IOL Bushcraft Competency Training

IOL bushcraft competency certificate

Who’s it for?

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?

  • 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.

After completing the course, you should undergo a period of consolidation before assessment.

To be added to the register of holders of the IOL Bushcraft Competency Certificate, you will need to join the IOL and the Bushcraft Professional Practice Group. To do this, please contact the IOL.

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.


  • Assessments will be put on in line with expected demand and are held in Derbyshire and Gloucestershire.
  • Assessments start at 9am. If you have a long way to travel contact one of the assessors as they can often arrange camping the night before.
  • The assessment can last until midday on the second day; however if numbers are low we may finish at the end of the first day.
  • All assessments are self catering. Bring a packed lunch for day 1 as time is usually precious.

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

Assessment Cost:

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

What our customers say

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Average rating:  
 24 reviews
by Mark Saich on Jack Raven Bushcraft
IOL - August 2017

Great weekend. Comprehensive, well paced with a good mixture of bite size and repeat. Gary delivers calmly, clearly and knowledgeably. Lots packed into the weekend but it never felt rushed or overwhelming. Nicola's catering was spot on keeping us happily fuelled throughout. All this in a well equipped secluded woodland setting without the distractions of the outside world.Highly recommended.

by Adrian Todd on Jack Raven Bushcraft
Jack Raven Bushcraft

A fantastic three days! Gary is knowledgeable, experienced and always encouraging. What he says always makes good sense. The food was excellent, the environment stunningly beautiful, and even the weather was glorious. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time and will be back.

by Katie 'Ginge' Lloyd on Jack Raven Bushcraft
Prince's Trust January 2017

Just on my way home from 3 day IOL Bushcraft Competency training with Gary, Bob and Willow the Princess (dog!). I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I've come away with lots of knowledge and new skills.Gary has an awesome bushcraft area complete with its very own posh compost toilet!!Huge thanks to Gary and Bob for helping me to light my first fire by friction... after lots and lots of attempts!!! It was definitely the highlight of my week!I would definitely like to return to do some more courses or volunteering in the future.Thanks guys x

by John Hansen on Jack Raven Bushcraft
October 2016

The course was well run, organised and taught, the food was well cooked and plentiful, the setting was about as good as it gets and everyone there was friendly and helpful. Many thanks to the team for a very memorable weekend

by Pete Glass on Jack Raven Bushcraft
Excellent time at the BCCT Weekend

The Bushcraft Competency Certificate Training weekend is the second course I've taken with Jack Raven. As before, it was a great course with very friendly and helpful staff. The syllabus covered everything needed without seeming rushed, and Gary made sure there was time to help with other things as needed. As ever, the food was great, the people are great and the woods are fantastic. Cannot recommend highly enough.

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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