What are they?
Working in the outdoor industry, there are a lot of qualifications that we need to do our jobs. Often these need a large amount of time to complete. Dedicated days to build up experience, practice skills and improve in whatever the activity is we are focusing on. This can entail days on the mountain, journeys on a river, routes on a crag to name a few.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is definitely not a terrible chore. We’re privileged to be in a situation where the things we want to do in our free time, become a requirement for work.
However, balancing a busy job, a busy home life and finding the additional 40 quality mountain days needed to get through Summer Mountain Leader Training / Assessment, can be a challenge.
We have a job where the line between personal adventures and personal development can become blurred.
At Land & Wave, a personal development day is a dedicated day which is paid and in work time, used to contribute towards these qualifications.
Why are they important?
Having worked in the Outdoor Industry for twelve years, the amount of money I’ve spent on kit, training and adventure sometimes scares me. I’ve missed out on family occasions, spent extended periods overseas and spent many nights sleeping in a cold car to keep costs down.
BUT I wouldn't have it any other way! This is all in the single-minded pursuit of having a job I love.
In my previous role, I spent time as an NVQ assessor going into a whole range of activity centres developing their apprentice instructors and generally talking about training.
This is probably why I feel personal development days are so important. I’ve had lots of conversations with aspiring instructors struggling to work on upcoming qualifications, simply because they couldn't afford the train ticket or didn't have the time during a very busy season.
At Land & Wave, I’m working for a company that appreciates how important personal development is. At a significant cost to the business, they are giving their full time team the opportunity to develop themselves and this includes a chunk of paid time to work on qualifications. Not only does this mean that we’ll all grow as a team, but we collectively become better at what we do - delivering a better quality product for the company.
What do they mean?
Richard Branson famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.”
This sums it up perfectly.
After a busy winter delivering Outdoor Instructor Training and with another summer season round the corner, this opportunity to focus on personal development was exactly what we all needed to be ready for our various assessments.
They create a feeling of being valued and appreciated. A significant investment with significant benefits.
I hope it’s a positive example that many other outdoor companies will follow.
Nice one L&W!
Staff Development Days 2019: The qualifications the Land & Wave team Are working towards:
Alex Mortimer - Mountain Leader Assessment
Jason Roberts - Mountain Leader Assessment, Canoe Leader Assessment
Georgii Stidston - Mountain Leader Training, Rock Climbing Instructor Award
Katie Brown - Canoe Leader Assessment
Matt Roberts - Canoe Leader Assessment, Mountain Instructor Award