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Why Join?

We support individuals and organisations who use the outdoors to make a difference for others. Our mission is to increase participation in outdoor learning and to recognise and improve its quality in the UK.

Join us and support your profession for your:

  • Voice
  • Community
  • Professional Development
  • Guidance
  • and negotiated Deals & Discounts.
Please note we expect all members to adhere to our Code of Conduct (below)

                                                 Join Now 

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Member Benefits

IOL supports individuals and organisations who use the outdoors to make a difference for others. Does this resonate for your practise? Join now

Individual members get:


Organisational members get:

  • FREE job adverts
  • FREE course / events web listings
  • Horizons magazine quarterly delivered to your door - up to 5 copies depending on the size of organisation
  • E-newsletters and updates to stay in touch with the community and wider industry
  • Industry updates
  • Regional and National network and events
  • Discounted places on IOL events for staff team
  • Access to the IOL Accredited Course Scheme
  • Discounted advertising and exhibitor rates
  • Access to good practise guidance and consultancy
  • Inclusion on the Member Map for Organisational Members
  • Access to Members Online Forums

  IOL Policies and Good Practice

One of the missions of the Institute for Outdoor Learning is to recognise and improve the quality of outdoor learning in the UK. We do this by working in collaboration and sometimes partnership with many organisations involved in the professional development of our members and the provision of outdoor learning.

IOL will continue to only make Good Practice Statements where it is deemed beneficial to the sector as a whole, is something that is supported by and supportive of our members, and no other relevant guidance exists.

IOL Policies
  IOL Good Practice Statements

The IOL Policy Documents

  • Code of Conduct
  • Environmental Sustainability Policy
  • Managing Diversity Policy
  • Statement of Purpose
Are all contained within this PDF

Outdoor First Aid Training 

Foundational Bushcraft Competency Certificate (FBCC)

Bushcraft Competency Certificate FBC

    More details on these key membership benefits.....

    Sign Up Now

    Professional Accreditation
    IOL has developed a range of Professional Accreditations for practitioners at different stages of their work in the outdoors.
    • Registered Practitioner (RPIOL) - IOL's entry level accreditation; for people who have consolidated experience of facilitating outdoor learning sessions but who are not yet working in "challenging environments".
    • Accredited Practitioner (APIOL) – IOL's accreditation for practitioners who have consolidated experience of leading outdoor learning in challenging environments.
    • Leading Practitioner (LPIOL) – Leading Practitioner (LPIOL) – the accreditation to aspire to after your APIOL. This is for people who are making a significant contribution to outdoor learning at regional level.
    • Fellow (FIOL) - IOL's highest award - Fellow recognises people’s significant, strategic and extensive service to the outdoor sector, which has resulted in an outstanding contribution at national level.

    Click here to view the Professional Accreditation page.

    Essential Insurance
    Insurance: Essential Insurance for those who run outdoor activities

    JLT Adventure Activity Insurance Website - Click here.

    As the recommended Insurance Broker of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL), JLT insurance schemes have been specially designed for individuals, partnerships and companies with a turnover less than £100,000.

    Cover can include:

    • Employees Liability
    • Public Liability
    • Products Liability
    • Professional Indemnity including Errors and Omissions

    We can also provide cover for companies with a turnover in excess of £100,000.

    Members of the Institute for Outdoor Learning can take advantage of excellent insurance cover at very competitive rates.

    For further information and to access the exclusive rates, call us now on
    01452 511 430 quoting IOL05.

    Insurance Cover for Field Studies/Environmental Freelance Instructors who are IOL Members

    INSURANCE for FIELD/ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY FREELANCE INSTRUCTORS
    This new shceme means that a freelance instructor, just doing Field Studies/Environmental Studies, can expect to pay just £147 inc IPT (depending on satisfactory completion on the proposal form) if they are a member of IOL.
    If this relates to you and you require cover or a quote, then please call JLT on:
    01452 511 430
    Please note: If you are trading under a company name, you are required to be an IOL Organisation member.

    JLT Adventure Activity Insurance Website - Click here
    • Jardine Lloyd Thompson Leisure are a division of JLT Corporate Risks Limited. Lloyd's Broker. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority. A member of the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group.
      Registered Office: 6 Crutched Friars, London EC3N 2PH.
      Registered in England No 00338645. VAT No. 244 2321 96
      Outdoor Learning Services Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of JLT Corporate Risks Ltd
    Insurance is also provided by Activities Industry Mutual
    • Activities Industry Mutual has been established for the industry, by the industry, following industry-wide research of AALA licensed adventure activities providers. AIM is managed by Regis Mutual Management Limited, a company of professional managers who specialise in running mutuals.
    • www.activitiesindustrymutual.co.uk
    Free Course Listings
    A course listing on the website is FREE to IOL Organisation Members. For all the details see the Courses and Events web pages.
    Free Job Adverts
    FREE Job Adverts are available to IOL Organisation Members. These pages get over 600,000 hits per year. The IOL Job Adverts are the ideal window to recruit your team.

    "...the response has been excellent both in volume and quality of applications which to me says a lot of positive things about your organisation and website."
    (Comment from a member after placing their job advert)

    For all the details see the Job advert web pages.

    Confidential Legal Advice Service
    IOL has teamed up with specialists at leading law firm, Hill Dickinson LLP to launch a confidential legal advice service for the benefit of IOL members.

    The service includes consideration of the issue by staff at Hill Dickinson at no cost for the first 30 minutes and also discounted attendance at Hill Dickinson’s annual “Outdoor Activity and Adventure Travel - Legal Issues” seminar held at the start of March each year - which addresses many aspects of setting up and running an Outdoor Activity or Adventure Travel business - from company legal structure, terms and conditions to incident response, legal liability, insurance, Coroner’s inquests and a mock trial.

    The service allows IOL members to access the services of this prestigious law firm, which has recognised expertise in providing legal advice and services to  Outdoor activity and adventure travel companies - including some of the most well known names in the field. The team includes members actively involved with outdoor activities and training, including for the overseas sector - and expeditioners who regularly lecture to industry bodies and outdoor and adventure travel practitioners.

    Whatever your area of operation, all corporate and individual IOL members, at some time, are likely to have requirements for advice on issues such as:

    • Company formation/sale
    • Corporate finance
    • Property purchase/sale
    • Terms and Conditions
    • Intellectual Property (Trademarks etc)
    • Contracts
    • Debt recovery
    • Employment
    • Responding to Health and Safety Prosecutions
    • Defamation
    • Data Protection
    • Crisis response
    • Management buyouts of Outdoor activity centres ....and a whole range of other issues.

    Whilst Hill Dickinson does act for many insurers, this scheme does not include advice in relation to fatalities or personal injury claims where you should notify your insurer immediately the incident occurs, in accordance with your insurance policy.

    About Hill Dickinson:

    Hill Dickinson’s travel and leisure team provides a full service (including many niche and specialist sectors), with a genuine ‘one stop shop’ for all our clients’ legal requirements. We offer a high-quality combination of client service excellence, technical excellence, pragmatic advice and support. Our team of specialist lawyers are experts in their individual fields, many ranked as ‘Leaders in their field’ by the Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2009.

    Having acted on behalf of the owners of the Titanic and Lusitania in the aftermaths of those disasters, our team’s pedigree and history goes back a long way, as does our robust reputation and experience. Indeed, the firm celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2010.

    As an international law firm, we have agents on all continents and wide ranging linguistic skills among our staff; facilities which are often called upon to assist clients liaising with service providers and insurers overseas. We act for clients from all our offices in Liverpool, Manchester, London, Chester, Piraeus and Singapore.

    For further information regarding the services offered by the firm, including events details and (free) subscriptions to legal newsletters/updates on a wide variety of subject, see this website

    Free Health & Safety Advice
    IOL members have access Health and Safety advice as part of their member services.
    Special Interest Groups
    IOL members can become part of Special Interest Groups as part of their membership. These groups give access to news and events and courses specifically for their field of interest. Current groups are:
    News & Updates
    IOL Members receive monthly news sheets and quarterly newsletters by email.
    Deals & Discounts

    Exclusively for IOL Members

    Save money through your membership! We have negotiated deals and discounts with a range of suppliers, including Liability Cover, Equipment, Publications, Software, Training, Clothing and more. 

    CLICK HERE for the Deals & Discounts list you will need to be logged in to access this information.


    A short YouTube film about the Institute for Outdoor Learning, with photographs from the exciting, challenging and rewarding world of outdoor learning.



    Professional Accreditation
    IOL has developed a range of Professional Accreditations for practitioners at different stages of their work in the outdoors.
    • Registered Practitioner (RPIOL) - IOL's entry level accreditation; for people who have consolidated experience of facilitating outdoor learning sessions but who are not yet working in "challenging environments".
    • Accredited Practitioner (APIOL) – IOL's accreditation for practitioners who have consolidated experience of leading outdoor learning in challenging environments.
    • Leading Practitioner (LPIOL) – Leading Practitioner (LPIOL) – the accreditation to aspire to after your APIOL. This is for people who are making a significant contribution to outdoor learning at regional level.
    • Fellow (FIOL) - IOL's highest award - Fellow recognises people’s significant, strategic and extensive service to the outdoor sector, which has resulted in an outstanding contribution at national level.

    Click here to view the Professional Accreditation page.

    Essential Insurance
    Insurance: Essential Insurance for those who run outdoor activities

    JLT Adventure Activity Insurance Website - Click here.

    As the recommended Insurance Broker of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IOL), JLT insurance schemes have been specially designed for individuals, partnerships and companies with a turnover less than £100,000.

    Cover can include:

    • Employees Liability
    • Public Liability
    • Products Liability
    • Professional Indemnity including Errors and Omissions

    We can also provide cover for companies with a turnover in excess of £100,000.

    Members of the Institute for Outdoor Learning can take advantage of excellent insurance cover at very competitive rates.

    For further information and to access the exclusive rates, call us now on
    01452 511 430 quoting IOL05.

    Insurance Cover for Field Studies/Environmental Freelance Instructors who are IOL Members

    INSURANCE for FIELD/ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY FREELANCE INSTRUCTORS
    This new shceme means that a freelance instructor, just doing Field Studies/Environmental Studies, can expect to pay just £147 inc IPT (depending on satisfactory completion on the proposal form) if they are a member of IOL.
    If this relates to you and you require cover or a quote, then please call JLT on:
    01452 511 430
    Please note: If you are trading under a company name, you are required to be an IOL Organisation member.

    JLT Adventure Activity Insurance Website - Click here
    • Jardine Lloyd Thompson Leisure are a division of JLT Corporate Risks Limited. Lloyd's Broker. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority. A member of the Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group.
      Registered Office: 6 Crutched Friars, London EC3N 2PH.
      Registered in England No 00338645. VAT No. 244 2321 96
      Outdoor Learning Services Ltd is an Introducer Appointed Representative of JLT Corporate Risks Ltd
    Insurance is also provided by Activities Industry Mutual
    • Activities Industry Mutual has been established for the industry, by the industry, following industry-wide research of AALA licensed adventure activities providers. AIM is managed by Regis Mutual Management Limited, a company of professional managers who specialise in running mutuals.
    • www.activitiesindustrymutual.co.uk
    Free Course Listings
    A course listing on the website is FREE to IOL Organisation Members. For all the details see the Courses and Events web pages.
    Free Job Adverts
    FREE Job Adverts are available to IOL Organisation Members. These pages get over 600,000 hits per year. The IOL Job Adverts are the ideal window to recruit your team.

    "...the response has been excellent both in volume and quality of applications which to me says a lot of positive things about your organisation and website."
    (Comment from a member after placing their job advert)

    For all the details see the Job advert web pages.

    Confidential Legal Advice Service
    IOL has teamed up with specialists at leading law firm, Hill Dickinson LLP to launch a confidential legal advice service for the benefit of IOL members.

    The service includes consideration of the issue by staff at Hill Dickinson at no cost for the first 30 minutes and also discounted attendance at Hill Dickinson’s annual “Outdoor Activity and Adventure Travel - Legal Issues” seminar held at the start of March each year - which addresses many aspects of setting up and running an Outdoor Activity or Adventure Travel business - from company legal structure, terms and conditions to incident response, legal liability, insurance, Coroner’s inquests and a mock trial.

    The service allows IOL members to access the services of this prestigious law firm, which has recognised expertise in providing legal advice and services to  Outdoor activity and adventure travel companies - including some of the most well known names in the field. The team includes members actively involved with outdoor activities and training, including for the overseas sector - and expeditioners who regularly lecture to industry bodies and outdoor and adventure travel practitioners.

    Whatever your area of operation, all corporate and individual IOL members, at some time, are likely to have requirements for advice on issues such as:

    • Company formation/sale
    • Corporate finance
    • Property purchase/sale
    • Terms and Conditions
    • Intellectual Property (Trademarks etc)
    • Contracts
    • Debt recovery
    • Employment
    • Responding to Health and Safety Prosecutions
    • Defamation
    • Data Protection
    • Crisis response
    • Management buyouts of Outdoor activity centres ....and a whole range of other issues.

    Whilst Hill Dickinson does act for many insurers, this scheme does not include advice in relation to fatalities or personal injury claims where you should notify your insurer immediately the incident occurs, in accordance with your insurance policy.

    About Hill Dickinson:

    Hill Dickinson’s travel and leisure team provides a full service (including many niche and specialist sectors), with a genuine ‘one stop shop’ for all our clients’ legal requirements. We offer a high-quality combination of client service excellence, technical excellence, pragmatic advice and support. Our team of specialist lawyers are experts in their individual fields, many ranked as ‘Leaders in their field’ by the Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2009.

    Having acted on behalf of the owners of the Titanic and Lusitania in the aftermaths of those disasters, our team’s pedigree and history goes back a long way, as does our robust reputation and experience. Indeed, the firm celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2010.

    As an international law firm, we have agents on all continents and wide ranging linguistic skills among our staff; facilities which are often called upon to assist clients liaising with service providers and insurers overseas. We act for clients from all our offices in Liverpool, Manchester, London, Chester, Piraeus and Singapore.

    For further information regarding the services offered by the firm, including events details and (free) subscriptions to legal newsletters/updates on a wide variety of subject, see this website

    Free Health & Safety Advice
    IOL members have access Health and Safety advice as part of their member services.
    Special Interest Groups
    IOL members can become part of Special Interest Groups as part of their membership. These groups give access to news and events and courses specifically for their field of interest. Current groups are:
    News & Updates
    IOL Members receive monthly news sheets and quarterly newsletters by email.