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CLS Working with Young People -

Rural Volunteer Award


The Rural Volunteer Award (RVA) and CLS outcomes

One of Countryside Learning Scotland’s four outcomes is to help our rural industries to become more ‘user friendly’ regarding provision of rural awareness and opportunities for Scotland’s people and in particular the next generation. The Rural Volunteer Award is a good starting point to deliver this outcome. The provision of this 'working with young people' training day will help rural employees and volunteers understand the key requirements, skills, roles and responsibilities of working with young people as well as providing some teaching techniques and a factual understanding of how to protect yourself and those in your care.


The history

The course was initially written in 2006 as part of the Scottish National Angling Programme (SNAP), designed at this time specifically to help grow the number of angling volunteers as a base of support to level 1 and 2 UKCC coaches.

More recently through CLS being involved in the Scottish government angling Fisheries Review we now have funding to develop the course to create a training resource for all rural industries/activities.


Where are we now?

The skeleton of a course is in the process of reconstruction to create tutor and candidate packs including general sections that will cover areas such as lesson planning, risk assessment, PVG checks and industry specific sections that will only be delivered to the relevant candidates. It should be make clear that at this juncture this is not a qualification but an in house attendance award.

Six Pilot courses are currently being delivered to the District Salmon Fishery Boards and Trusts as part of the ongoing Scottish Angling National Development Strategy (SANDS) which CLS will deliver on behalf of Fisheries Management Scotland (FMS) funded by Scot gov.

One course has also been delivered to the Angus Glens Moorland Group gamekeepers.



There are a few principles that I think are key to the success of the course –

  1. It should never be prohibitively expensive to the participating volunteer as some courses can be.

  2. It should be no more than a one day (6hrs) or two evenings (2 x 3hrs) in duration

  3. It should ‘Probably’ remain an in house participation award and not a qualification

  4. Partnership - The course would undoubtedly benefit form involvement from other sector partners. Partnership brings credibility and therefore more candidates which will in turn help to achieve the outcomes of the course. We are currently working with Lantra to apply for accreditation


The Pilot courses are currently being delivered by CLS. In time we aim to train tutors within designated regions across Scotland to deliver the course on an ongoing basis as required. Ongoing recruitment of trained volunteer will be key to educating Scotland’s people with regard to understanding and accessing our countryside responsibly and enjoying all the lifelong environmental, social and economic benefits of learning, participating and working in rural Scotland.

Training your staff and volunteers

If you would like to run the RVA course to train your staff in working with young people or build a trained network of volunteers please contact Ian Robertson on 07840 951 332 or 

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