IOL Bushcraft Competency Training

IOL bushcraft competency certificate

What’s it about?

To meet a growing need in Outdoor Education, the Institute for Outdoor Learning is now providing a system of courses to equip those of you who are/aiming to use bushcraft skills as part of your programmes.

These full 3-day training courses have been created by the IOL Bushcraft Professional Practice Group using some of the most experienced trainers of bushcraft in the country. This is provided by individual bushcraft training organisations; Jack Raven Bushcraft is proud to be one of them.

What will I do?

The syllabus meets the IOL Statement of Good Practice.

  • Safe shelter construction, including ‘A’ frame and ‘lean to’ shelters,
  • Importance of insulating yourself from the ground by creating an improvised bed,
  • Safe use of basic tools such as knives, folding saws and bow saws,
  • UK knife law,
  • Knife sharpening,
  • Establishing fires by: bow drill, fire steel, flint and steel, lenses, mirrors, chemicals, matches, fire pistons, lighters, batteries & wire wool,
  • Leaving no trace,
  • Fire maintenance,
  • Locating, filtering and purifying water,
  • Tree identification and uses, including food sources available from trees,
  • Natural cordage,
  • Natural navigation using shadow sticks, a watch, the moon and stars.

To be added to the register of holders of the IOL Bushcraft Competency Certificate, you will need to log 120 quality hours and attend a seperate assessment, as well as join the IOL and the Bushcraft Professional Practice Group.  Memberships and assessments are administered through the IOL.

Take a look at our ‘IOL Hall of Fame‘ to see photos of the people we know have successfully taken their assessment.

Book now

By making a booking you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions.

You can see our entire course schedule here.

Other information

Location: Westwell, Kent

Duration:  3 days

Start: 9am Friday

End: 4pm Sunday

Course size: Maximum of 6 – to make sure that you get the best possible tuition on this busy course

Catering: Fully catered

Note: There is a short walk from the meeting point to the camp. We’ll transport your bags in our 4×4.

You might also find these Frequently Asked Questions useful.

Assessment Cost:

The cost for the assessment is £160, payable to the IOL.

What our customers say

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Jack Raven Bushcraft
Average rating:  
 30 reviews
by Tom on Jack Raven Bushcraft
Really interesting three days

This course had exceeded expectations. I booked my place on a whim during the incessantly wet winter and went into it with no formal experience of bushcraft. It's easy to waste money on courses that inform but have no purpose if you are thinking of using it for employment purposes or to put on your CV. This course is accredited by the IOL and demonstrates that you have met a standard of skill sets which will help to prepare you for working in the outdoor industry. You will, if you take an assessment, have tangible proof of your training through an accredited certificate. Although, even if you're just doing this as a hobby, it's still very interesting regardless of whether or not you want to continue on to taking an assessment.
The three days were packed with useful information. Plenty of time to practice difficult skills such as friction by fire but not so much that it felt like the task was being used as filler due to lack of other tasks. Look at the syllabus. There is a lot to learn and the way Gary does it you know you're with somebody who's passionate about bushcrafting. What I really appreciated is that, although the course is kind of geared towards experienced bushcrafters, I had not really read up about it at all but there was no sense of Gary being disdainful to my lack of knowledge. On the contrary he was very approachable, so a great teacher who managed the group impeccably.
The location was great. The lovely coppiced woodland with a diverse range of trees and grassed areas for pitching our tents turned me into a true forest dweller to the point that on the final day I squinted as I emerged out into the blistering sunshine for perhaps only the second time in three days.
The food was great too. I'm a pig but what there was filled me sufficiently. I'd certainly consider his foraging course after this experience. Just gotta train for that assessment now!
Thanks team!

by Jamie on Jack Raven Bushcraft

I went on the course with no previous experience whatsoever and within a few hours I had a basic knowledge of knife skills, wood carving and my first fire by friction. There's a lot to cover on the course but it was taught clearly and at the right pace so I've managed to retain almost everything I was taught.
It was clear that everyone involved in the course had a huge love of the outdoors and as a result they have assembled far more knowledge than I could possibly get out of them in one weekend so I'll definitely be returning soon to learn some more.

by Jason Nock on Jack Raven Bushcraft
IOL Bushcraft Competency training

Attended the IOL Bushcraft course this weekend and had a great weekend. The woodland training facility and set was amazing. Gary deliverd high quality information and demonstrations in a relaxed atmosphere. Along with help form Peter and amazing food from Nicola.

by Ryan on Jack Raven Bushcraft
IOL for all

I came to this course with very little Bushcraft experience, other than the odd camping trip as a teenager and much more recently some den-building with the kids. However, the pace, content and delivery of the course were excellent and I feel well-equipped to go on to complete my IOL assessment with the wide range of skills and knowledge I picked up from the very friendly and extremely experienced team. Add to that Nicola’s first-class catering throughout the three days and their somewhat surprisingly civilised toilet arrangements, I have no hesitation in recommending this course and Jack Raven to anyone who is keen to learn more about Bushcraft. I for one will be booking onto another of their courses early next year.

by Phil on Jack Raven Bushcraft

The three days are packed full of practical sessions with theory and review in the evenings, lots of information and opportunities to gain new skills as well as practice and improve existing ones. Excellently delivered course with a thoughtful approach to bushcraft, natural history and land stewardship plus great food all set in a wonderful location!

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Important Note

This course is Approved by IOL.  This means that it has been through a quality assurance process covering the experience and procedures of the organisation, the design of the course and the qualifications/experience of the trainers.

If you have any concerns about the quality of this course, please talk initially to the course staff and organisation.  If there are still problems, please contact the IOL office.

The Institute for Outdoor Learning encourages outdoor learning by developing quality, safety and opportunity to experience outdoor activity provision and by supporting the good practice of outdoor professionals.  Member benefits include professional journals and workshops, discounts on equipment, national and regional conferences, etc.  For details of membership benefits and how to join, please visit the IOL website at