Walking leader qualifications

What qualifications would a member of staff need to take a small group of Cadets out walking in the local countryside to practice map and compass? Two or three hours maybe, not a full on expedition.

Assuming your local countryside isn’t going to bite you, contain rocky bits, edge bits or upland expanses of nothingness, then you’ll need a Lowland Leader Award which is now looks to be the default qual for this activity.

Sport Leaders UKs Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership are still available through some Wgs (or privately). I think the Level 3 Qualification in Lowland Walk Leadership is still available (although can’t remember if RAFAC recognise it). There are a few other weird and wacky quals available (Coastal Walk leader) plus “higher level” awards - Hill & Moorland Leader or Mountain Leader.

But I would look towards the LLA qualification. Details here: https://www.mountain-training.org/qualifications/walking/lowland-leader

If you can’t do/get it yourself, then you might be able to borrow the appropriate qualified staff member to enable you to deliver the activity - either outright borrow, or to support you in gaining your qualifications long term.

You may want to see if you have a local NNAS tutor - it will enhance the experience and give them an additional qualification for their day out.

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I am going to take the closest or most similar qualification that I can locally. The local terrain is a little rocky but not expansive. You get good access to “moor like” terrain without being very far away from emergency road access

Most regions (except the North, who appear to be stoically continuing with the BEL course) now have local MTUK Lowland Leader course directors who should be offering courses Regionally.

Course directors have a minimum required delivery (set by Mountain Training) so there should be courses about (and they are likely to be significantly cheaper than an external course)

You need 10 days lowland walking before applying to attend a weekend of training. Then you go away, consolidate and gain a further 10 days in the lowland environment before returning for a 2 day assessment. One you pass your assessment you can then register to complete your expedition skills module which is a weekend training/assessment and allows you to supervise overnight expeditions.

If you look on the ‘find a course’ section of the Mountain Training website @Batfink linked to above, you’ll see a few courses listed with the provider being ‘RAF College Cranwell (HQAC)’ or similar - these are all air cadet courses and you can apply to attend any of them.

Are these qualifications necessary for a “day trip”? We won’t be camping anywhere, just walking a two hour circuit from the Squadron around the local countryside and back. There’s an organisation in my county called “Cornwall Outdoors” and they seem to think that a Coastal and countryside award will suffice for the exercise I have in mind. I just want to make sure though.

This is still Adventure Training and as such requires an NGB walking qualification.

Ah that’s a shame, I was hoping one of the courses I mentioned above would do the job. I don’t mind paying for it but I’m a little pressed for time and it’s a two day course.

I do wonder, without getting all Teflon-like, how my old Sqn managed 20 years of accident free walking in the Cotswolds while no one held an NGB - it’s almost as if it’s something that any adult with the ability to manage shoelaces and get past Roger Red Hat can do…


It’s a mystery …

I think I’ll just email the Wing AT officer when I’m back at the Squadron. I haven’t actually gained my CI appointment yet, it’s just potentially in the pipework. Hoping to get a few things done beforehand to make myself as useful as possible.

A ‘Coastal and Countryside Leader Award’ is a valid and recognised award within the RAFAC; it’s part of the The South West Mountain & Moorland Leader Training Scheme. However it’s still a 2 day training, consolidation period and then a 2 day assessment.

It also limits you to the SW region which could be a pain if you decide to later go further afield. Having done a little more reading, the experience requirement are are broadly similar to the Lowland Leader (the award does seem to include camping however, so it might save you two days compared to the Lowland Leader scheme).

Ah brilliant! I will not be venturing further afield myself, I just want to offer in house basic adventure training on the Squadron to encourage the Cadets to participate in Wing adventure training etc. The Squadron is in a little bit of a slump and I think that would be a good way of reviving things a little (without trying to be one those annoying white knight crusader types who come flying in with useless attention seeking gimics).

Or how the ACF do it without requiring any of that nonsense.

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If you have any 16+ cadets, start getting them involved in the pipeline. They can start accruing days and go straight to training and assessment when they are 17 (albeit, they won’t be able to utilize the qual within RAFAC until they are 18!).

Get a friendly local BEL, LLA or higher involved - do some shadowing and support work to help build experiences and inspire confidence in their own skills and knowledge. If you can get a small cohort of you to go through the pain together, it really helps keep things moving forwards, particularly if you’ve got a good solid mentor supporting you.

Don’t forget to allocate a weekend for a suitable first aid ticket.

It’s a short term pain though - once you’ve got the quals, it’s invaluable in delivering a whole host of activities over a much longer term.

As well as RAFAC course, it’s worth contacting your local DofE network and private providers as many of them also offer courses - sometimes more flexibility than RAFAC course - https://www.dofe.org/notice-boards. It may cost a smidge more (or a lot in some cases), but your Sqn CivCom may be willing to contribute. Or the RAFAC Bursary thing (depending on your age!).

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For lowland terrain only… walking. Would be interesting to see how the ACF evidenced the competence of the instructor / leader when something went wrong and all they’d done was their initial course and some personal walking. The first thing somone would do is compare the syllabi of the two awards and see what is not in the ACF basic course.

Social proof heuristic trap.

LLA is the way forward, it enables you to do so many things. Especially if you get an NNAS you can deliver some worth while courses too.

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Indeed - especially 2 years after this event where somebody “assumed” mountains are “normal conditions”… :thinking:

I’d forgotten about that particular great example…!

Perhaps because millions manage to go walking on footpaths in the local area without needing fancy quals? Expeditions are a bit different and some kind of experience or quals are expected.

All our instructors are taught navigation to a minimum of NNAS bronze level (but not necessarily officially awarded the qual) and first aid before attending their AIC. I’m not sure what else you would require?