Forest School Training Qualification Details

Accredited Forest School Training – on the RQF – awarded by Open College Network West Midlands

Level 1 OCNWM Introduction to Forest School Principles

This is great for parents, young people and volunteers who want an introduction to the Forest School ethos. We have different models available for providing this training, it usually takes two long or three short days training with completion of a simple workbook. It could be presented as a set of twilights. This is a practical course which gives a good ’taste’ of Forest School.

Please contact us if you would like us to run this is in your setting for a group of adults.

Level 2 OCNWM Award for Forest School Assistants

Many schools and nurseries are finding that a trained Forest School Assistant is a valuable addition to their team. This course requires the learner to support a Level 3 qualified Forest School Leader with the planning and delivery of  3 consecutive sessions of a Forest School programme. We usually run this concurrently with our Level 3 training so learners often attend the first three modules with colleagues who are training as Level 3 Leaders.  Please contact us if you would like to explore this option.

Please note: this qualification does not equip nor qualify the learner to lead Forest School sessions  in the absence of a qualified L3 Forest School Leader

Level 2 Course requirements and details: The learner needs to be at least 19 years old at qualification. Two units of work, equal 7 credits, evidenced by a portfolio requiring an average of 54 guided learning hours with a total qualification time of 70 hours. This means there are about 16 hours personal study for the learner to do at home.

Top up to Level 3

It is possible to top your level 2 training with this training, within two years of qualifying, by attending the additional modules of the Level 3 training, including gaining the Outdoor First Aid qualification, devising a handbook, planning and leading the first 6 sessions of a Forest School Programme and completing the portfolio of evidence.

Premium Level 3 OCNWM Certificate for Forest School Leaders

This qualification provides the learner with the skills and knowledge to risk assess, set up and manage a Forest School site, it equips them to plan and safely facilitate Forest School programmes with a range of client groups in line with the Forest School ethos and principles.

Suitable for school and college staff, teachers, teaching assistants, and parent volunteers, youth workers and other education/ care  practitioners.

Organisations wishing to achieve the Learning Outside the Classroom quality badge will find this qualification supports the process.

Level 3 Course requirements and details:

  • The  Forest School Association and Department for Education require the learner to be at least 21 years old and have a relevant two day Outdoor First Aid qualification.
  • 18 credits, total qualification time 180 hours, over 5 units of work, evidenced by a handbook, delivery assessment and portfolio. The learner is required to set up and lead the first 6 consecutive sessions of a long term Forest School programme, with the same client group. One of these sessions will be observed by a tutor as part of the supportive assessment framework.
  • Training is delivered through face-to-face contact in the woods (at least 10 days) through 5 workshops and ongoing virtual support with interactive webinars over a 9-12 month period. Dates and times agreed with the group.  
  • This means around 100 hours of direct contact/ support. The remaining 80 hours will be required for self-study, visiting different woodlands, creating group presentations, practising skills and making craft items, setting up the site, creating the Handbook, planning, preparing and delivering Forest School.  
  • The learner may expect to work collaboratively on projects, communicating their learning to peers, producing a wide range of evidence for their portfolio including photographs, video and audio recordings alongside more formal written assignments. 
  • This training also includes the required 16-hour Outdoor First Aid and a workplace delivery assessment.