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Outdoor education

Leadership in open and wild country

There are two leadership schemes that can be used to give you the skills required to take groups into coastal countryside and national parks. The schemes are:

The schemes can be used to demonstrate competence in the skills required to take groups into coastal countryside and national parks. Plymouth local authority uses the South West local scheme and has a small team of experienced people that train and assess schools, the youth service, and volunteer staff.

Mountain Training operate the national scheme which is the best route for anyone who may not be staying long in the South West.

Selecting the right course

The right course depends on the area and time of year a leader wants to use it. We will advise you which is the most suitable course to select.

The south West scheme offers a Coast and Countryside Leadership with a site or static camping endorsement which is based largely on the Bronze navigation capacity in the National Navigation Award scheme (NNAS). A Moorland Leader with wild country camping as an additional endorsement is based on the Silver NNAS with the requirement to navigate after dark.

For those who operate in winter conditions a 'Winter Day Walk Leader' is required - this is the level for staff who train young people for the Ten Tors event. This level includes some of the gold NNAS content.

Coast and Countryside is the right level for walks along the coastal footpath through countryside, canal path, river side and in country parks. A 'Moorland leader' is suitable for those who will be out in open territory where there are few paths and tracks.

All awards require recent experience and a current first aid certificate to ensure leaders remain familiar and are able to deliver quality experiences for their groups.

Some experience before training helps but is not essential, although it will help to discuss preparation. Trainers will provide a plan to take potential leaders to the required assessment level.

After training, advice is available to help people decide when they are ready to be assessed.

Candidates who are ready for assessment are expected to have knowledge of coaching, leading and conditions and environments they are likely to encounter.

For anyone who wants an introductory level the 'Outdoor Education Advisors Panel Outdoor Learning Cards' provide this in a day based on team building, orienteering, journeys and scrambling and climbing at low level.