Tel: 01855 811350


Contact Us:

​​Carnoch House, Glencoe, Argyll, PH49 4HS, Scotland.

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Trainee Instructor & Modern Apprenticeship (MA)

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; Rock climbing Instructor Award, Climbing Wall Instructor Award; Mountain Bike leader Level 2; BC Paddlesports Instructor Award, 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'

Duncan what have you learned/gained from the MA?

‘More confidence in working with groups and leadership skills'.

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

'Its a lot easier because most of the evidence you need to get you're doing anyway'

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

'Going to university, will be able to use a lot of the leadership skills I've gained and some of the qualifications for (volunteering on) SU camps'

Would you recommend an MA to another young person?

‘Yes because its an easy way to get qualified while just doing your job.'

Duncan MacDonald August 2019


Duncan completed MA level 2 in August 2019. Duncan achieved: SVQ level 2 Activity Leadership; Velotech Silver mountain bike maintenance certificate; GNAS Archery Instructor; BASP Outdoor Emergency 1st Aid; Sports Scotland Safeguarding certificate; BC Foundation Safety Rescue Training; RYA Competent Crew; RYA dinghy level 2.

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.

MA level 3 'Outdoor Education'

"I started the MA level 3 as a natural progression from the MA level 2 which I completed March 2017. I have learned how to deal with people, work loads, timings and organisation. l had good support when needed." Ross Laurie August 2019


Ross Laurie completed MA level 3 in August 2019. Ross achieved: SVQ level 3 Outdoor Education; RYA Day Skipper Practical & Theory certificates; RYA Safety Boat certificate; RYA dinghy Seamanship skills certificate; BC Paddle sports Instructor Award (PIA); Summer Mountain Leader training; Rock Climbing Instructor training; Level 2 mountain bike leader training.

To apply: Please email with your CV including date of birth, qualifications, hobbies or interests and a photo.

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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