The Board of the Outdoor Council of Australia (OCA) has recently undertaken a review of the National Outdoor Leadership Registration Scheme (NOLRS).
Whilst the value of the scheme was recognised, it was also identified that any future progress would require a major upgrade to maintain the relevance of the scheme and to take the NOLRS online.
The NOLRS would also require significant funding to ensure its alignment to the recently reviewed National Outdoor Leadership Training package.
In light of these challenges the decision has been taken to phase out the NOLRS.
The OCA would like to recognise the significant work undertaken over the years to those providers and supporters of the scheme that have worked to lift the professional standards of the sector by promoting the recognition of competency and currency of outdoor leaders.
We applaud the many outdoor leaders who have supported the scheme over the years and shown their own commitment towards professionalism in the outdoors.
There are currently a number of registrants awaiting renewal of their NOLRS registration, as well as new applicants who require registration under the NOLRS as a pre-requisite for outdoor education activities in which they are employed or engaged. To allow for these, the NOLRS phase out will take place over the next ten months, ending in June 2021.
A summary of the phase out timeline and other details is below:
· NOLRS is relevant and will be maintained as a registration scheme 3 until 30 June 2021;
· New registrations will be processed up until 29 June 2021 and expire on 30 June 2021;
o o N.B. any new applications received up to, and including, 29 June 2021 will be processed at a charge of one-third of the regular 3-year fee (this applies whether the new registration is for 12 months, 6 months, 3 months etc.);
· ALL current registrations due to expire between 24 August and BEFORE the NOLRS phase out will be extended to 30 June 2021 – no fees and no re-assessment will be required;
· All current registrations expiring AFTER the NOLRS phase out require no immediate action, however the NOLRS will no longer be developed after 30 June 2021.
Whilst the OCA has no immediate plans to develop a replacement for the NOLRS, we are committed to the accreditation of outdoor leaders and would be willing to enter into discussions with other organisations who may be interested in developing an alternative registration scheme for the outdoor sector.
The OCA is committed towards the ongoing development of practices in the sector that support outdoor leadership along with good-practice for safe and responsible planning and delivery of led outdoor adventure activities.
We have recently released the Australian Adventure Activity Standard and associated Good Practice Guidelines. Outdoor leadership is a common area within the framework. All organisations are encouraged to review their practices against the Australian AAS.
The Australian AAS can be found here