Leader / Instructor Courses

Are you a teacher, scout leader, outdoor instructor, youth worker, bushcraft/survival enthusiast who wishes to deliver woodland skills, such as Bushcraft & Survival activities, but you aren’t qualified? Here at Backcountry Survival Ltd we offer a range of leader/instructor courses that offers a progressive path for further development. All our leader/instructor courses are accredited by the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

Woodland Skills Leader £500

The Overview for the Woodland Skills Leader includes the following:

Thinking of delivering woodland & Bushcraft skills?

Are you a teacher, scout leader, outdoor instructor or youth worker who wishes to deliver woodland skills, such as Bushcraft & Survival activities, but you aren’t qualified?

Would you like to inspire others, by teaching them to craft with tools, light & safely manage camp-fires, play outdoor games, build shelters and explore the natural world?

Or maybe you already have leadership qualifications, but you lack the confidence to deliver some woodland activities? Would you like some new ideas, or to improve the safety of your sessions by incorporating proven risk management strategies?

How did the WSL come about?

With a growing interest in the area of woodland skills, more people are wishing to engage in activities related to Bushcraft, Survival, Forest School, Scouting and traditional camping.

We have identified a clear need for schools, scout groups, youth groups and outdoor centres to access training for their staff, which not only develops personal competence, but which ensures the safe and effective leadership of such activities.

Why choose the WSL over other training courses?

We offer the LSI, but this can be difficult for most people to achieve, or the award is superfluous to their teaching needs. The Woodland Skills Leaders course costs just £500 for the training and includes the assessment. The course including assessment takes place over four consecutive days.

The WSL course, which has been accredited by the IOL, to provide a means by which potential leaders can develop their capabilities, in an affordable and time efficient way.

To be eligible to attend a WSL course you must have leadership experience and other NGBs or teaching/coaching qualifications. Previous Bushcraft experience is desirable but not essential.


If you plan to camp in the woodland, overnight during your course, then you will need to bring all of your associated camping equipment yourself. Such as; tent/shelter/tarp/hammock etc, sleeping gear, cooking kit, eating kit & utensils, food, wash-kit, toiletries, towel, spare clothing etc. If you do wish to camp then please let us know via email beforehand. Drinking water is provided onsite for you to use. Please be advised that this is a private woodland-camping location but there are no toilets and showering/washing facilities, it is a wild-camping site and all waste MUST be removed from the site. Or you can stay at Dalraddy Caravan Site or at Aviemore.

The Itinerary for the Woodland Skills Leader includes the following:

The Woodland Skills Leaders Certificate (WSL) is a 4 Day Course and it has been created to ensure the safety of participants, whilst providing a foundation for the effective delivery of woodland activities to unskilled client groups.
On our WSL training course you will cover a range of activities including:

  • The safe and effective group-use of tools with appropriate craft activities to engage people and ensure that they will leave your sessions with a sense of pride and accomplishment, carrying something they’ve made with their own two hands.
  • Group management strategies for lighting fires, managing the camp fire and group cooking activities to ensure that everybody gets involved safely… with as little washing up as possible!
  • Building shelters from natural materials and using man made resources, such as tarps, including the ability to effectively use and teach the use of cordage/knots/lashings etc… without bringing learners to tears in frustration.
  • Learn games, problem solving and team building activities which can be used with a broad range of clients to engage them, and make sure they have an enjoyable and memorable experience out in the woods.

Learners, or potential future leaders, are expected to achieve the following learning outcomes during the WSL training and assessment courses:

  • To demonstrate both personal competence, and leading/instructional ability, in the woodland skills of; tool use, fire lighting, shelter building, flora and fauna identification and natural craft skills.
  • To develop the ability to create appropriate; lesson plans, risk assessments and operational policies necessary to lead woodland skills sessions.
  • Develop knowledge and ability of; instruction & group management strategies related to woodland skills, environmental considerations of woodland skills training and the leave-no-trace ethos, appropriate models of teaching & learning and integrating woodland skills into wider outdoor learning practices.
  • The WSL opens opportunities of further study within the field of outdoor education, for both leaders and their client groups. It promotes safe and responsible use of our natural environments and will help to raise the profile of outdoor learning.
Date Time Spaces Price Book
5 April 2024 09:30 - 16:00 9 £500 Book Now
2 August 2024 09:30 - 16:00 12 £500 Book Now

Please download these resources for your information

Land-Based Survival Instructor £1800.00

The Overview for the Land-Based Survival Instructor includes the following:


The Land-Based Survival Instructor is a partnership set up in 2017 to Deliver Survival Instructor courses. Please feel free to contact via BCS Ltd for further information.
Due to the growing demand for formal Survival Training over the past 3 decades the LSI is designed with a view to equip successful candidates with the knowledge and Instructional skills to deliver Professional survival courses. This takes many forms, from formal risk assessments, health and safety considerations to the planning, preparation and execution of delivering relevant courses to a paying client.

The LSI is a multi-environmental course looking at a wide range of Survival techniques within different topographical areas and throughout all 4 seasons of the year. Throughout the process candidates will be potentially required to experience working in a hostile habitat that they may not be familiar with, with a view to increase their knowledge and own skill base whilst at the same time being mentored and directed down other avenues of qualifications i.e Mountain Leader etc. The process of the LSI will qualify the successful candidate to provide fully insured Survival Training to the paying public in a non-remote setting (No further than 30 minutes from a road head and up to a height of 600m, unless accompanied by additional qualifications/experience).


The LSI is open to all candidates regardless of experience or ability. A logbook must be submitted prior to being accepted onto the training course outlining a minimum of 20 “Survival” days, where the candidate has experienced some form of hardship or spent the day practising hard skills relevant to the award. Please note this can include a wide range of settings and scenarios, not just woodland based, and can be of a “historic” nature. Candidates should be physically fit and have a certain amount of mental robustness due to prolonged amounts of time in the outdoors, often in bad weather.

The LSI offers flexible course admission, anyone with prior knowledge and other qualifications will be assessed so as to ascertain areas for development prior to continuing with the syllabus.
At the time of being accepted onto the LSI, candidates must be in possession of an in-date 2 day first aid course.


The Itinerary for the Land-Based Survival Instructor includes the following:

  1. Potential candidates should register their interest by sending an email to info@backcountrysurvival.co.ukwith a brief outline of their prior experience and reasons for their interest (work, interest, personal development etc)
  2. Further emails may be required to ensue if we/you have any questions.
  3. Payment is made. On receipt of payment, Assessment and experience logbooks are issued by the course director along with Dates and joining instructions for the years course (LSI).
  4. Phases attended/completed

Phase 1 – 3 Day Survival Course

Attendees will join the first module. This takes the form of a 3 Day multi-environment course with BCS Ltd, and covers PLAN-M, Survival Pyramid and the rule of three’s. This is the point where Instructional staff get “eyes on”, and will be able to direct the candidate as to gaps in skill sets that need to be addressed.

Phase 2 – 5 Day Survival Challenge

Attendees will attend one of our 5 Day Survival Challenges to put to the test their survival knowledge and skills. Individuals will be given minimum information to allow seclusion.

Phase 3 – Winter Module

Attendees will attend a 2 Day Winter Survival Course. The course will see attendees learn and put to practice how to survival in Scottish winter conditions.

Phase 4 – Coastal Module

Attendees will attend a LSI specific coastal survival course where they will learn and put to practice survival techniques and skills on the coast.

Phase 5 – Instructional Techniques

Attendees will learn what safety procedures need to be in place to run survival courses. We will also look at learning how to plan and deliver lessons effectively. Attendees will pull then together lesson plans and deliver elements of PLAN (peer to peer)

Phase 6 – Woodland Skills Leader

Attendees will attend a WSL ran by one of the course directors via Andy Lewis Training. This will give a more formative insight to developing personal skills for those that require it or require brushing up. For further information look on the BCS Ltd site. All costs are inclusive so no further monies are required.

Phase 7 – Personal consolidation

Students will spend a period of time that will be recommended to them from information gathered during Phases 1 & 2 to hone their personal skills and group management through course delivery, either through being encouraged where possible to shadow BCS Ltd courses to help out and further enhance their instruction abilities through mentoring.

 Final Assessment

Attendees will pull all the above together to deliver a two-day survival course to members of the paying public. Successful candidates will be awarded qualification.

No Course Dates

Please contact us for more Information on availability.

Please download these resources for your information