Are you passionate about the outdoors and sustainability? Do you want to learn how to facilitate outdoor experiences that inspire people to live sustainably - and encourage them to lead others to do so too?

This innovative course is the first of its kind in New Zealand Aotearoa and Australia. It will give you the confidence, practical skills and understanding to design and facilitate outdoor experiences that encourage people to live sustainably. The course will also explore how sustainability leadership and stakeholder engagement can be catalysed and supported through outdoor programmes.

It offers theoretical frameworks supported by extensive research, deep personal experiences and a pragmatic approach to programme design and facilitation.

The course is based on three, one-week residential blocks at our Tongariro Centre blended with group and one-to-one online learning – delivered over one-year. The format is specially designed to be accessible to anyone working full, or part-time.

Graduates receive a professional development certificate for 240 hours of study and will complete formal outdoor leadership (NZOIA) and Pre-Hospital Emergency Care (PHEC) qualifications during the course – or can opt-out of these elements if already qualified.

By the end of this course you will be qualified and confident to lead others outdoors towards sustainability outcomes.

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone interested in working with outdoor experiences to encourage sustainable lifestyles and leadership.

This includes sustainability professionals (corporate, public sector and NGO), outdoor leaders, teachers, lecturers, researchers, leadership coaches, social workers, youth workers, rangers and conservationists - as well as those interested in commissioning nature-based change programmes for sustainability and leadership.

It is recommended that you bring around three years experience in some related form of professional practice - working with groups or one-to-one, indoors or out. However, each application is considered individually, so please do ask if you’re not sure.

What are the outcomes?

During this course you will:

  • understand how and why outdoor experiences can encourage sustainable living and leadership;

  • make connections between personal wellbeing, social change and ecological issues;

  • experience a selection of practices and activities for yourself;

  • learn how to design your own outdoor sustainability programme;

  • discover appropriate styles and techniques for facilitating sustainability outcomes outdoors;

  • gain psychological insights into complex relationship dynamics and how they are impacted by being outdoors;

  • understand how to create ‘safe space’ and boundaries in unbounded outdoor areas;

  • see examples and case studies of outdoor programmes for sustainability;

  • explore issues around the confluence of nature, culture and indigene;

  • develop your understanding of ethics and professionalism in outdoor leadership for sustainability;

  • find strategies and techniques for self-care and supervision;

  • find where to access resources and networks;

  • Learn how to assess and manage psycho-social risk;

  • gain an overview of the issues surrounding liability and insurance;

  • have opportunities to work out your next steps towards professional practice, or towards further enriching your existing practice.

  • NZOIA Bush Leader Certification (if not already qualified)*

  • Outdoor First Aid Certification (if not already qualified)*


* unless opted out of these elements.

What approach does the course use?

Research shows that people who feel connected to nature are more likely to behave in pro-ecological ways. However, being outdoors in nature alone does not necessarily make people feel more connected to it. Ensuring that a sense of connection occurs takes deliberate design and skilful facilitation.

This course combines outdoor learning, with psychology and ecology. A careful sequence of outdoor activities and practices build into a deeply powerful experience of nature. Participants are left with a strong sense of connection to the rest of nature, which is translated into personal and social change through psychologically savvy facilitation techniques.

This course gives a first-hand experience of the process before taking a deep-dive into how to design and facilitate it.

What is the format?

The course involves three, five-day residentials, four one-to-one tutorials and four 90 minute group webinars online - over a one year period. There are also guided readings & assignments.

The course includes 210 hours of total contact time on a maximum 1:10 ratio including,

  • 15 days and 15 nights of catered accommodation;

  • six hours of live online group webinars, recorded to watch-again;

  • four hours of online one-to-one tutorials;

  • access to a private online library of instantly accessible PDF downloads;

  • an online Course Guide;

  • access to a private email group;

  • CPD certification and;

  • email support.

Are there any prerequisites?

NZOIA Bush Leader One and Outdoor First Aid (PHEC 24hr) certification is a standard requirement to graduate from this course. You can complete the course without these but you will not receive a CPD certificate until they have been completed.

You may add the NZOIA training and assessment elements to your course. These will then be delivered at Tongariro as two separate additional courses.

We will provide advice on how to complete the first aid requirement with our recommended supplier at a choice of locations around New Zealand. This element will not be offered directly by us.

If you are not intending to work in New Zealand, you will need to demonstrate equivalent qualifications for your chosen region of operation to graduate.

To get the most out of the course, it is recommended that you bring a minimum of three years professional experience of working with groups. This does not need to be outdoors.

What is the background to this course? Where did it come from?

This course has been developed through over 20 years of international research, development, post-graduate teaching and hands-on professional practice.

It takes a unique approach to sustainability and leadership, which combines psychology with ecology and outdoor learning. The approach is process-focussed and recognises that the ways we behave toward the rest of nature are at their root down to our own sense of self. Of who - and what - we think we are. Not what we know.

Many of the techniques and frameworks explored on this course were used on the Natural Change Project for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) between 2008 and 2011. This resulted in some profound and far-reaching changes, including new government policy on sustainability in Scotland - recognised by UNESCO in 2015 as making a global contribution to learning for sustainability.

What does the price include?

Includes: 210 hours (APPROX) of total contact time on a maximum 1:10 ratio; 12 nights single-room accommodation; residential catering; group outdoor equipment and personal safety equipment; four hours of online one-to-one tutorials; four hours of live online group webinars, recorded to watch-again; access to an extensive library of resources; online course guide; access to a private email group; CPD certification and; email support.

Excludes: Travel to/from residential venue; personal travel and possessions insurance; personal outdoor clothing. NZOIA Bush Leader Training course (3-days)*; NZOIA Bush Leader Assessment course (2-days)*; Outdoor First Aid course (PHEC 2-days)**.

*prerequisites for graduation which can be added into the course as options, at additional cost.

**prerequisite for graduation which can be undertaken independently at locations around New Zealand with our recommended supplier.
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Date

Course dates 2022
Residential ONE: 13-18 Feb
Residential TWO: 26 Jun – 01 Jul
Residential THREE: 04-09 Dec

Cost

  • Course fees: $9995.00
  • Bush Leader Training option ADD: $TBC
  • Bush Leader Assessment option ADD: $TBC

Location

Tongariro National Park, New Zealand