From Trainee to Instructor: The Skills You Need to Lead Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor instructor training course - People wearing safety helmets and life vests taking part in a white-water rafting activity.

What does it take to become an outdoor instructor? Of course, a love for outdoor activities such as rock climbing, hillwalking, or watersports is a necessity but there are a number of other elements which provide the foundation for a successful outdoor adventure leader. From providing first aid to teaching various outdoor skills to a range of people, outdoor instructors are expected to have plenty of knowledge and experience under their belt.

Outdoor Leadership Skills

When researching how to become an outdoor instructor, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the number of qualifications available, and needed, to begin your dream career. Qualifications are available across a number of activities such as paddlesports (with awards and training available for individual sports such as canoeing or sheltered water coaching), hillwalking, and even Duke of Edinburgh Supervisor training. While it is possible to train for and gain each qualification individually, the costs for each course begin to add up, and so too does the time, travel, and accommodation needed to take part, which is why an Outdoor Training Instructor course is a perfect solution which combines many of the aspects required for a successful instructor.

The number of outdoor activities one could become an instructor for is extensive, so the instructor training course you choose must be right for you. Should you be looking to become a leader of mountain activities, for example, then it is almost always expected that you will have an SML among others. To achieve these qualifications, you’re more likely to find the training for these in a location within, or near, a mountain range, while a coastal location may provide qualifications for the likes of surfing.

Health & Safety Qualifications

While outdoor instructors typically have an exciting job, it is also their responsibility to carry out risk assessments, provide first aid and ensure the safeguarding of any groups under their supervision. As an instructor, you will be interacting with people from all walks of life so it is important that you are equipped to deal with a number of situations that could occur while enjoying everything the great outdoors has to offer.

For many people, their love of the outdoors begins at an early age, perhaps on school trips or on outings with after-school clubs. It is therefore very likely that as an outdoor instructor you will be leading children across a range of activities. It is therefore essential that you have the correct certifications in child well-being and protection.

It’s no surprise that the elements will put you to the test as an outdoor instructor which means you need to be prepared for all weather and potential risks. With this in mind, it is essential that you are trained in first aid and understand the correct steps to take should the worst happen when leading an outdoor activity session. When applying for jobs across the industry, an Outdoor First Aid Certification will be required alongside the experience you have across a number of outdoor activities. There will also be specific safety training required for the activities you hope to specialise in such as the watersports safety training courses on offer at Active Outdoor Pursuits.

Why Choose an Outdoor Instructor Training Course?

There are a number of individual qualifications required to become a successful Outdoor Instructor and as previously mentioned, it can become expensive when you consider the time, fuel, accommodation, and cost of the qualification itself. Additionally, the cost of equipment and lack of like-minded people to get out with tends to be a barrier when looking to make the leap to train as an instructor. You may even find that you are teaching yourself instead of having first-hand professional knowledge passed down and taught to you. It is for this reason that a dedicated Outdoor Instructor Training programme is recommended as this type of course will provide the training for several qualifications, as well as accommodation, alongside peers.

You should choose an Outdoor Instructor Training course that you feel you’ll benefit from and that will provide you with the necessary skills to provide year-round employment. At Active Outdoor Pursuits, our course will provide extensive professional training for the best job in the world in the most suitable and challenging environment in the UK — the Cairngorms National Park. Participants are trained in up to 15 adventurous activities such as canoeing, rock climbing, canyoning, and mountain biking, and gain up to 30 qualifications. You will not need to worry about the temperamental Highland weather, as we offer climbing training in Spain during our winter course. Not only that but there is the option to travel to Colorado to participate in the additional PSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor qualification course.

There is no better way to learn than by experiencing the camaraderie amongst like-minded students who are all outdoor enthusiasts. With the opportunity to take part in walking, canoeing, and kayaking expeditions throughout the Highlands, our course has been created so that participants are provided with a range of qualifications to give them the best possible career prospects.

Are You Ready To Lead?

It’s true, the outdoor activity industry is a tricky one to make a start in but by signing up to an Outdoor Instructor Training course, you are investing in an exciting and rewarding future. At Active Outdoors, our course is at the company’s core. We believe that the best way to encourage and train prospective instructors is to believe in them. Our team are professionals with many years of experience and are always happy to answer any questions course participants may have. While there is a lot of fun to be had while taking part in the numerous activities which we provide training for, you will also receive first aid training and earn watersports safety certificates such as the BC Foundation Safety & Rescue Training course (FSRT) and the BC White Water Safety & Rescue Training course (WWSRT). Our course is therefore the perfect platform to equip you with the skills, knowledge, and qualifications to take you from trainee to professional Outdoor Instructor with the best career prospects.

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