The WEA National Standard has six educational components applicable to all people living and working in the outdoors, regardless of whether a person is a recreationalist or full-time professional: Outdoor Living, Planning and Logistics, Risk Management, Leadership, Environmental Integration, and Education. These educational components are based upon the historical 18-Point Curriculum developed in the early years of the WEA.

You will notice that the WEA does not consider judgment a separate educational component. The WEA considers the competency of judgment an integral element to each of the six educational components.

Outdoor educators and leaders are often presented with decision-making challenges in an uncertain environment with limited information. Outdoor educators and leaders must demonstrate judgment by effectively integrating educational components and situational variables to make and implement quality decisions. Accurate assessment and application of skills using judgment is the central quality of an effective outdoor educator or leader.


The following categories characterize the Wilderness Education Association’s six educational components offering outdoor leadership certificates, guided by the main concept of judgment. Click on each box to learn more.