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Trainee Instructors & Modern Apprenticeships (MAs)

With a Modern Apprenticeship you learn on the job, and get the experience you need. Plus, you work towards a qualification.

Photo taken by Anthony MacMillan photography

MA level 3 'Outdoor Education'


A work based vocational course designed to consolidate candidate’s outdoor experience and equip them for the role of coach/instructor in the outdoor activity industry in Scotland. Includes:

Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 3: Outdoor Education

2 years work experience;

2 coach/leader/instructor awards typically taken from the following list: Summer Mountain Leader award; Single Pitch Award, Climbing Wall Award; Mountain Bike leader Level 2; BCU level 1 coach, D1 endorsement on driving licence, RYA Dinghy Instructor, BASI Alpine level 1 Instructor, RYA Day Skipper, RYA Powerboat safety boat endorsement.

Mark MacKenzie completed MA level 3 in November 2017. Mark achieved: SVQ level 3 Outdoor Education; UKCC BCU level 1 coach and SCA paddle-ability foundation award; Archery GB Instructor; Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership award; Silver Velotech bike maintenance certificate; RYA Seamanship Skills & RYA Safety Boat certificates.


Mark what have you learned/gained from the MA?

‘Loads! How the industry works, what I am good at as an instructor, not just my personal skills in the activity.'

What are the benefits of combining working in the industry whilst studying?

'I ain't just someone with qualifications but also experience'

What are your plans for the future? How will you be able to use the skills gained in the MA?

'Hopefully by helping kids with difficult backgrounds through the outdoors'

MA level 2 'Activity Leadership'


A work based vocational course designed to introduce candidates to the role of the instructor in the outdoor activity industry in Scotland. Includes:

Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 2: Activity Leadership.

7 months work experience; BASP 2 day 1st aid certificate

Personal skill certificates in: BCU paddle sports, RYA Dinghy sailing.

Logged experience of: Mountain days, climbs, mountain bike days, snowsports.

Knowledge of: Personal protective clothing & equipment; navigation; weather; Health & safety & incident procedure

Ross Laurie completed MA Level 2 March 2018. Ross achieved: SVQ level 2 Activity Leadership; BASP Outdoor Emergency 1st Aid certificate; Summer Mountain Leadership Training; Archery GB Instructor; Salomon rental technician certificate as well as personal skills in paddle sports, climbing, sailing and skiing. Ross has progressed to MA level 3 Outdoor Education.


Ross why did you decide to take up this MA opportunity? ‘Love the outdoors. This job lets me do the activities I enjoy. Because its a Christian place I can also grow in my faith.'

What have you learned/gained from the MA? ‘Life skills. People skills. Communication skills.'

What are the benefits of combining working in the industry whilst studying? 'Good balance of 'study' and 'work' keeps it fresh.'

Would you recommend an MA to another young person? 'Yes because its fun and you learn a lot and grow as a person with your experiences.'

MA level 3 'Outdoor Education'

"Glencoe Outdoor Centre is a beautiful and homely venue hidden away in the middle of the awesome landscape of the Scottish Highlands. It will quickly feel like home and the views never become less spectacular.

The more you get involved in the outdoor Industry, the more you realise that it includes much more than just being an exciting group leader that delivers fun activities. You have to spend time planning, preparing paperwork and reviewing sessions. The MA is a helpful structure to guide you through the process of understanding and practically using some of the "behind the scenes" skills that come with being involved in the outdoor industry." Nathan Low January 2017


Nathan completed MA level 3 in May 2014. Nathan achieved: SVQ level 3 Outdoor Education; Summer Mountain Leader award; Single Pitch award; Trail Cycle Leader; UKCC BCU level 1 coach.

For further details about these opportunities contact

What are the benefits of an MA?

To the apprentice?

You will receive coaching experience and NGB qualifications while you work.

To the employer?

Funding, assistance in recruiting trainees, structure, development of your existing instructors and staff retention.

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