Instructor Apprenticeships


Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922)

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.
Active Aim: To deliver experienced, motivated and knowledgeable instructors to the outdoor industry.
Our instructor development programme is a 16month programme designed to support people who are passionate about the outdoors, who are looking to develop their personal & group experience to further their qualifications and progress their career as an outdoor instructor.  We promise adventure, challenges, beautiful places, new skills and new friends along with lots of laughs to go with the blood sweat and tears! This is an amazing opportunity to give yourself a big step forward towards your dream.
You can maximise your potential for successful application for the Active IDP by completion of the 5 month Instructor Training Course.  Which will support you to attain all the Active IDP prerequisites.


Active’s Instructor Development Programme
What is Expected of you?
Active Outdoor Pursuits is an adventure outdoor company we provide training, courses and events across Scotland, in Spain and USA. We also have an outdoor centre in Newtonmore, Cairngorms National Park Scotland. 
Our clients include, and are not limited to; holiday makers, tourists, schools (primary & secondary) from multi activity weeks to the full Duke of Edinburgh programme, youth groups & community organisations, adventure activity day and multi day trips, Scotland-wide expeditions, business & corporate groups, Instructor Training Courses and Personal & Team Development Courses.
We ask for you to work diligently for the company in all aspects of our operations from activities through to maintaining our centre, buses and equipment, cleaning duties, catering & kitchen assistance, bookings & office support.   
You must remain open to feedback, and embrace our “Active buddying” system to use your time off to train, mentor, practise, study and support from and with your colleagues.  We ask for excellent time keeping with appropriate dress, cleanliness and a positive attitude with willingness to learn.  Evening and weekend working is the norm.
Live, Work and Play with others who share your ambition and drive…

What are the benefits to you?

Successful applicants will be based at Craigower Lodge where accommodation is included. Expeditions, residential’ s 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 with other times self-catering facilities are available.

During the programme there will be many opportunities for you to learn, practise, shadow, guide, instruct and extend your knowledge of the outdoor profession.  There will also be formal courses you will be obliged to attend in keeping with your personal development.  We cannot emphasis how important it is that you dedicate your time off to working with your colleagues to practise and develop your personal skills and gain wider experience to ensure you are fully prepared for all courses in advance.

Candidates will have at an average of 2 days off per week plus 28 days annual leave which is generally taken around November to January. During this time of year you will be offered the opportunity to join Active for the annual Snowsports trip to Colorado and to Spain for climbing and hill-walking ( Active will provide accommodation and training/ experience (as appropriate) for these international trips but all other costs including flights are covered by yourself)

The development programme commences with 3 months will be on a voluntary/trial basis.  During this time you will have a comprehensive induction to all operations within the company. You will be shadowing and assisting instructors with training and practise in centres, DI, instructional and Maintainace roles. We will work with you to identify your short and long term development needs and spend time with you appraising your performance and clarifying agreed outcomes. We will then formulate a training/ assessment schedule for the remainder of your time at Active. Following this period, it is our intention to move to a formal 12 month contract of Apprenticeship.

The last 2 months of the program (generally the 2nd year of July & August we will invite you to remain at Craigower while you gain further experience, get more QMD’s etc… You will have the opportunity to complete some assessment courses like Summer Mountain Leader, Level 2 training etc.  You will also have an opportunity to be available for work with Active over this period on a sessional basis.  At the end of July you will be paid any days owed to you at the end of your apprenticeship and at the end of August you will be paid any sessional days worked over July & August. 

You will also be available to apply for any full time or seasonal work with Active that becomes available at the end of your programme

What Qualifications will you obtain?

The aim is to develop you in your outdoor career.  Working towards attaining the experience, group sessions and skill level to allow you to attend the formal training and assessment elements for the following NGB qualifications. Note; this list does not provide a tick list for everyone’s personal goals for the programme and everyone has different learning styles and specific areas of interest, ambitions and talent.  Please see this list as more of a “flavour” of potential collective outcomes.  We cannot guarantee you will achieve all of these as it these are dependent on your personal development and skills, as highlighted, it is your responsibility to use your time off to train and develop.  We can guarantee you will be skilled up, clued up and geared up to 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 self fund joining in our ITC snow sports training trip to Colorado).
·        Mountain Bike leader L2 Training / Assessment.
·        3/4 star Canoe / Kayak
·        3 star Sea Kayak
·        In house Canyon Guide Training
·        Expeditions on foot, Bike, Canoe and Sea Kayak
  • Canoe River Garry  spain-climb  canyon

What are the 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 2 international trips each year and you may be joining us!
Instructor Development Programme Applications
If you wish to apply for our Instructor Development Programme please read through the person specification before submitting your application. Please note we do receive a high volume of applicants therefore if you do not receive a response from us then you have been unsuccessful.
Applications open – 1st December 2017
Application Deadline – 30
th January 2018
Interview Weekend – 10
th & 11th February 2018
Start date – 9
th April 2018
End date – July
/ August TBC 2019

Download Person Specification

Download IDP Application w/ Disclosures