To start working outdoors, you will need to be suitably qualified.  There are lots of different qualifications available in order for you to begin, and we have outlined what we feel are the most important in order to fully develop your career.

All of the qualifications below will require you to hold a First Aid certificate as a minimum and you will gain further qualifications with the courses.

Activity: Rock Climbing

Activity:

Rock Climbing

Governing Body:
Mountain Training UK
This is the awarding body for UK Mountaineering Instructors
Qualification Name: Single Pitch Award
This will give you the skills and experience to lead single pitch outdoor climbs, and to manage climbing groups both indoors and outdoors.
Training: 16 Days of Training on our course
2 Days of formal MT UK Training
6 Months of Consolidation
A 2 Day Assessment
What We Say: Gaining your SPA single pitch award is important when looking to develop your career in the outdoor industry, however it is important to remember that after you complete your initial formal training for SPA you need to consolidate that training over a period of time to ensure you have the appropriate experience before you go for assessment. Group experience is key to this development and experience. SPA award was set up originally for experienced climbers to become instructors.

Don’t rush it, working with experienced qualified instructors will ensure when you do go for assessment you will achieve a strong pass and be competent which is what all good employers want.

This is an essential qualification for anyone working in the outdoor industry, and an integral part of our Outdoor Instructor Course. Taking place on sea cliffs, moorland crags and quarries, these instructor training sessions deliver not just a broad base of climbing experience, but one of the most exhilarating learning experiences you can imagine.

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Activity: Walking and Navigation

There are a number of awards available under the Walking banner of Mountain Training UK, but we aim for our students to achieve one of these two awards depending upon previous experience and skills:

Activity:

Walking and Navigation

Governing Body:
Mountain Training UK
This is the awarding body for UK Mountaineering Instructors
Qualification Name: Mountain Leader Award (Summer) (ML)
Training: 16 Days of training on our course
6 Days of formal MT UK Training
6 Months of Consolidation
A 5 Day Assessment
What We Say: The Mountain Leader award is designed for people who want to lead groups in the mountains, hills and moorlands of the UK and Ireland and is an essential qualification for those that want to work in a centre based in the mountains, perhaps North Wales or Scotland and the Lakes. If your career plan is to work elsewhere perhaps by the coast then the training is very good and very useful to develop standard of Navigational skills, but no better than the slightly lesser Hill And Mooreland Leader Award.

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Activity:

Walking and Navigation

Governing Body:
Mountain Training UK
This is the awarding body for UK Mountaineering Instructors
Qualification Name: Hill and Moorland Leader Award
Training: 16 Days of Training on our course
3 Days of official MT UK Training
6 Months of Consolidation
A 3 Day Assessment
What We Say: The Hill and Moorland Leader award is designed for people who want to lead groups in the hill and moorland areas of the UK and Ireland and replaces the old Walking Group Leader Award

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Activity:

Walking and Navigation

Governing Body:
Mountain Training UK
This is the awarding body for UK Mountaineering Instructors
Qualification Name: Lowland Leader Award
Training: 16 Days of training on our course
2 Days of formal MT UK Training
Consolidation During the 16 Weeks (plus your own time)
A 2 Day Assessment attainable within the 16 week course
What We Say: The Lowland Leader award is designed for people who wish to lead groups on day walks in lowland countryside and woodland in summer conditions. The majority of the UK and Ireland is made up of this type of terrain!

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Holding a navigation award is regarded by many employers as an essential qualification. There are many other awards that are not as advanced as these and may limit your use of the qualification to much more specific areas i.e. South West Coastal and Countryside Awards

Activity: Kayaking and Canoeing

Activity:

Kayaking and Canoeing

Governing Body:
British Canoeing (BC)
The BC are responsible for all paddle sports in the UK.
Personal Skills Awards The BC assess personal competence using a star system (1* - 5*) 1*and 2* awards are generic
3* - 5* awards are discipline specific e.g. sea kayak, surf kayak, canoe etc.
BC 2 Star Award - personal skills kayak and canoe (Pre requisite for Level 1 Coach)
> 12 days training on our course
> 1 day formal BCU assessment
BC Foundation Safety Rescue Test FSRT (Pre requisite for Level 1 Coach)
> 12 days training on our course
> 1 day formal BCU assessment
BC 3 Star Sea Kayak Award
> 12 x days training on our course
> 1 day formal BCU assessment

Three star sea kayak, demonstrates a far higher level of paddling capability, by acquiring this qualification you will automatically become a better paddler and more importantly up the standard of your Level one coach award as such be more attractive to employers.
Instructor Qualification Name
Coach qualifications are graded Level 1 - Level 5. The BC coaching qualifications fall within the development framework of the UKCC:

UKCC BC Level 1 Coach Award
> 20 days training on our course
> 4 days formal BCU combined training and assessment
What We Say: A good foundation in Kayaking and Canoeing is essential for employment in the Outdoor industry. Most centres will operate with at the very least Sit-on-Top Kayaks. The BC Level 1 qualification is considered a good entry point. However, the standard required to pass is very low (in our opinion) which is why many employers are quite sceptical of both the scheme and the qualification. So we do it differently; the number of days training you will receive will enable you the best chance to acquire not only the basic skills to achieve the Level 1 but also to go on to pass your 3 Star Sea, which is a far higher standard of paddling skill. In the eyes of an employer, this will straight away set you aside from other applicants. Also the training time allocated allows us the opportunity to teach the skills to become a competent coach as well as a paddler! The piece of paper alone will not get you employment.

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Activity: Stand Up Paddleboarding

Activity:

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Governing Body:
Currently no single Governing Body, however Manor House work closely with British Stand Up Paddleboard Association (BSUPA) in the provision of SUP qualifications
Qualification Name: BSUPA SUP Instructor Level One
Base level qualification for teaching SUP to groups.
We offer the conversion Course as Students have the prerequisites required
Training: 8 Days Training on our course
1 Day formal BSUPA assessment
What We Say: SUP is one of the fastest growing sports in the world today and whilst there is no official NGB there are currently three bodies offering qualifications. We have opted for the BSUPA qualification, as we believe it is best suited to our industry. It also recognizes individual instructors who have some of the pre requisites required to become a competent SUP instructor. Many employers are now asking us to provide this qualification as they are looking to develop this sport within their own offerings to customers.

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Activity: Beach Lifeguarding

Activity:

Beach Lifeguarding

Governing Body:
SLSGB Surf Life Saving Great Britain
Although there are other awarding bodies, SLSGB is considered the best.
Qualification Name: Beach Lifeguard Award
Surf Lifeguard
Surf Life Saver

The training you receive is identical for all three awards; your pool timed swim will determine which level of award you will ultimately receive after assessment.

These qualifications meet and exceed the standards recommended by the International Life Saving Federation (ILS), the RNLI Beach Lifeguard service, numerous council lifeguard services and event water safety providers. The First Aid Qualifications with these awards include:

Adult Basic Life Support
Aquatic First Aid and Oxygen Therapy
Training: 11 days board skills training on our course
3 days advanced first aid training on our course
4 timed swim assessments to monitor progress
1 day formal SLSGB assessment
What We Say: The beach lifeguard qualification is a critical qualification for anyone wishing to work in the outdoor industry: Why? Because it offers the best first aid training for our profession as part of the training. You will cover most of the key injuries you are likely to encounter during your career along with critical injuries, like head and spinal, that are not covered in any detail by the usual providers. This is why we include it in our course.

Recent developments by the SLSGB has meant that even if you are not a natural fast swimmer and could not see yourself working on the beaches, you can still gain a good qualification that is suitable for the industry. Essential to any employer offering surfing and valuable to any employer who operates on or around water. (And ask yourself: How many centres don’t?)

The Beach lifeguard training will underpin ALL your other NGB's and will be an important differentiator when it comes time to applying for a job.

So why doesn’t everyone offer it? Because it is hard and requires effort on your part; anything worth having requires effort!

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Additional Notes

As with all NGB's, look to develop and grow your skills over time; there is a reason why doctors train for many years to develop their skills - they get it wrong then patients can die!

Outdoor Instructors can carry similar responsibilities; don’t rush your training, look to achieve awards and skills over a period of time. The best instructors are not always those that have the most pieces of paper and good employers want far more than NGB's. Plan your training and look to gain and consolidate qualifications with irreplaceable experience over a sensible time period.

Soft Skills

As an Outdoor Centre that offers instructor training, we include the soft skill modules into our training because we feel it fills a gap between what the NGB's offer and what professional employers require. Feedback from both employers and ex students has underpinned this philosophy as ALL have found the modules invaluable.

However if your reading this and thinking "But I am not academic, which is why I want to work in the outdoors", don’t be put off; the nature of the soft skill training is designed to accommodate everyone’s training needs. It's about helping you gain the necessary information that will help you become the best, safe, competent, skilled professional you can be, which is what the employers need.

So why don’t other training providers offer some similar modules? Because it requires effort, investment and skill on their part and many of our competition don’t wish to invest in the knowledge base required. It would also shift the course cost upwards, these modules are included in your training with us; we consider them essential and added value. So when comparing course costs don’t forget to consider the additional 26 hours of training that is included in these modules that others don’t offer.

 

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