Proposed Outdoor Leader Certification Program

Outdoors NSW & ACT is proposing a newly created Outdoor Leader certification program that empowers outdoor professionals to continually develop, engage in the industry, agree to an Outdoor Code of Ethics, and encourages the knowledge and understanding of the AAAS Guidelines and Good Practice Guides.

However, before we launch such a program, we seek feedback from the industry to ensure it meets all the opportunities it sets out to achieve, it's aware of the obstacles it will potentially face and it will provide the outcomes its aimed to achieve.

This proposed program is designed to assist the Outdoors Industry with the following;

Empower individuals to continue learning

Grow individual marketability for future jobs 

Build marketability for operators

Help our industry become more insurable

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ACCREDITATION vs CERTIFICATION vs LICENSING 

The outdoor industry is continually scrutinised as 'risky', often perceived, and not realised in data comparisons. Accreditation is also perceived in the industry to be confusing, legitimisation questionable and marketability is lacking.

  • Accreditation refers to guidelines, processes, and credentials that are voluntarily endorsed to achieve accreditation. It often refers to businesses or programs and not to individuals.

  • Licensing on the other hand is specific to the well-being of consumers and is often legislated and a requirement for industry standard or practice.

  • Certification demonstrates capability and is often voluntary, but some bodies may prescribe it as a prerequisite for doing business. 

PROPOSED PROGRAM

The program is designed to help outdoors leaders progress, in relation to best practice and experience in the field. It also provides a process that can assist with building awareness of the businesses and industry whilst building faith in their activities, seen by consumers and insurers. It is also a tool for acknowledging skill and development by individuals and one that can help build careers and opportunities.

THE PROPOSED STRUCTURE

The program is proposed to be launched in early 2021, pending industry feedback. Individuals will submit their application via an online portal and complete an online quiz annually. The initial assessment will be assessed by staff using application, references, and required supplementary material. In subsequent years they will be required to submit annual evidence to retain their level or additional evidence to progress their levels. When an applicant reaches Gold or Platinum level, checks only occur every 5 years, or on request.

The proposed program has 5 tiers of accomplishment and hence certification. 

  • OUTDOOR LEADER CERTIFICATION 

  • OUTDOOR LEADER CERTIFICATION - Bronze Level

  • OUTDOOR LEADER CERTIFICATION - Silver Level 

  • OUTDOOR LEADER CERTIFICATION - Gold Level 

  • OUTDOOR LEADER CERTIFICATION - Platinum Level​

Certification Logo Concepts

Scroll to see all 3 concepts

Proposed Outdoor Leader Certification Criteria

Outdoor Leader

  • Apply annually through the Outdoors NSW & ACT

  • Pay the required administration fee to process the application (estimated at $40 p.a)

  • Agree to adhere to the Outdoor Leadership Code of Ethics

  • Keep a log book of activity hours and show a minimum of 50 hours in the field in each year

  • Be an employee of a member of Outdoors NSW & ACT or be an individual member

DRAFT

Outdoor Leader - Bronze

  • Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation / Leadership or equivalent qualifications

  • Hold a current First Aid qualification.

  • Participate in a minimum of 20 points of Professional Training activities conducted by Outdoors NSW & ACT through the year (Weekly Forums = 2 points, Conferences = 10 points, Training sessions = 8 points)

  • Keep a log book of activity hours and show a minimum of 100 hours in the field in each year

  • Reference from their supervisor, confirming experience

  • Complete the AAAS Quiz relevant to their activity / area and complete with 90% minimum pass mark

DRAFT

Outdoor Leader - Silver

  • Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation / Leadership or equivalent experience / qualifications.

  • Minimum of 3 years experience as a leader

  • Wilderness First Responder, Leaders Advance Wilderness First Aid or Remote First Aid.

  • Keep a log book of activity hours and show a minimum of 400 hours in the field in each year

  • Participate in a minimum of 30 points of Professional Training activities conducted by Outdoors NSW & ACT through the year (Weekly Forums = 2 points, Conferences = 10 points, Training sessions = 8 points)

DRAFT

Outdoor Leader - Gold

  • Diploma level in Outdoor Recreation / Leadership or equivalent experience / qualifications.

  • Minimum of 7 years experience as a leader

  • Reference from Landowner, stakeholder not from the organisation of your employ that indicates your conduct as an outdoor leader

  • Keep a log book of activity hours and show a minimum of 800 hours in the field in each year

  • Lead professional development activities for staff within organisation, or conduct a professional development session for ONSWACT to industry

DRAFT

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Outdoor Leader - Platinum

  • Minimum of 10 years experience as a leader

  • Participated as a mentor of other outdoor leaders and provide references from the mentorees

  • Be recommended by 3 other outdoor activities provider organisations other than the employer by way of Letters of Support and verbal references. 

DRAFT

What do you think? 

Will it help the needs of the sector, its stakeholders and clients?

Should this be an individual leader based program or an organisation based program? 

CLICK HERE TO BE TAKEN TO THE FEEDBACK PORTAL FOR THE PROGRAM