Outdoor Activities Managers are responsible for every aspect of the day-to-day management of centres dedicated to providing instruction on a variety of outdoor activities including horse riding, mountaineering, cycling and water sports.
You’ll probably have a background in instructing and may continue to teach as part of your job. In this role, you will have the overall responsibility for the centre and will need to manage staff and ensure adherence to safety regulations at all times.
- recruiting, training and supervising a team of staff, including instructors
- planning and organising appropriate outdoor activity programmes
- handling booking enquiries
- ensuring compliance with safety regulations
- instructing groups in specialist areas
- managing budgets
- developing new activities
- liaising with group managers, social workers and teachers
- dealing with queries, complaints, accidents and emergencies
- producing educational materials
- promoting and marketing the business
- maintaining customer service standards
- attending training courses to keep qualifications up to date
- recording and reporting accidents
- buying, maintaining and checking the safety of facilities and equipment
- writing and submitting funding bids
- undertaking financial administration.
A degree or a diploma is not essential, although they will boost your chances of securing a management role.
Although this career is open to graduates from a variety of disciplines, a degree, foundation degree or a diploma in the following subjects would offer a particularly useful background:
- business management
- outdoor education, leadership or recreation
- physical education or sports-related courses.
- outstanding leadership and management skills, with a willingness to lead by example
- team-working skills and the ability to motivate and inspire others
- group facilitation skills, allowing even those with a limited range of technical outdoor skills to work with groups
- excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to establish a rapport with a range of people
- customer service skills
- decision-making skills and the ability to stay calm in difficult, even dangerous situations
- planning and organizational skills
- financial skills, such as being able to manage a budget
- commercial awareness and a flair for marketing
- an imaginative and innovative approach to work
- flexibility in order to meet business and client needs
- energy, stamina, good health and physical strength
- an appropriate first aid qualification of at least two days’ duration and if you plan to be involved in water sports, you will also need a lifesaving qualification
- a licence to drive a minibus and tow a trailer is useful, so that you can transport clients and equipment to the activity site.