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Outdoor Activity Instructor

Course Code: A3/0351/00

Level: 3
Subject area: Sport & Leisure

Qualification: Apprenticeship
Course type: Full-time
Duration: 15 months

About the course

An apprentice outdoor activity instructor supervises and guides children and adults in a range of activities and pastimes, such as canoeing, sailing, climbing, surfing, cycling, archery, walking, bushcraft and wildlife walks. Your main responsibility during this Apprenticeship is to run safe and enjoyable activity sessions. You will prepare for the session, deliver the session and close the session. You will typically be employed in an outdoor adventure or education centre, nature reserve or national park.

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • planning and preparing activities
  • explaining, advising on and demonstrating activities
  • instructing in specialist areas, like sailing or climbing
  • making sure all equipment and facilities are safe
  • explaining safety procedures.

During this Apprenticeship, you will have training sessions at City College Plymouth one day a week, term-time, to give you the skills and knowledge required to succeed in the industry. You will also receive direct training from the business you are employed by for your Apprenticeship who will work with the College to ensure you are reaching your maximum potential via regular workplace observations and reviews.

What you'll learn

An Apprenticeship is broken down into three learning categories: skills, knowledge and behaviours. For the Level 3 Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship you will cover the following …


  • find information on: the activity type and timings; outcome requirements; participant age; medical information; equipment and resourcing allocation; venue; weather conditions
  • prepare sessions to achieve the required outcomes
  • select methods to meet all participant needs
  • select methods to respond to potential changes in the environment
  • maintain self and group safety when delivering the session
  • deliver an effective session briefing
  • perform a competent demonstration of the skills required for the activity or subject
  • provide ongoing instruction to encourage learning and progression
  • provide basic First Aid to respond to accidents
  • support individual and group engagement and participation in the session
  • change the pace of the session to match participants’ speed of learning
  • complete a session within time
  • use participant feedback and own reflection to suggest improvements
  • communicate with customers and colleagues in a clear, concise and effective manner
  • actively encourage whole-group participation and promote equality and diversity.


  • how to collate and use information about the participants in order to run the session
  • how to meet desired outcomes of the session
  • the relevant operational procedures related to session delivery to meet Health & Safety, environmental sustainability, safeguarding and data protection requirements
  • why an appropriate activity briefing is important
  • how to identify hazards in the environment they are working and the dynamic changes that may occur
  • how to respond to and deal with incidents or accidents
  • simple techniques to ensure engagement and participation by all
  • how to recognise participants that have additional support requirements
  • simple techniques for dealing with conflict and challenging behaviours
  • how the venue should be left and equipment and resources returned
  • how the organisation, and profession, should be represented
  • the organisation’s expectations on how to engage and communicate
  • the profession’s policy on equality and diversity
  • good practice regarding session structure to encourage participation and inclusion.


  • show punctuality, diligence, commitment, and appropriate appearance
  • is enthusiastic for the organisations products and loyal to the employing organisation and brand
  • actively respects the environment and encourages behaviours in others that preserves it
  • encourages participants and supports each person to achieve to their limit
  • promotes ongoing use of the outdoors and onward progression
  • shows a positive attitude with all colleagues and all customers come rain or shine.

You will be taught, guided and assessed on the above topics over the duration of your Apprenticeship to prepare for your achievement. This will be done via tutor practical sessions and visits at the workplace from your designated assessor who will ensure you are competent in the job you are doing.

Entry requirements

To undertake this Apprenticeship you will be required to undergo an assessment with the course tutor. This is nothing to worry about! The tutor will have a conversation with you in order to assess your employability skills and your willingness to learn. They will also want to find out about any prior knowledge you may have. The assessment may include a practical task and a short workbook of basic questions about the industry.

If you do not already hold a GCSE at a grade 4-9 (A-C) or Functional Skills (level 1-2) in English and maths then you will be asked to complete a short assessment to determine what level you are currently working at. The results from this, combined with your tutor meeting, will ascertain whether we will be able to accept you onto an Apprenticeship and work with you to find an employer to begin your learning journey.


To achieve this Apprenticeship, you must pass the end-point assessment. The end-point assessment is the name given to a series of tests you must take to prove your ability to do the job you have been training for. These tests take place at the end of the Apprenticeship following a period of training and development.

This Apprenticeship has an expected duration of 15 months, however, this may vary depending on your readiness to sit the end-point assessment.

What's next?

This industry offers many ongoing career development opportunities to suit your own particular interests, whether you would like to work for an organisation or freelance. With experience you could progress to team leading, centre management or set up your own activity centre.

Important information

By applying for this position you will go through the College’s assessment procedure and once successful, you will be assigned a Business Engagement Officer who will guide you into employment by supporting you to find the best-suited workplace.

Enquire about this Apprenticeship via the button below