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Career Pathways

So you've decided that a career with Cornwall Outdoors is what you need. So, what's it going to take to get there? We've identified just a few of the possible pathways to becoming an Outdoor professional here in the next few paragraphs.

Career Pathways

Pathways to your next career

Some things are worth working for... here are a few leads on how you could find yourself in a new career within the next six months. 

The keen amateur to professional guide

The journey for some begins with a keen interest in the outdoors, and the many activities that can be undertaken either on the land or on the water. It may be that you have been an outdoor enthusiast for many years a walker, sailor, biker, paddler or climber but have never formally adopted any qualifications. This is where your journey as an outdoor activities instructor can begin in earnest.

Keen amateur to professional guide

You could easily start your pathway by gaining a qualification or certificate of personal skills in an activity that you already excel at. Look into the professional national governing body of your sport and see if you can get onto a training course as quickly as possible.

Once you've got on board with a qualification in your regular activity, then the next step is to try something new. It's amazing how quickly you can pick up a new activity if you're already a keen outdoors practitioner. Contact us if you need guidance or look through our list of activity courses for a suggestion of where you could start.

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Fast-track Instructor Training Programme

You may have seen intensive fast-track instructor courses advertised and wondered if they really work. Well, for every two employees in the outdoor industry you'll find at least one that has followed this pathway to success. It's a sure-fire way of rapidly gaining a foothold in the industry. 

Fast-track Instructor Course

Usually held over the winter months, you'll be intensively lead through a challenging and rewarding programme of personal skills awards, and started on a suite of National Governing Body NGB awards. Cornwall Outdoors provides two Instructor Training Courses each year and historically every attendee will find there is a job opportunity waiting for them at the end of the course.

There are a number of providers out there and each one has their own specific programme of awards that they lead you through. At Cornwall Outdoors our training programmes provide exactly the required set of qualification that you'll need to gain employment within our own centres. Of course, you can go elsewhere but we like to know that we've equipped you with real job winning skills that you can use immediately.

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NVQ in Activity Leadership - 16-19 years

If you want to get a head start from an early age then the NVQ in Activity Leadership will put you in the driving seat for a career in the outdoors. As an employer we are generally looking for those aged 18 plus however if you have the skills already by your 18th birthday then your career can start immediately that you've finished the course.

Once you've got the basic set of qualifications through the NVQ then you can start to build your portfolio with ever greater awards in the sport or sports of your choice. Look through our training course list to see what you could achieve with Cornwall Outdoors.

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Volunteering opens doors

Not every skill can be learnt from a book. Helping out on one of our activity sessions will not only improve your own knowledge but will also demonstrate your work skills to a potential employer. It is a way that you can share your knowledge with others and discover just how much you have to offer as an education provider.

By assisting on some of our sessions you will see what a rewarding career the outdoor industry can provide, gain confidence in your own ability and get a chance to talk with the team members about becoming a future outdoor education provider.

Volunteering as a pathway into outdoor pursuits is one of the best ways of unlocking your own potential without over-exposing yourself too quickly. It will also identify any training courses that you could attend to improve your employment prospects. Contact us at any of our centres to find out if volunteering is a way forward for your career and what skills and attributes we are looking for from our volunteers.


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A quick refresh

We are all unique and your career pathway will be as unique as you are. The important thing is that you are proactive in your attitude to becoming an outdoor education professional. Our top-six list below will help get you started:

  1. Look at the outdoor and adventurous sports that you already do and see what formal qualifications you can take to enhance them. See our courses to get started right away.
  2. If you're retiring, on a gap year or looking to change career, think about our fast-track Instructor Training Courses.
  3. If you're under 19, think about our NVQ in Activity Leadership as an option.
  4. If volunteering feels comfortable right now, then email your local Centre: Porthpean, Delaware, Carnyorth
  5. If you can't see your route towards becoming an instructor, don't ignore your dream, get in touch and navigate your pathway to success.

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