To lend credibility and validity to a yearlong outdoor learning course you may wish to build in some form of external accreditation. This would allow future educators and employers to more formally recognise the achievements of the young people over the duration of the course and could provide a loose framework around which to build the content.
However, this has to be off-set against ensuring that the qualification doesn’t become onerous and detract from the elements of the course that the young people feel offer the greatest benefits (e.g. reduction in written work, being outside etc). In addition, the qualification level needs careful consideration to ensure that it is accessible by those on the course.
Nationally recognised Qualifications include Gateway.
All the vocational qualifications on the Ofqual Regulated Framework (previously the Qualification Credit Framework or QCF) are recognised by government as formal qualifications and have value in terms of securing Further Education (FE) places. Qualifications funded by the Skills Funding Agency can be found on their hub. Other added value can be achieved through independent certifications such as:
If you do wish to offer more vocational qualifications, a good place to start is your existing school awarding body. You may, however, need to register with additional awarding bodies to find qualifications that suit your learners. Many Awarding Bodies have their own local qualifications and units that are not on the Ofqual Framework such as NCFE’s Bushcraft Award, but you have to use a registered provider (or register yourself).