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12 Month Instructor Training Course
at The Abernethy School of Adventure Leadership in Scotland

This one-year, full-time course is fully residential and gives you the opportunity to gain a great range of qualifications in 7 outdoor sports.  The stunning wild places of Scotland become your playground as you live and train with your fellow students. The course is primarily based at the Abernethy Ardgour School of Adventure Leadership near Fort William, but will also include 6 weeks skiing in Switzerland during the winter and 12 weeks of work placement during the summer which is split between our four Scottish adventure centres.

The course is primarily aimed at Christians who are looking for a career in outdoor activity instruction but many other people have completed the course over the years as a gap year before or after university.  An important part of the year is the opportunity for personal Christian growth and an insight into the value of outdoor activities in Christian ministry.

Read through our online prospectus at the bottom of the page, or download the course information fact-sheet.  Due to the age restrictions of the qualifications, you will need to be 18 by the time the assessments begin.  Please get in touch if you'd like a copy of the prospectus posted to you. 

Our short film (below) gives a great insight to the course:


Or you can watch the one minute trailer HERE!

You can read about what our Trainee Instructors get up to week by week on their blog HERE.  One of our previous Trainee Instructors made his own short video, which you can watch HERE

Applying for this course is a big decision and we welcome your questions on 01967 411222 or by e-mail.


  • Mountaineering: Summer Mountain Leader Training and Assessment (assuming 40 quality mountain days logged by the time of the assessment, some of which will be gained on days off and in holidays).  Starting to complete log sheets prior to the course is useful preparation: Summer ML sample log sheet and Summer ML sample group leading log sheet. Find out more about our August Walks Week which will help you gain some extra QMD.
  • Kayaking & Canoeing: Including BCU Paddlesport Instructor (formerly UKCC Level 1), BCU Paddlesport Leader, Coach Award Core Training and BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue Training
  • Skiing: BASI Alpine Level 1, based in Europe for 6 weeks
  • Mountain Biking: BC Level 2 Mountain Bike Leader Award
  • First Aid: BASP Outdoor Emergency First Aid
  • Orienteering: Introducing Orienteering
  • Archery: Archery Instructor Award
Please note that there is due to be a number of changes to the names of the qualifications in the coming year (specifically paddlesports and rock climbing). Although the course content will remain the same, and you will be just as qualified, the exact names of the awards may differ to those currently listed above. 

Course Fees

Applying for the T.I. Course is a big financial commitment.  We do our best to make sure that you will receive excellent value for money and that by investing in the year, you will gain experiences beyond your wildest dreams!  The course fee includes: 

  • Full-board accommodation for the entire year, including the 6 weeks in Switzerland and the 12 week work placement slot at all of the Abernethy Centres.  Sometimes you will be in shared accommodation and sometimes you will be in a tent but for the most part, you will have a space to call your own.
  • Coaching in a range of outdoor activities to tie in with the personal training time that you will need to consolidate whatyou have learnt. 
  • Memberships and assessment fees for the relevant National Governing Bodies. This is a substantial part of the course fee and shouldn’t be underestimated!
  • Swiss ski package including travel, lift pass and insurance.
  • Use of equipment and transport when required, although we can make suggestions as to personal equipment you might like to buy for yourself.
  • School of Adventure Leadership branded fleece to keep.
  • Taking part in the annual Abernethy Team Conference, where the whole of the Trust gets together for bible teaching and fellowship, and the Heralds Trust 3 day apologetics course.

The course fee is split into 4 payments, a deposit of £600 on accepting the offer of a place with the remainder of the course fee divided evenly between September, December and May.  

We have a grant scheme to help students who may not be able to attend the course due to financial reasons.  Click HERE for more information on grants.  We are also an apporved learning provider for the Professional and Career Development Loan.  

Taster Weekends

We are offering weekends for you to come and experience Abernethy Ardgour.  Immerse yourself in life at the School of Adventure Leadership and see what happens during this life-changing year long course.  Combine a Taster Weekend with an interview if you are already sure that the TI course is for you! 

Click HERE to find out more about the Taster Weekends. 

Apply now!

  • Complete an application form - online or by downloading and printing a paper copy and returning to the School of Adventure Leadership, Abernethy Ardgour, Fort William, Inverness-shire, PH33 7AD.  
  • You may also choose to apply for a Grant towards your course fees.
  • If appropriate, we will offer you an interview, which may include an overnight stay at the centre.
  • We will take up references and will require a PVG Disclosure before being able to confirm the offer of a place.
  • If a place is offered a deposit will be due immediately followed by the remainder for the course fee split between September, January and June.
  • Places and grants are limited and are offered on a first come first served basis, applications open in September of the preceding year – on occasion applications may be received more than a year in advance.

Start date & price

14 September 2020  27 August 2021 | £12,141

Apply for an Abernethy Grant towards your course fees HERE 

T | 01967 411222 or e-mail

From a previous Trainee Instructor:

"They say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ and it certainly did on my instructor training course with Abernethy. With so many memorable experiences it is hard to capture one, but from wet mountain days to rock climbing in the sun and skiing in Switzerland this has been the best year of my life. One of my favourite days was near the beginning of the course where we went on a canoe expedition. It started raining but suddenly a rainbow appeared over the Loch we were paddling on, it was a great reminder of the amazing promises God has told us and the beautiful outdoors He has given us to enjoy.  There were many challenges from tough days in poor weather, to the difficulties of learning new skills but God helped me through these to persevere with His strength and through His encouraging Word." - Emily, Trainee Instructor 

The Prospectus 

You can read the TI Course prospectus below, or send us an email if you'd like us to post you a printed copy! 




The Centre

Have a look at this video below to get more of an idea about the Centre itself.



Professional and Career Development Loans

The Abernethy School of Adventure Leadership is recognised as an approved learning provider for Professional and Career Development Loans.  Our learning provider identification number is: 21694.  Unfortunately as of early 2019, this no longer is an option.  For further information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit the GOV.UK website or contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.

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