The Countryside Leader Award (CLA) is for people who have experience with working with young people and of the outdoors, who wish to lead walks and camping expeditions in non-remote, lowland countryside. This corresponds with the recommended Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Bronze and Silver Expedition terrain.

Pre-course requirements or PGCE student  deferral process
If you are on a PGCE course you do not need to have any prior knowledge or experience as you can gain this over the year while you gain your teaching certificate. This means that your CLA training is pending your teaching qualification, once you have received it your training is confirmed.

For any one else some prior knowledge of camping and navigation is required. To attend a training course you must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a Level Three Diploma or above in Youth Work
  • or
  • Have at least ten days and five nights’ experience of leading, or assisting with the leadership of walking and camping groups
  • plus
  • Personal experience of five nights’ camping and five days’ walking in the countryside, navigating on clear paths.

You should be able to navigate to roughly NNAS Bronze standard before you join a training course. Those without leadership experience might find that Sports Leaders UK Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership (BEL) is a more suitable Award.

Leadership of walking expeditions in normal rural, open countryside or forest ie recommended DofE Bronze and Silver Expedition terrain and conditions

The training course runs over 3 days and includes a camping expedition. We run this as a college based evening class followed by a full weekend of training based on location.( Friday evening to Sunday afternoon)The priority is to cover skills specific to expedition leadership that might be difficult to learn outside a training course. Please bear in mind that the course cannot cover every aspect of every part of the syllabus. Candidates should ensure that they develop sufficient skill and knowledge before attending an assessment and, in general, before leading expeditions

At the end of your Training Course your tutor will give you a consolidation plan which will outline areas on which to focus and the experience you need to gain before assessment.

Assessment takes the form of a 2-night lightweight camping expedition. You will be sent a home examination paper in advance. A current First Aid certificate is required for the award to be valid.

Course Dates:

Monday 16th October 6pm to 9pm
Location: The Faculty of Education, Cambridge

Friday 6pm – Sunday 4pm
November 10th – Sunday 13th
Location: Ickwell Green, Bedfordshire

Cost: £210 plus £35 registration to Countryside Leader’s.

Booking Form: Download

Transport to Ickwell in Bedfordshire is also easy via train and bus to Bedford and then bus to Ickwell.

Fantastic course. I look forward to working with Joy again.


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