The Countryside Leader Award (CLA) is for adults who wish to lead walks and camping expeditions in non-remote, lowland countryside. Many types of walk and camping trip fall within the scope of the CLA. If you would like to use it for DofE expeditions, the scope corresponds with the recommended bronze and silver expedition terrain.
CLA entry requirements recognise the prior experience of those who register with the CLA, and the course is designed with this in mind. A current First Aid certificate is required for your CLA certificate to be valid.
The prerequisites for registration are as follows:
Before attending a training course you must register with the CLA on their website.
The minimum age for registration is 18. To attend a training course you must either:
- Be a Qualified Teacher or
- Hold a Level 3 Diploma (or higher) in Youth Work or
- Have at least 10 days’ and 5 nights’ experience of leading, or assisting with the leadership of, walking and camping groups
You must also have prior personal experience of:
- Camping (5 nights) and Walking in the countryside, navigating on clear paths (5 days). Navigation to NNAS bronze level is a good benchmark.
Our training course runs over 3 days, and includes a camping expedition.
- Day 1 – Introduction Day (partly classroom-based and partly outdoors)
- Day 2 & 3 – Camping weekend (this is a lightweight, self-sufficient expedition)
The priority is to cover skills specific to expedition leadership but please bear in mind that the course cannot cover every aspect of every part of the syllabus. Candidates must ensure they gain sufficient experience and knowledge before attending an assessment (and in general before leading groups).
At the end of your training course we will give you a consolidation plan, which outlines areas on which to focus and the minimum experience you need to gain before attending an assessment. Typically the requirement is for candidates to lead or assist with three walking and camping expeditions, where assisting means active involvement in planning, delivery and leadership.
If the Training Course Director feels a candidate is exceptionally strong they may reduce this. For candidates with only the minimum prerequisites further experience may be required, along with other specific recommendations.
Our assessment course runs over 3 days, and includes a camping expedition. Assessment takes the form of a two-night lightweight and self-sufficient camping expedition. You should bring your logbook with you, containing:
- Endorsement Page with Training Course sticker
- Personal Walking and Camping Logbook Pages
- Leading Walking/Camping Groups Logbook Pages
- Training Course Report
- Consolidation Plan
- Completed Personal Reference
- Valid First Aid Certificate