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The Art of Guiding in the Great Outdoors1c3c094a-163d-4a9d-9788-1bf1385f7a10

A new approach to training for those working in the Great Outdoors will be rolled out at the Wild Scotland Conference later this month. Up to now, there hasn’t been a universal Guide Training Programme, allowing those working in this section of the industry, to showcase the skills that turn a good customer experience into a great customer experience. All that is about to change.

The Programme is aimed at anyone working in the Outdoor Industry, who aspires to deliver a quality experience when they go out with their guests, over and above the necessary technical skills that NGB qualifications and others equip guides with. Entry to the Programme is open to anyone in the industry, from those who are starting out on the technical training process, to those who wish to enhance their existing skills and attain a qualification to prove it.

The focus of the Programme is entirely on the ‘soft’ skills that make all the difference to taking guests out in the Great Outdoors. It is split into three levels. The first level highlights the importance of the guide in the industry and focuses on the core skills that enhance the technical experience. It defines the guide as ‘guide’ and not just as coach or instructor. The second level focuses in on the guiding skills appropriate to individual sectors within the Outdoor Industry, develops the ‘Customer Experience’ and ensures a consistent level of safety and legal knowledge, necessary for all guides working in the natural environment. The final level includes an assessment of the guide in their chosen industry sector and tests all the ‘soft’ skills learned from the previous levels. This is enhanced with a selection of day modules focussing on knowledge that will add value to the guides’ own experience and so enhance the enjoyment for the guests.

Successful completion of the Programme will give guides access to a Guide Register on the Wild Scotland website, highlighting their attainments and experience to all potential guests and others.

Full details of the Programme, including all day modules at Level 3 which can be taken as stand-alone CPD courses, will be given at the Conference. Dates are already in the schedule for 2016 to start the Programme and to deliver the day modules in parallel. Employers wishing to put their employees through the Programme, as well as individuals looking to enhance their own skills, will be eligible for grant aid through SDS. The Programme is also being assessed for accreditation at degree level with Edinburgh Napier University.

The industry has been waiting for this skills enhancement Programme for some time and Wild Scotland is delighted it has finally been achieved. Come along to the Conference and learn how you and your guides can prove your worth through ‘The Art of Guiding in the Great Outdoors’.

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