Outdoor Apprenticeships – update and call for input

See the message below from the IOL:

Dear Outdoor Sector Colleagues,

Following the successful design and approval of the Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship Standard, IOL and employers have been working together to develop a proposal for a new apprenticeship – Outdoor Learning Specialist. We would like to up-date you about both and seek input/involvement from you as appropriate to your interest.

Apprenticeship Consultation – Outdoor Learning Specialist. Level 5.

The broad purpose of an Outdoor Learning Specialist is to develop and deliver activity and outdoor learning programmes that provide progressive learning and change in the outdoors.

The project working group have developed the role profile and duties for the occupation of Outdoor Learning Specialist. It is set at Level 5 and expected to take two years to achieve. To begin this apprenticeship, employees will be expected to be able to demonstrate the knowledge, skills and behaviours of an Outdoor Activity Instructor.

In order to make a submission to develop the standard we need wider input and support.

We are seeking to gain this and your input via a survey here – with a deadline of the 6th of February. Please read through the Outdoor Learning Specialist role profile and duties and share your views and suggestions by completing the survey. Without the input and support of the sector the project can’t go ahead and meet the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) deadlines.

We will collate all responses, and if there is enough support from across the outdoor sector the Trailblazer Group will make a formal submission to the IfATE for permission to develop the apprenticeship standard. If that is successful and the Apprenticeship Standard is subsequently approved it could be ready for delivery late 2020/early 2021.

Work to date has been funded by number of employers and led by: Outdoor Apprenticeships Project Manager – Neal Anderson (IOL), Outdoor Apprenticeships Trailblazer Group Chair – Mark Lavington (PGL), Outdoor Apprenticeships Trailblazer Design Group – Marc Oakley (Outward Bound), Janine Maddison (Field Studies Council), Dr Roger Hopper (Heatree Activity Centre).

To enable the sector to access fit for purpose funded training, please complete the survey by the 6th of February.

The Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship. Level 3.

The OAI Apprenticeship was signed off in September 2018 and with a minimum period of 12 months, plus assessment. The first candidates have now been assessed, and have passed. Initial feedback from employers on the quality of the apprentices at the end of the journey is very encouraging. 

IOL has been granted External Quality Assurance (EQA) body status for the apprenticeship, which is no mean feat and puts it into a relatively rare group of bodies allowed this status. As the EQA, IOL can see how many leaners have registered to date. This currently stands at approx. 300 which is excellent news and a good first year start. In theory if all of those candidates attracted the full £6000 funding that would be £1.8 million coming into the sector and sector apprenticeship related bodies. 

As EQA, IOL needs an employer reference group in order to report their EQA activity to and to check that the assessing bodies are assessing in the manner intended by the Trailblazer and in keeping with present Employer requirements. This “OAI Trailblazer” group will also support the 3 year review of the Apprenticeship and ensure it remains fit-for-purpose. 

The general reporting would involve 2 go-to-meeting type teleconferences a year, and the 3 year review would more likely be a day face-face meeting.  This group must comprise of employers who are actively providing the apprenticeship (i.e. not Training Providers or End Point Assessment Organisations). Ideally the group needs to comprise of between 8 and 12 members and a variety of geography, business sizes and business product focus.

If you are providing Apprenticeships and interested in contributing to their management and currency please click through here for further info and to register your interest.

Leave a comment