mentor to support your development. Everyone in a leadership role can benefit from regular meetings with a critical friend who knows your goals and values, and can be a sounding board, help you reflect, and offer you supportive challenges to “think outside the box”.

Do I have to complete APIOL before I can apply for LPIOL?

Yes. LPIOL requires you to have already evidenced meeting the APIOL criteria. If you have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience you can go straight to LPIOL as soon as you complete APIOL.

Be an LPIOL Coach

Hold an LPIOL Award and have experience coaching and mentoring outdoor professionals.

If you are not already an IOL Coach, get two proposers and complete a registration with IOL.

Further information can be found in the Coach Process document.

Be an LPIOL Assessor

Hold an LPIOL Award and have experience assessing the competence of outdoor professionals

Be familiar with the assessment interview guidelines

If you are not already an IOL Assessor complete a registration with IOL.

Further information can be found in the Assessor Process document.

Highlight your LPIOL award status

Request a copy of the logo and guidelines for use on websites, brochures, etc.

Contact Fiona at IOL

Talk to someone about LPIOL

Contact the IOL Professional Development Team
IOL Professional Development Team Contact Details

If you would like to register for LPIOL please contact the IOL Office, email Dave or call us on +44 (0)1228 564580



Warwick Mill Business Centre, Warwick Bridge, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA4 8RR

+44 (0)1228 564580



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