Posted on 16th May 2024
What to look for when selecting an Outdoor Learning Provider and Why?

When selecting a provider for outdoor learning, teachers, group leaders, or any potential customers must consider several important accreditations. These accreditations ensure that the provider meets high standards of safety, quality, and educational value. With so many accreditations, which are the ones that really matter, and offer assurance of safety, quality and experience.

The Adventurous Activity Licence (AALS) is a crucial certification for providers offering adventurous activities like water sports, climbing, caving, and trekking. The adventure activities licensing scheme aims to give assurance that good safety management practices are being followed so that young people can have opportunities to experience exciting and stimulating activities outdoors while not being exposed to avoidable risks of death or disabling injury.

The Association of Heads of Outdoor Centres (AHOEC) Gold Standard is awarded to Outdoor Centres that demonstrate excellence in education and safety. To achieve this standard, a Centre must undergo a rigorous assessment of its facilities, staff qualifications, and safety protocols. This accreditation assures customers that the Centre is committed to providing top-tier outdoor learning experiences.

Adventure Mark is an accreditation for providers of adventurous activities, recognising their adherence to national standards for safety and quality. This mark is awarded following an external inspection, ensuring that the provider’s activities are well-managed and safe. Customers can trust that an Adventure Mark-accredited provider delivers a secure and enjoyable experience.

The Learning Outside the Classroom (LoTC) Quality Badge combines safety and educational quality standards. Providers with this badge have been assessed for their ability to offer engaging, effective educational experiences in an outdoor setting, while also maintaining high safety standards. This badge reassures educators that the activities will be both instructive and safe for students.

Paddle UK Delivery Partner signifies that a provider excels in offering paddle sports activities such as kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding. This badge is awarded to organisations that meet high standards for safety, equipment, and coaching. Customers can be confident that Paddle UK-accredited partners deliver high-quality paddle sports experiences.

The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Recognised Training Centre status is awarded to Centre’s that provide exceptional training in sailing and other water sports. This recognition involves a thorough inspection of the Centre’s facilities, equipment, and instructional quality. For customers, this indicates that the Centre meets the high standards set by the RYA, ensuring a safe and effective learning environment.

The RYA Sailability Centre accreditation is specifically for Centre’s that provide sailing opportunities for people with disabilities. This accreditation ensures that the Centre is accessible and equipped to offer safe and enjoyable sailing experiences to all participants. Customers can trust that an RYA Sailability Centre is dedicated to inclusivity and high-quality instruction.

The Institute of Outdoor Learning (IOL) Organisation membership denotes that a provider is committed to professional development and adherence to best practices in outdoor learning. Members of IOL are dedicated to continuous improvement and high standards in outdoor learning, giving customers confidence in the provider’s commitment to quality and professionalism.

A Mountain Training Centre accreditation is for providers specialising in mountain-related activities such as hill walking, climbing, and mountaineering. This accreditation ensures that the Centre meets rigorous standards for instructor qualifications, safety procedures, and programme quality. Customers can be assured that a Mountain Training Centre offers expert-led, safe, and enriching mountain experiences.

The Anderton Centre is proud to hold all the above accreditations, demonstrating its commitment to delivering fun, safe, and high-quality outdoor learning experiences. By choosing a provider with these accreditations, customers can be confident in the safety, quality, and educational value of their outdoor activities.