land and wave logo colour

An Essential guide to working outdoors: The 16 Qualifications

This award trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to supervise climbers on purpose-built artificial climbing walls and boulders.

The qualifications that you need when working outdoors as an Outdoor Instructor.

When completing Land & Wave’s Outdoor Instructor Course, you get a range of qualifications that are all recognised within the outdoors industry. We have created an essential guide to help you understand those qualifications that you gain once having completed the course and are working outdoors.

So let’s get started!

Mountain Training

Throughout the Outdoor Instructor Training Course you will learn a mixture of land based and water based activities. The National Governing Body that oversee two of you Land based qualifications is the Mountain Training.

Mountain Training oversees all thing walking, hiking, climbing and mountaineering.

Rock Climbing Instructor Training – RCI

This award trains candidates in the skills required to supervise climbers on single pitch crags and climbing walls. Common activities undertaken by an RCI holder will be roped climbing inside and outside in a variety of locations. The RCI does not include the skills and techniques required to teach lead climbing.

Lowland Leader Training Award – LLA

This award trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to lead groups on day walks in lowland countryside and woodland in summer conditions. The majority of Britain and Ireland is made up of this type of terrain so you’ll never be short of places to go walking, this will also include your Lowland Leader Assessment.

working outdoors

British Canoeing

Now onto your Water Sports and Paddle Sports awards.

Personal Performance Awards

These specific awards allow you to develop your personal paddling and decision making skills in the craft and environment of your choice. 

For this part of the course you’ll gain your Canoe Award, Sea Kayak Award and Stand Up Paddle Board Sheltered Water Award and these are all personal performance awards.

Instructor & Leaderships Awards

The awards included are Paddlesport Instructor and Paddlesport Leader Training these qualifications will enable you to be able to take groups out to do paddle sport activities and run full sessions.

Paddlesport Safety and Rescue Awards

The two qualifications that you will gain are Foundation Safety & Rescue Training and Coastal Navigation & Tidal Planning. These are both safety and rescue training qualifications and will teach you the foundations of taking on paddlesports safely, and how to navigate the coast using tides, wind and charts.


The Duke of Edinburgh Award has been a success for the past seven decades. From volunteering to physical activities, life skills to expeditions. The Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Supervisor/ Assessor Award will cover the following:

  • Understanding the role of the Expedition Supervisor, Assessor and other adults involved in the delivery of the Expedition section.
  • Understanding the process of remote supervision.
  • Understanding the importance of emergency procedures.
  • Understanding the duty of care held by the Supervisor.

First Aid Awards

There are two different awards for this section, Outdoor First Aid and Level 3 Safeguarding Course.

A first aid qualification is essential for working in the great outdoors, most qualifications require you to hold a 2 day first aid qualification. This first aid qualification will teach you extremely valuable life saving skills, such as learning CPR, how to use a defibrillator, how to bandage up casualties and how to treat burns.

The Level 3 Safeguarding Course is in relation to children and vulnerable adults, this qualification covers a wide range of topics including management of sudden or unexpected death in childhood, parental risk factors, unexplained injuries, neglect in a disabled child, fabricated and induced illness and adolescents presenting with suspected sexual assault.

Level 2 Bushcraft Instructor accredited by NCFE

The Level 2 bushcraft instructor qualification will enable you to have a range of knowledge when it comes to bushcraft and allow you to lead groups and sessions. Ensuring that you have a good knowledge of tools, fire, shelter, knife sharpening and wood working.

There are always opportunities to further your experience and qualifications with bushcraft and you can have the opportunity to do your Level 3 qualification which will teach you more advanced skills.


RLSS means Royal Life Saving Society, and as part of this qualification you will get the Water Safety Management Programme (NWSMP) Level 3 and Beach Lifeguard Qualification.

The NWSMP aims to be a leading suite of awards designed to equip anyone working in, on or near water with essential knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about managing water safety.

You will complete all three levels of this course, The NWSMP is split into two levels to ensure candidates get the most out of the course. The course covers Water Safety Awareness, Inland Waterways Module and a Coastal Waterways Module.

The Beach Lifeguard Qualification covers several modules, Beach Lifeguarding, Life Support and First Aid, Ocean Skills and Pool Skills.

The National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ) is the core qualification for anyone seeking employment on UK Beaches. The NVBLQ ensures that the qualified lifeguard has the knowledge and skills required to operate effectively across a range of beach environments.

Find out more info on these awards HERE.

man in the sea with lifeguard vessle


The Coasteering Leader Training is guided by the National Coasteering Charter also known as NCC. Over the course of this syllabus you will learn a range of skills including, Personal Coasteering Skills, Rescue, Safety, Leadership and Group Skills, theory and environment.

Your all set!

Now you have and understand all of your qualifications, go and enjoy working outdoors.

If you want these qualifications and want to make working outdoors your career then sign up to our Outdoor Instructor training course. Book onto a FREE open day!

There are lots of outdoor training and assessment courses, understanding them better is easier once you are part of the outdoor adventure industry

Share this article

Duke of edenburgh
Outdoor learning logo
Wildlife safe operator logo

Copyright © – Land and Wave – 2022