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Interim position statement on Accreditation from the OLA Interim Management Group

Upate - Latest developments of OLA

Interim position statement on Accreditation from the OLA Interim Management Group:

GOLD and BAPA accreditation reps are working on a proposal to merge the two existing accreditation schemes in to one, fit for purpose accreditation scheme for outdoor providers.

The outcomes we are looking for from this work are to design a scheme that:

- Retains and preserves the unique benefits and qualities of both existing schemes which providers most value.

- Inspects standards for all aspects of outdoor learning provision e.g.: health and safety, environmental sustainability, customer service, learning and development and continuous development.

- Offers providers a choice of level within the scheme with mentor support for those who aspire to progress.

- Offers providers a choice of criteria depending on their setting e.g. optional residential criteria for non-residential providers.

- Provides an option to engage with the scheme with or without professional association membership.

- Is beneficial for all types of provider e.g. sole trader, schools and multi centre organisations.

- Will continue to be compatible with LOtC/Adventuremark recognition.

- Raises standards within the outdoor learning sector.

- Makes it easier for customers/users to understand.

- Will be financially sustainable and cost effective.

- Offers a developmental and supportive route for providers to progress and grow.

- Is ‘Option 3’ compatible.

The scheme will be based on a self-evaluation process followed by an on-site inspection visit by a team of professional and experienced inspectors.  The scheme will continue to have robust moderation and standardisation processes built in and achieve high levels of credibility and value for both providers and users.

All of the initial indications are that we can create a merged scheme that ‘pulls’ all of the benefits of each one together to make a fantastic new scheme which works for a wider audience of providers.

Crucially, there will still be an option of a higher ‘GOLD’ standard level of award for those providers who are well established and high achieving across the board as we know this is highly valued.

Whilst this design work is taking place, the two existing schemes will continue as usual.

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