Activity leadership/Outdoor programmes apprenticeship

Activity leadership/Outdoor programmes apprenticeship

The UK outdoors sector is vibrant, exciting and growing. It is particularly suited to those with a passion and enthusiasm for working with people and in the outdoors.

Although gusto for adventurous activities is a must, you should remember that ‘activity leadership’ is actually about leading people in various activities. Activity leaders work with all types of people, from holiday-makers looking to enjoy their leisure time to disadvantaged young people in need of positive experiences.

The Intermediate Level apprenticeship in Activity Leadership has four pathways.

  • Outdoors – On the Outdoors pathway you could work in outdoor recreation, adventure tourism, or education and training. Your job may involve preparing and leading all manner of outdoor activity sessions in a safe, engaging and inclusive manner to suit a range of participants. You may be responsible for maintenance and care of equipment, explaining safety procedures and instructing in specialist areas such as canoeing, sailing or abseiling.
  • Exercise and Fitness – On the Exercise and Fitness pathway you are most likely to work as a fitness instructor or activity leader, preparing, planning and delivering exercise/activity sessions for a range of clients.
  • Coaching – Coaches play a major part in helping develop elite performance in sports and fitness across a wide range of settings such as schools, youth clubs, leisure centres and sports clubs. The Coaching pathway would prepare you for a career coaching community sports such as judo, gymnastics, tennis, rugby, and many more.
  • Leadership – On the Leadership pathway you might work as an activity leader in community or school settings, preparing, planning and delivering activity sessions.

Whichever pathway you choose to follow, you’ll need to have a confident, outgoing personality, a good level of fitness, a clear voice to issue instructions and the maturity to take charge of people’s health and safety. You might need to undergo police checks if your job involves working with vulnerable adults and children.

Outdoor Programmes

On the Advanced Level apprenticeship in Outdoor Programmes you will work in a more senior capacity, in roles where you will be required to take the lead on a specific activity or supervising a specific team, including taking responsibility for people, financial resources and logistical implications. You may work with more demanding groups – such as corporate teams or the socially disengaged – in more hazardous activities and more remote environments.


Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3)

Starting salary (once qualified):

Not available

Job roles:

Activity leader, Outdoor instructor, Fitness instructor, Community sports coach, Group leader, Senior instructor, Project leader

Issuing Authority:

SkillsActive –

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