Instructor Apprenticeships

There are many parallels drawn between the Active Instructor Development Programme and the above job description for Shackleton’s expeditions …..although we do get some daylight hours even in the shortest days of a Highland winter! This experience will challenge your commitment to a career as an outdoor instructor but at the same time it will accelerate your opportunities for personal development.

Our Instructor Development Programme is a 15 month programme designed to support people who are passionate about the outdoors and who need to gain personal & group experience to further their qualifications and develop a career as outdoor instructor. Access to the Active IDP could be achieved on completion of the 5 month Instructor Training Course.

We promise 15 months of adventure, challenge, new friends, new skills & experience, beautifull places and lots of laughs to go with the blood, sweat and tears! In the end our aim is to deliver experienced, motivated and knowledgeable instructors to the outdoor industry. This is an amazing opportunity to give yourself a big step forward towards your dream.

Instructor Apprenticeships


Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922):

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Active’s Instructor Development Programme cuts through the barriers to support you in your development;

Active Outdoor Pursuits is an adventure activities instructor with bases in Ayrshire, Aviemore & Newtonmore. Services and facilities offered by Active include;

  • 68-bed outdoor centre
  • Self catering or Catered facilities
  • Mobile adventure services to a multitude of venues across Scotland
  • Aviemore Activity Bookings Centre
  • Outdoor retail shop
  • Cafe, bookshop & gallery

Our clients include and are not limited to;

  • Schools from primary school multi-activity to Gold Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.
  • Youth groups and Community Organisations
  • Adventure Activity Day Trips
  • Scotland-wide expeditions
  • Businesses & Corporate groups
  • Instructor Training Courses
  • Personal & Team Development Courses

The Active IDP is designed to support people, with the right attitude, to gain the following opportunities:

  • Learn new skills from working beside qualified and experienced instructors.
  • Get group experience in a wide variety of activities and settings.
  • Access to company outdoor equipment.
  • Be based in the Scottish Highlands – access to amazing rivers, mountains (we recommend that you have your own car for use on your days off – so as to maximise your personal practice time).
  • Mentoring & support as you work towards you new career.
  • Live, work and play with others who share your ambition and drive.
  • Prepare you for the work place.
  • Learn what makes an outdoor centre tick.
  • Training and Assessment courses included.
  • Salary in accordance with minimum wage regulations.

Other benefits;

  • Accommodation: Successful applicants will be based at Craigower Lodge Outdoor Centre, Newtonmore but with expeditions and residentials or camping trips to a variety of locations across the world. You will have shared dorm accommodation and a shared private staff lounge.
  • Meals will be available whilst clients are being catered for. At other times self-catering facilities are available.
  • Candidates will have at least 6 days off per 4 week period.
  • 6 weeks annual leave which is generally taken around December /January.
  • 27% staff discount when purchasing outdoor equipment and clothing at Active Aviemore.

Day to day duties; you will be expected to assist in all aspects of service delivery and participate fully in centre life. This includes maintenance of the centre, buses and equipment, cleaning duties, catering & kitchen assistance, bookings & office support, working in the shop & café, organizing equipment before/after sessions, taking turn as Duty Instructor etc. Evening and weekend working are normal.

The aim being to work towards attaining the experience, group sessions and skill level to allow you to attend the formal training and assessment elements of the following NGB qualifications. Note this list does not provide a tick list for everyone’s personal goals for the programme, as everyone on the programme will have different learning styles, specific areas of interest, ambitions and talent. Please see this list as more of the “flavour” of potential collective outcomes. Some years all on the programme have realised all below and other years some have attained all while their peers happily had a less demanding schedule for their personal development plan. Basically we cannot guarantee you will achieve all these but we can guarantee you will be skilled up, clued up & geared up to be the best you can be at that point in your outdoor career.

  • Summer Mountain Leader; Training / Assessment
  • Single Pitch Award; Training / Assessment
  • BCU UKCC Level 1/2
  • SRA Raft Guide 1/2
  • UK Snow Sports Awards (only if you choose to use some of your leave to join us on our ITC ski trip to Colorado – we will provide accommodation, equipment & training, you organise & fund your own lift passes & flights).
  • Trail Cycle leader Training / Assessment
  • 3/4 star Canoe/Kayak
  • 3 star Sea Kayak
  • Canyon Guide Training
  • Expeditions on foot, Bike, Canoe and Sea Kayak

Minimum entry requirements;

  • Essentials; Passionate about the outdoors and willing to put in 100% commitment to the programme – it is intense! We demand a lot and give a lot! From the list of NGBs above, applicants should have at least 1 current NGB qualification, or formal training in at least 2 NGBs, or considerable and relevant outdoor experience in these areas.
  • Clean & current UK driving license held for at least 1 year. For vehicle insurance purposes candidates must be at least 21 on the post start date.
  • Hold a valid first aid certificate.
  • A passport – we normally have at least 1 international trip each year.

Instructor Development Programme Applications

Applications open – 1st December 2015
Deadline – 10th January 2016
Interview weekend – 4th and 5th February 2016
Start date – 11th April 2016
End date – 9th July 2017

Download Person Specification

Download Application Form w/ Disclosure