Outdoor Qualifications

Are you looking to embark on a new career as an outdoor activity instructor, or are you looking to gain additional outdoor qualifications to help you gain employment in the great outdoors? Maybe you are looking to validate your hobby or passion for outdoor activities with some formal qualifications to enable you to lead groups? 

We offer a range of outdoor qualifications that are National Governing Body accredited and can help you to advance and develop your skills and experience. 

Many National Governing Body (NGB) awards require completion of a training course followed by a period of consolidation of skills to ensure the candidate is fully prepared when they go for assessment. 

At CGO we currently offer outdoor qualification courses for those looking to develop as a Mountain Leader with our Mountain Training accredited course, and for those looking to develop as a Paddlesport Instructor with our British Canoeing accredited courses. Or perhaps you want to become multi-qualified and more employable by completing both pathways. 

Find out more about our qualifications.

Get in touch with our team.

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Why undertake an outdoor qualification?

  • Develop your own personal skills and confidence
  • Gain professional National Governing Body qualifications enabling you to work as an outdoor instructor
  • Support from our qualified instructor coaches
  • Opportunities to observe our highly experienced instructors delivering sessions
  • Develop your leadership and group management skills
  • We offer shadowing and Assistant Instructor opportunities with our client groups under the guidance of our skilled instructor team

Where can an outdoor qualification take you?

With a completed Mountain Leader Assessment and Outdoor First Aid certificate you are qualified to lead groups in the hills and mountains for treks, hikes and hill walks in summer conditions. You may then wish to progress onto the Winter Mountain Leader Award to work in the UK and Ireland in winter conditions, or the International Mountain Leader Award to work overseas.

With a completed Paddlesport Instructor Award, Foundation Safety and Rescue Training and Outdoor First Aid certificate you are qualified to lead taster sessions for groups in very sheltered water environments. You may then wish to progress onto the Paddlesport Leader Award to work with groups for full sessions as an activity instructor.

Mountain Leader Pathway

A step by step guide to becoming a leader in mountain activities. We guide you through the process and direct you to the courses you will need along the way!

01. Attend our Outdoor First Aid Training course

You'll find this qualification is required if you want to work for an outdoor centre or as an instructor for client groups, it's also really important if you participate in outdoor activities as a hobby or for fun, and especially if you want to lead groups.

02. Attend our Mountain Leader Training course

This course lasts for six days during which you will get input from an approved provider covering all aspects of the syllabus to start you off on your journey to becoming a qualified Mountain Leader.

03. Complete a consolidation period

Get out walking in the hills on your own, with friends or maybe shadowing some other Mountain Leaders whilst they work with groups

04. Attend our Mountain Leader AssessmentĀ 

A five-day assessment in the mountains including a 3 day/2 night expedition element.

Water Activity Specialist Pathway

A step by step guide to becoming a specialist in water activities. We guide you through the process and direct you to the courses you will need along the way!

01. Attend our Outdoor First Aid Training course

You'll find this qualification is required if you want to work for an outdoor centres or as an instructor for client groups, it's also really important if you participate in outdoor activities as a hobby or for fun, and especially if you want to lead groups.

02. Attend our British Canoeing Paddle Awards courses

Working through the Start, Discover and Explore awards is a great way to progress your knowledge, skills and ability.

03. Attend our British Canoeing Personal Performance Awards

At this stage the awards become discipline specific, meaning that you can specialise in one craft (CGO currently offer the Canoe Award) or choose to work your way through a number of awards including white water award, Stand up Paddleboard and Sea Kayak. The awards are tailored to you encouraging you in your personal development as you become a self sufficient paddler.

04. Attend our British Canoeing Foundation Safety and Rescue Training

This course gives you the essential skills needed to keep yourself and others safe in a sheltered water environment and is a pre-requisite for the Paddlesport Instructor Award.

05. Attend our British Canoeing Paddlesport Instructor Award course

This is the entry level award for aspiring instructors wanting to take people paddling. It is a combined training and assessment course which is practical and fun during which you will learn how to deliver safe, engaging and fun paddling sessions.

06. Attend the British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Award

To enable you to take on formal leadership responsibilities in sheltered water environments and support you to run safe, quality and enjoyable group trips. 

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