Recommendations based on analysing the implementation of the Outdoor Sector's certifications across the EU

Action type: KA210-VET - Small-scale partnerships in vocational education and training

Kindly funded via the Belgium National Agency, the year-long Erasmus+ project ROC project brings together EC-OE with six partners into a balanced partnership:

  • Three industry associations: BFNO from Belgium, France Plein Air from France and HATEOA from Greece.
  • Three higher education training providers: University of Thessaly (Greece), Munster Technological University (Ireland) and Hungarian University of Sports Science (Hungary)

Using interviews with key stakeholders as well as an online survey, the project analyses the conditions of the implementation of the ELESA ("European LEarning Syllabus for outdoor Animators") curriculum across Europe.

A first meeting of all project partner’s took place at the “Mpafi” Refuge, Parnitha, Athens at the end of May 2022. The representatives discussed the parameters of the project and developed the research tools for the data collection. ROC project’s 2nd Transnational Meeting took place early September, 30 km from Brussels in Organic Ferme Framboos in Huldenberg. The 3rd and last Transnational Meeting took place with great success beginning of January 2023, 30 km from Geneva at the France Plein Air office in Mijoux. The last part of the Roc project will now consist of writing up all reports as well as organizing a set of dissemination events which will take place as follows:

  1. France – Mijoux - Hybrid – 12th Jan 2023
  2. Ireland – Killarney – Presential – 15th Feb 2023
  3. Greece – Athens – Hybrid – 17th Feb 2023
  4. Belgium – Leuven – Presential – 28th Feb 2023
  5. Hungary – Budapest – Presential – 2nd March 2023

In addition of fact sheets which are availabe on the project webpage, the partners are happy to share the following research outputs and are looking forward to developing future projects.

Recommendation #1:   In response to the needs of employers in the sector, any future development of qualifications should include programmes at  EQF levels 3 and 4.

Recommendation #2:    Review the existing ELESA syllabus in terms of content which might be divided between EQF levels 4 & 5.

Recommendation #3:    HEIs should try to support the development of lower-level awards (EQF 3 & 4), as they play a significant role in the formation of more junior staff within the commercial outdoor sector. These can also provide pathways to EQF levels 5 & 6 awards.

Recommendation #4:    Refocus the international cooperation surrounding ELESA to be more centred on standards or frameworks for practice rather than a singular curriculum for the formation of animators.

Recommendation #5:    Consider utilising ELESA as a conversion and comparison tool. (to compare already existing courses/education in the sector?)

Recommendation #6:    Consider a quality mark to be available to training providers who use significant elements of the ELESA syllabus.

Recommendation #7:    Working towards a singular qualification for the profession in Europe remains a noble but challenging aspiration. It seems more pragmatic to develop an “add-on” qualification. This needs to  address the soft skills that are typically required by professionals in the sector but which are frequently less prominent or absent in qualifications focusing on technical skills.

Recommendation #8:    Explore opportunities to support the mobility of learners for work experience/work placement through the ELESA network.

Recommendation #9:    The ELESA network should continue to support the sector by connecting outdoor training providers across the EU.

Recommendation #10 : While the data from the qualifications survey was insightful, the complex and diverse nature of the sector would merit a larger scale and comprehensive survey. This would create the opportunity to host a live online database of qualifications related to the sector which can then be referenced as a comparison tool.

Further info will be communicated through press release.

For more details: