Leading Practitioner of IOL (LPIOL)
 | Search
Leading Practitioner of the IOL (LPIOL)

Are you a leader in the wider field of outdoor learning and champion of good practice and innovation?

LPIOL Accreditation

Leading Practitioners of the Institute for Outdoor Learning are established APIOL holders with a depth of experience and evidence of influencing the wider field of Outdoor Learning beyond their
workplace or specialist interest area.

Typically, a Leading Practitioner has been involved in delivering Outdoor Learning for 10 years or more and is likely to have the role of senior instructor, tutor, teacher, lecturer, youth worker, trainer, facilitator, head of OE, deputy / centre manager, etc.

For practitioners accreditation provides:

  • Formal designation and credibility as an Outdoor Learning professional
  • Continuing professional development (CPD) that enhances your practice
  • Recognition of how you uniquely combine and apply your range of experience, skills, knowledge, qualifications and awards

Benefits of IOL accreditation to employers

  • Recognition of experience against national criteria
  • Demonstrates staff have an professional approach to providing outdoor learning
  • Shows a commitment to standards in Outdoor Learning
  • Enhances and supports career progression of your staff
  • Promotes the experience and expertise of your organisation and staff

LPIOL Mindset

A Leading Practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning can be described by the attitude and approach they take to their role in Outdoor Learning. They will be an experienced APIOL holder who is active in the wider outdoor sector.

Some typical descriptions are:

  • Operating with a medium to long term future focus
  • Anticipating and shaping the future, scoping, creating new initiatives
  • Influencing people who may have different and complex agendas
  • Engaging in regular and effective reflective practice
  • A catalyst, enabler, someone who gives to the wider field
  • Meets the LPIOL criteria in their practice

LPIOL Criteria

APIOL holders deliver good practice and influence those they work with every day. Leading practitioners also look for opportunities to reach out beyond the people they work with every day, into the region or across the sector in some way. The four LPIOL criteria ask for evidence of how practitioners disseminate and share knowledge and good practice widely and create lasting change.

Download the LPIOL Criteria.

  INNOVATION - extending what is known about outdoor learning, and/or an area of best practice, and making this knowledge and expertise available to the outdoor sector

REFLECTION - showing how personal, outdoor and societal values and ethical principles are demonstrated in your practice, and building reflective practice in others

  DEVELOPMENT – contributing to developing high quality practice in and beyond your workplace, and helping other practitioners to develop their practice

SHAPING and CREATING – bringing people together, building bridges, brokering, managing conflicting interests and mobilising people to move the outdoor learning field forward

LPIOL applicants may be employed by an organisation, work freelance or as a sole trader, or be volunteer. Their experience must involve having a positive regional influence, but it is not dependent on holding a management role within an organisation or on working in a specific sector of outdoor learning.

Most LPIOL holders are likely to have been in the outdoor learning sector for at least 10 years and will usually have been working at LPIOL level for 3 years or more.

The LPIOL Accreditation Process

  Personal Development and Self -assessment



Registration and  acceptance



LPIOL Coaching

Prepare Application

   Review   Board 

Accreditation Interview

  • lOL Leadership Workshop (recommended) £200 for APIOL Members, £250 for IOL Members, £250 for AHOEC Members or £375 for non IOL Members
  • LPIOL  application with approved prior experience- £250
  • LPIOL application including IOL Leadership Workshop - £450

Next Steps

Download the full LPIOL Information Pack

Definition of terms

LPIOL Logo use

Current members of IOL who are LPIOL award holders can highlight their LPIOL status with a special LPIOL logo. 
Contact Fiona at IOL to request yours.
Meet some LPIOL Holders

  • We'd like to introduce you to just some of the people who have achieved Leading Practitioner with IOL. The profiles are personal rather than professional and give an insight into the kind of people who are successfully completing their professional development processes through IOL. Click here

Prof Accreditation Map

ProfAccred member map