Five Month Outdoor Instructor Training Course

Are you looking for a career as an outdoor instructor? Actives five month Outdoor Instructor Training Courses in Scotland offer passionate outdoor people the opportunity to make a breakthrough towards a career as an outdoor instructor and guide. The course is based at the Cairngorms Adventure Centre, in the Cairngorms National Park. The course includes two international training trips to Spain & Colorado.

This course is unique in offering NGB qualifications in Land, Rock, Water & Snowsports. No other course offers such a wide range of activities and qualifications to ensure you have year round employment prospects.

Our team of highly experienced and qualified instructors look forward to working with you. They will train and inspire you to become a competent all round coach and leader. It’s our goal at Active to train and develop instructors who will be top of the game and a credit to the outdoor industry.











5 Month Instructor Training Course

This 5-month (23 week) course will introduce you to a comprehensive range of adventure activities including: Canoeing, Kayaking, Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking, White Water Rafting, Hill Walking, Canyoning, Snowsports and more… During the course we will help to develop your practical and coaching skills to a standard where you can gain a variety of National Governing Body (NGB) Awards.

We know how challenging and time-consuming it is for people to gain this much experience. Our courses remove the the barriers and give you an intensive 5 months of training, practice and assessment to transform you into a highly skilled and employable outdoor profesional.

The course is aimed at people who have a keen interest in outdoor activities and enjoy sharing their experience with others or have some experience or entry level qualifications in one or more activities provided on the course. You must be at least 17 years old to take part however, there is no upper age limit. The most important thing is that you are highly motivated, reasonably fit and prepared for the challenges this intensive outdoor instructor training course will present to you.

The course is open to people of all ages, previous students range from 17 – 50 years old. This may be your first training course since leaving school or be a radical change in your career or lifestyle. Either way, this course will have a significant impact on your life, opening new doors and creating new opportunities to work as a professional outdoor instructor.

Course Info

Outdoor Instructor Training Courses in Scotland: Dates & Prices

October 23rd 2018 – March 29th 2019 (23 weeks)

Cost: £7,495

This course is applicable for Government Funding via Professional Career Development Loan.

PCDL Number; 20197

Included in the course:

  • ~ Expert Coaching / instruction 5 days per week- Full time.
  • ~ Self-catering accommodation
  • ~ On Course Transport to venues
  • ~ Fees for formal training and assessment courses.
  • ~ Use of centre equipment
  • ~ Two weeks ski/snowboard training & luxury accommodation in Colorado, USA
  • ~ Three weeks Rock climbing & Hill Walking training & accommodation in Spain
  • ~ Opportunities to shadow our instructors on activities & expeditions
  • ~ Guarenteed interview for our Instructor Apprnticeship (IDP) scheme
  • ~ Career opportunities advice and signposting
  • ~ Discounted outdoor clothing and equipment package
  • ~ Two fortnight breaks at Chrismas & Feb Half term.
  • ~ VAT (20%)

Not Included in the course fee:

  • ~ Membership fees for National Governing Bodies (NGBs),
  • ~ Flights & transfers on international trips,
  • ~ Snowsports lift pass in USA
  • ~ Insurance (personal and travel)

Train in Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park

Our Outdoor Instructor Training Courses are based at the Cairngorms Adventure Centre in the village of Newtonmorecenter-itc4. From here we have quick and easy access to Scotland’s most stunning mountains, rivers and lochs as well as the Cairngorm and Nevis Range ski areas.         The Cairngorms are the hub of adventure tourism in Scotland, supporting many outdoor industry jobs. This has to be the nest place in the British Isles to train and develop your outdoor skills!

During your outdoor instructor training course in Scotland, most of your training will take place within the Cairngorms National Park however we will visit other parts of the country, including the west coast and the far north and possibly the Western Isles. In addition to all of this, you will spend 3 weeks rock climbing in Spain and 2 weeks skiing and snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado or Utah (more on that later).

The Cairngorms Adventure Centre is a busy residential centre, owned and operated by Active Outdoor Pursuits. Course members will have their own shared rooms within the centre, as well as their own lounge and kitchen within the staff accommodation. There is a dedicated drying room and plenty of storage space for all your equipment. You will get to know our staff some of whom live on-site, learning first hand each day from their experiences. Most of Actives instructors started out on this very course!

Courses & Qualifications

Actives’ Outdoor Instructor Training Courses in Scotland are full time learning & development courses with 5 days per week spent training. During the course you will train in the following activities. This will provide you with a comprehensive set of skills to kick off your new career.

Single Pitch Award (SPA) Training or Assessment
Outdoor First Aid Award
Summer Mountain Leader (SML) Training or Assessment
Scottish Rafting Association (SRA) Level 1 or 2 Guide Award
UK Snow-sports Awards Levels 1 – 9
British Canoe Union (BCU) Star test 1 – 3 & UKCC Level 1 or 2
British Canoe Union- Start test 1 – 3 &         UKCC Paddlesports Level 1 or 2
British Cycling MTB Leadership Award Level 2
Journey Safe & Navigation in Winter Conditions

* Please contact us if you would like to chat about the qualifications and training received on our outdoor instructor training courses in Scotland in more detail.

Equipment requirements

Below is a list of equipment students should have for our outdoor instructor training courses. Some of which is required for the first few weeks. It contains what we would describe as your “Tools of the Trade”, the essential kit for working as a professional in the outdoor industry. All of the equipment listed can be purchased from Active at discounted prices (please ask for details).

Items marked with an asterisk are recommended but optional, these can be purchased during the course. Some of the equipment is available from the centre stores, but may not be of the same high quality required for professional use.

Overseas Training Camps


In December you will jet out across the pond spending two weeks learning and developing you ski or snowboard skills. We base ourselves in Breckenridge, Colorado, deep in the Rocky Mountains. This is the perfect ski centre to train with its high altitude (the town sits at 9,600ft) and huge expanse of runs. Your training will take you step by step through the UK Snowlife Awards, helping you to establish good technique, basic coaching skills as well as piste awareness.

ski-tour4Our aim is to not only develop your skills through teaching, but through self-discovery. Half of each day is lesson based, the rest you are free to explore the mountains. This helps promote a feeling of independence as well as making the most of your time on the slopes.



While training in Breckenridge, we will stay at the Grand Timber Lodge. Ideally located at the foot Peak 8 one of the main slopes, the luxury Lodge is the perfect combination of convenience and comfort.

After a long day on the slopes, you can ease your muscles and recline in one of the outdoor pools/hot tubs with a cool drink in hand, basking in the mountain views. Alternatively you can make use of the gym and pool tables available to guests.

Heading in to town for some shopping or a meal? There is a free shuttle bus provided by the lodge that will drop you off anywhere in town…and pick you up again at the end of the night.

In fact, the accommodation is so good, you may find yourself thinking you’ve found yourself on a luxury holiday rather than an instructor training course!


In January you will fly to Spain’s Costa Blanca region for three weeks. This time the main focus is rock climbing with a day or two hillwalking.         With dozens of crags within easy reach of our base, this is the perfect place to establish your lead climbing credentials. This trip is used to embed and develop your essential skills and knowledge for climbing. Build on your log books in preparation for your SPA and Mountain Leadership training or assessment courses which take place at the end of the ITC course in March. It is also a great opportunity to experience different rock types to Scotland and get a feeling for what life on the rock is all about.

These international trips are a unique feature for our outdoor instructor training courses. Here at Active, we pride ourselves on ensuring you are in the very best environments for learning the respective activities. Both of these trips are always hugely memorable for our trainees, as well as being an invaluable part of their overall professional development.

“Absolutely loved my ITC course.  I’ve had the opportunity to try so many new activities & absolutely fallen in love with them.  It’s given me the chance to get into the outdoor industry myself & fuelled my passion for the outdoors!”  Beth Smith, 2016/17

Click here to Download the Course Brochure

Click here to view frequently asked questions from previous candidates on the course.

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