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Welcome to IOL Scotland / Alba

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IOL Scotland Outdoor Learning and Adventure Conference


at Scottish Outdoor Education Centres - 5pm 24th - 4.30pm 25th November 2017

Belmont Centre, Meigle, Perthshire

Sponsored by Activities Industry Mutual

Bob shepton    Friday - Keynote by Bob Shepton, followed by dinner

Bob Shepton: In a full and varied life, Bob Shepton has been a Royal Marines officer, a full time youth leader in London and Kilburn, and Chaplain to two schools. Since retiring, he has tended to leave the pulpit for the cockpit of his yacht, 'Dodo's Delight'. Through countless seasons of exploring he has become a leading expert on the waters around Greenland, winning the The Royal Cruising Club Tilman Medal twice for his exploits. His articles appear regularly in the international yachting press. Bob is a member of The Royal Cruising Club, The Ocean Cruising Club, The Alpine Club and The Arctic Club.


Saturday is Workshop Day

Workshops planned are:

  • Tracking in Outdoor Learning - Dan Puplett
  • Claim Management - Activities Industry Mutual
  • Gender Equality in the Outdoors - Cressida Allwood
  • Creating, Managing and Resourcing Inclusion -Suresh Paul / Nick March
  • Can of Worms' Adventure Therapy and the line between the two - Venture Mor
  • IOL Professional Standards - Neal Anderson
  • Choice Theory and Reality Therapy - Rich Cooke
  • Using games as an educational tool in Outdoor Learning - Wild Things
  • Ecotherapy: a game-changer for mental health and outdoor activity provision? - Earth for Life
  • Winter tree walk - Wild Things
  • Raising Attainment - Education Scotland
  • Head injuries and concussion management for outdoor workers - First Aid Co-operative
  • Brilliant Residentials - Scottish Learning Away Consortium
  • Should Outdoor Learning, adventure and pursuits have a core position in all schools' curriculum? - Andy Cloquet

Full event 5pm Friday to 4.30 Saturday (incl Keynote, dinner and B&B)
  • IOL + AHOEC Members £120 / Non members £185

Saturday only for workshops

  • IOL + AHOEC Members £70 / Non members £95


From the IOL Scotland Chair

Dear Members
I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with the committee to support the Outdoor Learning community in Scotland. Having spent many years working both in the outdoors and at sea with challenging young people I firmly believe that the outdoor environment is the best and most powerful medium for facilitating personal development.
I recently attended Wild in the Park, the first cross party outdoor parliamentary reception and was both heartened and excited to see the real political backing for Outdoor Learning that we have in Scotland. It was fantastic to meet many of you there and see the great examples of work that are going on in Scotland.
I hope going forward that the Exec committee in Scotland can support your work by providing CPD opportunities, increase access to events where we can share good practice and ideas, act as a sounding board and represent your views at a national level.
If you have any ideas for CPD that would be of benefit, any views you would like shared or have any examples good practice or learning then we would love to hear about them, please email me

I look forward to working with you all
Kind Regards
Mike Strang, IOL Scotland Chair


  • New Fair Isle marine protected area - Scotland’s Environment Secretary announces new Fair Isle marine protected area.

  • Vision 2030+ is a new Education Scotland report that sets out the vision for Learning for Sustainability in Scotland’s schools to 2030. Rob Bushby, manager of the John Muir Award, finds out what it means for Outdoor Learning. Find out more...
  • Sportscotland who oversee the current funding of the Mountain Weather Information Service (MWIS) in Scotland, are undertaking a review of the current publicly available provision of mountain weather forecast information for Scotland.  In light of trends identified in the use of these forecasts, they will be looking to establish how best to make any necessary changes and improvements.  Please take 10 -15 mins to complete the survey below and contribute to this important piece of work.

  • To download the minutes from IOL Scotland AGM 2013 (20/3/2013), Executive meeting minutes and the 2011 AGM minutes see the members only documents web page - click here

  • Scottish Government consultation on alternative to AALA

    The Scottish Government has opened its consultation to identify an appropriate replacement for the current AALA regime.  This is independent of the work currently being undertaken by the HSE working group and reporting to Westminster DWP minister Chris Grayling.  
    The Scottish Government is considering 3 options:
    Option 1.  The same voluntary code of practice based regime being developed by the HSE working group for Westminster
    Option 2.  A non-statutory and voluntary safety accreditation scheme with Government input limited to promoting and encouraging participation
    Option 3.  A statutory scheme (largely self funding) with a re-defined scope of adventurous activities
    Both options 2 & 3 would currently result in separate regimes applying in different home nations across the UK.

    IOL will formally respond to the consultation but if you wish to respond personally the link to the Scottish Government’s website is attached.  If you wish your comments to be incorporated into IOL’s response please send them to

    For more information click HERE

    CPD sessions planned for the future are... accreditation systems, games sharing, additional support needs / inclusion. Keep an eye on the website. As always, let us know if there’s anything else you’d like!

    IOL Scotland/Alba Committee - Email IOL Scotland 

    Scotland News - archive

    • Liability and Claims Defence Workshop - presented by Activities Industry Mutual. Feb 27th in Aviemore, with speakers from our supporting insurers, Scottish legal advisers and Marcus Baillie of AALS, amongst others.. For info contact Cathy Atkinson at AIM, T: 01892 888 472
    • Consultation on developing a safety system for Adventure Activities in Scotland - January 2012.
    • “Meanings, markets and magic” - 2012 Adventure Conference. 16th/17th February 2012. School of Adventure Studies, Fort William. Click HERE to link.
    • Scottish Biodiversity Week Nature Photography competition is now live. More here
    • Outdoor Pursuits Scotland 2012: the date for the next Outdoor Pursuits Scotland is 21-22 April 2012. 100 exhibit stands will be available. f you'd like to get involved and take advantage of our 10% early bird discount, please contact Gerry Carney on 0131 620 8371 or email
    • Residential Outdoor Education in Scotland is under threat. Once the residential outdoor education centres are closed due to financial challenges, they be will be closed for good.
      Associated Heads of Outdoor Education Centres [AHOEC] has produced and distributed the linked document (below) in an effort  to influence political parties manifestos, which are currently being refined, in preparation for the MSP election in May. All IOL members are encouraged to use the document to influence your local political candidates.

    • Scottish Biodiversity Week free wildflower seed packs. The packs contain  corn marigold, corn poppy, meadow buttercup, ox-eye daisy, St John's wort and  yarrow. This mix is attractive to bumblebees, honeybees and other insects and  can create a haven for wildlife. As well being ideal for a corner of the  garden, the seeds can also be sown in planters or window boxes, making them  easy for everybody to use. If you would like to order packs for  your event, simply complete a Scottish Biodiversity Week events form - you can  access this from the website  and send this to and they will post you the seeds.

    • Learning and Teaching Scotland [LTS] National Network for Outdoor Learning in the Curriculum of Excellence
      The first meeting  was held in February 2011. It was attended by 36 participants including 14 LA 's and partner organisations which support schools in their delivery of outdoor learning.These include SNH, Forestry schools, Youthlink, DofE, IOL, Play Scotland, Scottish Adviser Panel for Outdoor Education [SAPOE] The Scottish Government representatives included Gordon Currie.
      If IOL members have issues that they wish IOL to raise at a LTS meeting pleases send emails to
      The LTS notes of the meeting are here.
    • Scottish Adventure Actives Forum [SAAF]
      SAAF has launched a web site to disseminate  agendas and minutes of the meeting. If IOL members have issues that they wish IOL to raise at a SAAF meeting pleases send emails to

      SAAF open meeting was held to both inform and gain feedback from the outdoor industry in Scotland, following the abolishing of the existing legal licensing which is to be replaced by a code of practice. Minutes here

    Funding Available for Staff Training for Scottish Employers

    • Flexible Training Opportunities gives businesses with under 50 employees the opportunity to apply for up to £5,000 towards employee training costs.
    • Managed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and supported by the European Social Fund, it aims to help small businesses become more resilient and to boost productivity and success.
    • Funding is available for up to 10 employees per business and the money is not a loan so there's no need to pay it back.
    • SDS will refund 50% of the cost of up to 10 training courses with a maximum value of £500 per course. And it’s flexible, so 10 employees can do one course each or one employee can do 10 courses, with any combination in between.
    • It effectively means businesses can double their training investment. Or it might help them introduce some training when they thought it wouldn’t be possible.
    • The application process is simple and the rewards can really make a difference. Many businesses have already taken advantage of the offer.

    Click here to find out more..

    For advice on how to apply, call free on 0800 783 6000.

    Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning

    A good online resource to support teachers and others in implementing Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning.
    "Ministerial foreword: Our vision for Scotland is that our children and young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens. This is one of the national outcomes set out in the Concordat with Local Government and lies at the heart of Curriculum for Excellence."
    "I encourage everyone in the school community to study Curriculum for Excellence through Outdoor Learning and pursue the opportunities presented by Curriculum for Excellence to provide creative, sustainable and progressive opportunities for all children and young people to participate in a range of outdoor learning experiences."
    Keith Brown MSP, Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning, website at

    Scottish Conservatives call for all teenagers to be given the right to outdoor education.

    The Scottish Conservatives have called for all teenagers to be given the right to outdoor education, such as climbing, hiking, sailing and abseiling. They want pupils between the age of 11 and 15 to have access to a one-week residential course. The Tories say 53,000 youngsters a year would be eligible - and the £8.5m it would cost could come from government and private donors. Teachers' leaders said there would be a risk of accidents and legal action. Early signs suggest the scheme may win cross-party support.

    If you are in or heading to Scotland you need to know all about the...

    Vital information on Insurance for all IOL Events

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    Scotland Exec

    Chair  -  Mike Strang - Email Mike

    CPD Coordinator / Vice Chair - Myles Farnbank
    Secretary - Alan Smith
    Treasurer -  Martin Davidson
    Committee: Debbie Williams
    PDC - Myles Farnbank