A question I get asked a lot in the outdoor industry is what qualifications do you need to do the job. At this point I sigh… Anybody who has worked in the industry will know this is not an easy question to answer. The huge array of outdoor activities being offered in the world with each country’s qualifications being different and every activity having multiple levels of competence means for the lay person this is a bewildering conversation. I normally go for the short answer at this point. Why do we need to know, I here you ask. Well, as a consumer we try to make the best decisions with the information we have. For instance we choose to go to restaurants where others have recommended or watch films with good reviews. When children go to school, parents know the teachers have a degree and a professional teaching qualification to be able to teach there children. When we go to hospital we are safe in the knowledge that the doctor has trained for many years and passed countless assessments before treating you. In the outdoor industry we have many national governing bodies and charter groups which provide training, assessments and information on current best practice to ensure outdoor instructors have the necessary skills to keep people safe. It is important to understand it is not the law, many people operate without the necessary qualification but do an excellent job because of there vast amounts of experience. There are also some companies out there who have neither the experience or qualifications but still take people into the outdoors.
This is where you as the consumer comes in. Don’t take it for granted that the company you spend your money with are qualified, insured or are the best. Remember anyone can make a good website. My advice is do your research. Whatever activity you go for ask to see there insurance paper including public liability. Any good company will happily provide you with this. Some even have a download available on their website. Look for reliable reviews from friends, other people in the industry or good review websites.
They provide training and assessment courses in walking, climbing and mountaineering activities. Freeborn Climbing staff hold the Mountain Instructor Award. This is the highest UK rock climbing and summer mountaineering award. Check out the video to learn more about the MIA.