Answer the call to adventure.

Your fastest route to a career in the great outdoors

80 wild days that will change your life.

Sign up for a unique and immersive program from the leading outdoor training provider and true centre of excellence in the Scottish Highlands for over 20 years.


The Outdoor Adventure Industry is firmly established and is a growing industry sector in the UK and throughout the world. Following the successful completion of the outdoor instructor training course, there is a multitude of exciting career options open to you. Markedly, the chance to continue with Active as an Instructor as part of our Instructor Development Programme (more information).

Our centre can accommodate around 70 people but we cap each course at 32 trainees for your comfort and space.

Certainly! We recommend all who are interested in applying for one of our Outdoor Instructor Training Courses to come and visit us in Scotland. While here, we will arrange for you to meet the Course Director or Manager. As well as chat to our instructors who have all completed one of our Training Courses. Coupled with a visit, we recommend that you join one of our activities (FOC) to see how wonderful it is to live the Active lifestyle!

Of course, you should have some of your own equipment at the start of the course and we can advise you on what is appropriate. While on the course, you will be able to borrow kit from us for the duration of your Outdoor Instructor Training Course. However, we advise students to have good quality outdoor gear that is appropriate for professional use. As well as to consider that when you start work you will need to be suitably equipped. In addition, Active have close links with some of the top outdoor equipment brands, with pro equipment deals available to students.

Generally, we offer a place on our Outdoor Instructor Development Programme to many who complete our Outdoor Instructor Training Course.  In summary, this is a 6-month programme after 1 month of voluntary induction. Thereafter, follows a 6-month apprenticeship where accommodation is provided. During this programme, you would be working for Active Outdoor Pursuits as an instructor. 

While on the IDP Scheme, you will gain experience in all aspects of an outdoor centre.  As well as working with groups and leading your own sessions, you might be asked to get involved with catering and maintenance. In any case, you can find out more information by clicking on this link.  Of course, not everyone chooses to sign up to this; because many have other goals once they have completed the Outdoor Instructor Training Course. Regardless, we will support all graduates with help and advice to ensure they achieve their goals.

Indeed, we are in fact insured with AIM – one of the largest and most well know activities insurance companies.

“The course will give you a lot of exposure and experience working in the industry whilst working toward the qualifications that are vital for your professional development. I took part in the Ski module in Colorado and having never been on skis before it was a massive learning curve, but the module allowed me to reach a standard where I was confident.”

~ Lee Jones

  • Summer Mountain leader training.
  • Summer Mountain Leader Assessment (Prerequisite required).
  • Rock Climbing Instructor Training.
  • Rock Climbing Instructor Assessment (Prerequisite required).
  • National Navigation Award (NNAS)
  • Paddle Scotland/Paddle UK Raft Guide Award.
  • Paddle UK Paddlesport Instructor Award.
  • Paddle UK Paddlesport Touring Leader Award (or Paddlesport Leader Award).
  • Paddle UK Multi Day Touring Award.
  • Paddle UK Paddlesport Safety and Rescue Course (PSRC).
  • Paddle UK White Water Safety & Rescue Training Course (WWSRT).
  • Paddle UK Start, Discover & Explore Awards in Canoe, Kayak & SUP.
  • DofE Expedition Assessor and Supervisor
  • Outdoor First Aid Certification.
  • PSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor qualification course (Additional modules)
  • PSIA performance awards levels 1-9 (Additional modules)
  • Being a Professional Instructor workshop.
  • Risk Assessment in the Outdoors workshop.
  • Expedition training on water & land.
  • Intro to ski touring day (for ski instructor candidates only).
  • Canyoning training.
  • Mountain scrambling training (summer course students).
  • Winter skills training (winter course students).
  • Gorge Scrambling training.
  • Ducky leader training.
  • Child wellbeing & protection in Sport safeguarding course.
  • Expert coaching / instruction 5 days per week.
  • On course transport to venues.
  • Pro deals on outdoor clothing and equipment.
  • An enhanced opportunity to be part of Instructor Development Programme.
  • Fees for formal NGB training and assessment courses.
  • Use of most centre equipment in personal time.
  • Personal mentoring, offering advice and support in your general development and career prospects as an outdoor instructor.
  • Opportunities on days off to shadow our instructors on activities and expeditions.
  • 2 weeks rock climbing, scrambling & walking in Spain (winter course).
  • Opportunities to take part on activity sessions from the moment you book your course.

The dates of the next courses are listed below:

  • Summer 2024 – July 9th 2024 to October 27th 2024.
  • Winter 2024 – October 29th 2024 to March 28th 2025.
  • Summer 2025 – July 8th 2025 to October 26th 2025.
  • Winter 2025 – October 28th 2025 to March 27th 2026.

Course fees: £6,495

Accommodation (SC): £1,500

Applications are open for the 2024 courses. We welcome potential candidates to contact us for an informal chat through the course details. Moreover, we welcome you to visit us at the Cairngorms Adventure Centre. Of course, this will give you the opportunity to meet our staff who all became outdoor instructors by completing previous training courses.

During your visit you are welcome to stay over and accompany our team on activities. Ultimately, this experience will give you a detailed insight to Active and what life after you become an outdoor instructor is all about. Once you are booked on you can join us on free activity sessions to get you valuable experience before your course begins.

Why choose Active Outdoor Pursuits for your Outdoor Instructor Training Course?

Quite simply, you will gain extensive professional training for the best job in the world in the most suitable and challenging environment in the UK: The Cairngorms National Park. 

We believe that no other course delivers the outcomes and qualifications that  Active’s course delivers. If comparing courses, look carefully at both the standard and the range of qualifications offered and most importantly, consider the career prospects offered by the qualifications.

While on the course you will train in up to 15 adventurous activities and gain up to 30 qualifications. Hence ensuring you have the skills, knowledge and qualifications to work as a professional Outdoor Instructor with the best career prospects.

Get in touch

Phone us on +44 (0)1540 210 000 or...

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Active Outdoor Pursuits
Cairngorms Adventure Centre
Craigower Lodge, Newtonmore
Cairngorms National Park
PH20 1AT
+44 (0)1540 210 000

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