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?

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.

Sorry, our 2018 courses are now booked. Get in touch to arrange a private booking.

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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Average rating:  
 27 reviews
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.

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!

by Christopher Perrio-Stone on Jack Raven Bushcraft
IOL Bushcraft Competency Certificate Training 27-29 OCT 2017

if your thinking of adding a professional edge to your portfolio, this is where you need to be.... The staff Gary, Nicola and Bob are simply the perfect topping to a perfect Victoria sponge. The IOL Bushcraft Competency Certificate is the industry benchmark, and the training provided by Jack Raven is second to none.

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.

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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