altTraining Structure

The Wilderness Education Association (WEA) supports the following levels of Outdoor Education instruction:


The goal of the Outdoor Leadership Training Course (OLTC) is to expose students to the WEA Educational Components and provide a model of WEA teaching styles. This is a certificate of completion program.


Certified Outdoor Leaders are equipped to: 

  • Demonstrate a basic standard of outdoor knowledge and expertise
  • Plan and deliver a high-quality wilderness experience 
  • Model responsible minimum impact practices
  • Exercise good judgment and effective decision-making across a range of program settings


You are a professional instructor or guide, and you make your living in the industry. You might work at a university, a guiding company, or a wilderness therapy camp, or you might serve as program director at a summer camp. You might also be a high-level recreational leader, such as a scoutmaster or church group leader, who regularly takes out novices to whom you want to impart a love of the wilderness and a sense of personal responsibility to the outdoors.

As a Certified Outdoor Educator, you can teach for a WEA-accredited organization or any WEA organizational member. You can teach the WEA Outdoor Leader Training Course and the Certified Outdoor Leader program while working with an approved WEA organization. You can also work to become a Certifying Examiner.



Obtaining CE status means that you have demonstrated a high level of mastery of the six educational components, demonstrated through various work or apprentice experiences. You can use formal assessment and evaluation strategies to teach the COE course through a WEA-accredited program. Prerequisite: Outdoor Educator Certification.

The Certification Manual is undergoing revision. If interested contact the National Office.