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IOL Wales/Cymru

IOL Wales/Cymru Home Page

Outdoor Learning in Wales

Wales is divided into three regions, each of which includes a National Park and one of the three Welsh Outdoor Charter Groups. (These are grass roots movements set up by local practitioners to help them look after their ‘office’ and are open to any practitioner operating within Wales). North Wales (the Heart of Adventure) stretches from northernmost Anglesey to the southern boundary of the rugged Snowdonia National Park; from the wild western coast of the Llyn peninsula to the English border and includes Gwynedd, Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham and northern Powys. This area has given rise to the North Wales Environmental Outdoor Charter Group. South-West Wales includes Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and of course Pembrokeshire with its glorious Coastal National Park (the only one in the UK) which is looked after by the Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter Group. South-East Wales covers the Vale of Glamorgan, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Monmouthshire, Bridgend and southern Powys and includes the beautiful silent reaches of the Brecon Beacons National Park. Practitioners here and from further west set up the South Wales Outdoor Activity Providers Group. Wales has a long tradition of providing Outdoor Learning for people of all ages and abilities. Providers here have a strong commitment to sustainability (environmental, economic and cultural) and inclusivity. They also celebrate the opportunities that a vibrant Welsh culture offers to all.

The voluntary committee represents IOL in your region, get in touch with us. We wish to represent your views.

Wales Regional Events

Wales Regional News

/ Categories: Latest News, Members News

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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Wales Committee

Wales Co-ordinator - Craig Armiger

North Wales Chair - Jenny Wilson and Graham French (Joint)

South Wales - Tom Partridge

Mid Wales - Nick Winder

South West Wales Chair - Sam Swift

South East Wales Chair - Craig Armiger

Wales Treasurer - Sheryl Confue

Iolo Williams - IOL Ambassador for Cymru

Iolo Williams - IOL Ambassador for Cymru


Go to the Wales Facebook page for pictures, videos, reports and updates.


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