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FIELD LEADER PROGRAM

"Coming from a background of Outdoor Education I believe the OCC’s Field Leader Training Course is the missing link in outdoor certification. Finally there is something that hits on the importance of interpersonal skills when facilitating.

I think this training is essential for anyone leading groups in the outdoors who wishes to foster positive and lasting impacts for their participants."

–Adrienne, Manager of Student Leadership Programs


ABOUT THIS PROGRAM:

Field Leader courses provide the foundations for judgement and decision making enabling safe and enjoyable experiences outside. With these courses, Field Leaders can: 

  • Bring a group to an outdoor environment. 
  • Provide a meaningful experience for their group, whether the purpose is educational, pleasure, health, wellbeing, and/or connecting with nature.
  • Design a safe experience within their skill set.
  • Identify the limit of their skillset and adjust accordingly,  or seek additional support. 
  • Feel reassurance knowing they are using accepted practices providing proper care to participants and ensuring due diligence while outdoors.

Field Leader courses focus on the leadership aspects of bringing a group outdoors. They provide an effective framework for the group leader to cover all their bases, act as a team member, and address human factors to manage risks in an effective manner.

Courses prepare a person to organize an outdoor trip within an organizational structure whether is an outdoor club, camp, outfitter, school, community program, outdoor centers, or any other context where outdoor activities are part of programming.

Courses are designed to prepare Field Leaders for low-risk terrain.

As leadership courses, they are complementary to other outdoor courses such as technical skills and first aid. With sufficient experience and training, Field Leaders can access higher risk terrain and remain within their Scope of Practice without needing to do more advanced training with the OCC.

The courses are suitable for a diversity of schedules. Course length spans from 8 to 20 hours and can be delivered over a weekend, or broken down into several shorter sessions. Our system of nationally licensed instructors enables us to offer courses at an affordable price.

Instructors can set a price that is both competitive in their region and allows them to make a decent revenue. Thus, course prices will vary from one instructor to another.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN:

The Field Leader program is designed to empower students to ensure physical and emotional safety for their participants, manage logistics, solve problems as they arise, and provide meaningful experiences outside.

Field Leader courses serve as a foundation for mindful leadership, participant-centered experiences, intentional programming, systematic planning, team building, effective communication and learning through reflection

These concepts are delivered to students through the OCC’s event cycle:

 Motivation: students explore their personal motivations for becoming an outdoor leader. This reflective examination introduces the lifelong process of observing how our leadership style influences the outcome   of the programs we lead and how we can adapt our style for best results.

 Visioning: the leader establishes specific objectives that are integrated with the needs and abilities of the participants and the characteristics of the location where the outdoor experience will take place.

Pre-event planning: the systematic planning processes that include designing an event plan, communicating with relevant individuals or organization and hazard identification and mitigation.

Last minute checks: A key step in avoiding bad surprises.

Group Management: strategies for maximizing safety and quality of the experience while being outside.

Debriefing: The active learning process for participants, leaders, organization and stakeholders that supports a learning environment.

WHAT YOU WILL GET:

Completing an OCC course will give you:

A nationally valid outdoor leadership certification.

A one-year membership to the OCC.

WHO BENEFITS: 


Field leader courses have been designed to benefit any Canadian who is interested in leading others outdoors. However, our courses have had particular success for schools, youth organizations, hiking clubs and are delivered in more than 9 different university and college programs. 

The Field Leader Program is an innovative program that manages risk in an effective and realistic way.

For Graduates:

Offers certifications that demonstrate your competency to lead trips in a diversity of activities. Helps you get the work opportunities you want. Ensure your program is managed according to industry standards. Helps you map, develop, and accelerate your career.

For Organizations:

Streamlines and strengthens your risk management processes. Improves program quality. Lowers your training costs. Assists in the recruitment of qualified staff. Assists in satisfying land managers and other stakeholders that your programs are managed appropriately. Helps you reduce the chance of suffering a serious accident.

And Equally Important:

By increasing the quantity and improving the quality of outdoor experiences across the country, we are building the foundation for a national commitment to a healthy and respectful relationship with nature. Each time a person has a positive experience outside, their connection to the environment deepens. Bringing more people outside can benefit the environment, our health and our Canadian identity.


OUR COURSES:

Field Leader (Hiking):

This course offers a systematic approach to planning and managing a hiking activity for one day. Students will be required to read a 60 page manual and complete attached quizzes before attending the course. Course length is 16 hours. Graduates of the FL (Hiking) course are qualified to lead one day trips into class 1 hiking terrain as defined in the Outdoor Council of Canada's Matrix. The scope of practice for a FL (Hiking) graduate can be found Here.

Field Leader (Paddling and Hiking):

This course offers a systematic approach to planning and managing a paddling and/or a hiking activity for one day. Prior to the course, it is recommended that students obtain a technical paddling certification from another organization. Students must read a 80 page manual and complete attached quizzes. Course length is 20 hours. Graduates of the FL (Paddling and Hiking) course are qualified to lead one day trips into class 1 paddling environments and class 1 hiking terrain as defined in the Outdoor Council of Canada's Matrices.  The scope of practice for the FL (Paddling and Hiking) graduate can be found Here

Field Leader (Equine): 

This course offers a systematic approach to planning and managing a day trip with horses. Students will be required to read a 70 page manual and complete attached quizzes before attending the course. Course length is 16 hours. Graduates of the FL (Equine) course are qualified to lead one day trips into Low-Risk Trail Riding Terrain as defined in the Outdoor Council of Canada's Matrix. The scope of practice for a FL (Equine) graduate can be found Here .


Field Leader (Winter):


This certification is an extension of other Field Leader courses and provides effective group management techniques for cold environments. The Field Leader (Hiking) is a prerequisite to this module. Students will be required to read a 40 page manual and complete attached quizzes before attending the module. Module length is 8 hours, most of which is spent outside. Graduates of the FL (Winter) module are qualified to lead one day trips in low-risk winter environments as defined by the OCC Hiking Terrain Matrix. The scope of practice for a FL (Winter) graduate can be found Here

Field Leader (Overnight): 


This certification is an extension of other Field Leader courses. Students must have complete the Field Leader (Hiking) or (paddling), or (Equine) course prior to registering. This module will review and deepen the event cycle and offers effective group management techniques for longer outdoor trips. Students will be required to read a 80 page manual and complete attached quizzes before attending the module. Module length is 20 hours of instruction time, most of which is spent outside, plus one night outdoors. Graduates of the FL (Overnight) module are qualified to lead longer trips in low-risk terrain classes relevant to their activity. The scope of practice for a FL (Overnight) graduate can be found Here.


Get Outside (Maps): 


Get Outside courses are not leadership courses. They present technical skills. This course is a  a comprehensive introduction to navigation using maps. Course length is 8 hours. Students will be required to read a 20 page manual before attending the module. 


Get Outside (Compass):


Get Outside courses are not leadership courses. They present technical skills. This course is  a comprehensive introduction to navigation using a compass. The Navigations (maps) is a pre-requisite for this 8 hour course. Students will be required to read a 15 page manual before attending the module. 


The Outdoor Council of Canada is proud to mention that the Field Leader program has benefitted from the support of MEC, The Calgary Foundation and the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre.

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