What’s it about?
To meet a growing need in Outdoor Education, the Institute for Outdoor Learning provides a system of courses to equip those of you who are/aiming to use bushcraft skills as part of your programmes.
This IOL Bushcraft Competency Diploma course has 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 training organisations; Jack Raven Bushcraft is proud to be one of them.
The course has been designed for teachers or instructors to deliver a wide selection of progressive bushcraft learning experiences.
With that said, take a look at what we’ll be covering over the 5 days, and you have to agree that it’s a great course in it’s own right and we’re sure anyone with an interest in bushcraft will benefit from attending.
You must have prior bushcraft experience to attend this course as we won’t be covering the basics. If you’re not sure, get in touch with us for a friendly chat.
What will I do on this IOL Bushcraft Competency Diploma training course?
The syllabus meets the IOL Statement of Good Practice. On this course you will cover:
- Using an axe safely and effectively to limb, section and split wood,
- Use an axe to make feather sticks,
- Carve a spoon and small bowl using an axe, knife and crook knife,
- Learn how to maintain and sharpen your carving tools,
- Learn a variety of back country cooking techniques using a pit oven, dutch oven, grills and embers,
- How to manage a fire for an extended period of time,
- Learn how to skin and butcher rabbit, pigeon and fish,
- Find out about the various diseases that the animals must be checked for,
- Be shown meat hygiene techniques and methods,
- Cook with the meat you have butchered,
- How to make char cloth,
- Put up a hammock and tarp using 4 simple knots that can be tied and untied wearing gloves,
- Adapt a tarp to different configurations to meet different conditions and environments,
- How to tie a square lashing and diagonal lashing,
- Identifying commonly occurring British mammal and bird tracks,
- Recognising other types of ground or aerial sign apart from animal footprints,
- Different stride patterns,
- The properties of different woods for fire lighting, carving etc.
- Identifying edible and medicinal plants as well as looking at potentially dangerous similar species,
- Preparing foraged plants for eating and making simple herbal remedies,
- Making a woven basket from willow wands,
- Making a plaited strap from bark,
- Fashion and set different primitive traps,
- And of course, ensuring that we leave no trace.
Throughout the course we will provide advice and guidance on tools and equipment and how to teach the skills covered to other people, whether that be individuals or groups, all based on our own years of experience.
To be added to the register of holders of the IOL Bushcraft Competency Diploma you must already hold the IOL Bushcraft Competency Certificate. You will also need to attend a separate 2 day assessment.
Take a look at our ‘IOL Hall of Fame‘ to see photos of the people that we know have successfully taken their assessment. and gained the IOL Bushcraft Competency Diploma.
You can see our entire course schedule here.
Location: Westwell, Kent
Duration: 4 days
Start: 9am Thursday
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.
What our customers say
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If you want to take your bushcraft skillset and knowledge to the next level then this is the course for you.
A broad range of topics is covered with a good balance between theory and practical application - you'll never get bored, there's too much to do and learn!
You'll need a good understanding of the core skills, if you haven't already got the IOL Bushcraft Competency Certificate it would certainly be of benefit to go on that course first.
There's a good focus on individual skills, providing the participant chance to practice and progress and learn to stand on their own, all in a supportive environment.
Gary, Nicola, Bob and Phil's knowledge is fantastic but most importantly you can tell that they are all really passionate about the topics and keen to share that excitement - even when you bombard them with endless questions.
It wouldn't be a proper review without mentioning the outstanding food provided, every mealtime would be eagerly anticipated to see what delicious meal it would be.
Thanks all - see you on the next course!
I really enjoyed this course despite some horrendous weather (storm Babet). Gary's knowledge and enthusiasm shone through, supported by other members of the Jack raven team who where experts in their own fields, Nicola for herbal remedies and cookery, Phil for game preparation and Bob as assistant instructor all of the topics were delivered in a clear understandable way, with the emphasis on hands on experience.
The course was well structured and rescored, with time allowed to practice each element without you feeling rushed at any point.
This was a fully catered course and Nicola's cooking was amazing, you will not go hungry.
I highly recommend this course.
I attended this course in early October, it was excellent for all five days. Gary is very informative, has a very positive outlook, and always happy to answer questions. It was a real quality learning experience. For me the standout part of this course was the food, thanks to Nicola and Gary for the outstanding cuisine, it was a nice addition to the course as I have done numerous courses and this was the first that was catered. Game changer! Thank you both.
I completed this course at the beginning of October and I can’t praise it highly enough. As always, the team at Jack Raven have produced an outstanding experience. Set in their beautiful natural woodland, Gary, Nicola and the team provide first class instruction in all parts of the course. Gary is an excellent instructor with extensive knowledge of the subjects covered and supports students through the learning process. The game butchering day was run by Phil who was excellent and we all came away with the necessary skills to skin and butcher a deer as well as smaller game. The catering was amazing with Nicola producing restaurant quality meals on open fires and the ground oven with lots of wild food and of course the venison! I would strongly recommend this course to anyone interested in a career in Bushcraft.
This course is accredited by the Institute for Outdoor Learning. 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 your IOL Bushcraft Competency Diploma 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.