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Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership 

Please note:- If you have experience of walking in the moors and hills then the Mountain Training awards may be more suitable. Please have a look at the Lowland Leader Award and the Hill and Moorland Leader Awards. You may well be more suited to these awards.
Why not call for a chat about your personal experience tel 01254 704898. 

The Sports Leaders UK Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership (BEL) is a nationally recognised basic qualification that trains and qualifies teachers, youth workers and other members of the community to:

  • Lead walking groups in lowland countryside
  • Impart the knowledge and skills needed to undertake a day walk
  • Have responsibility for the care of others while leading a day walk in lowland countryside
  • Plan and lead overnight base and mobile camps.

It is the minimum qualification required by some Operating Authorities for those wanting to train and lead groups in the expedition section of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. (See also the Mountain Training qualifications). The level of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award that a Basic Expedition Leader can lead depends on the terrain in which the expedition is taking place. The terrain must fall within the BEL Remit see below.

The qualification also counts towards the volunteering section of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. The qualification counts towards the service section of all three awards in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme. Mountain Leader Training UK include the Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership on the qualification matrix in the National Guidelines for Climbing and Hillwalking Leaders.

  • Age: 17+ (learners must be 18 years of age on completion - please note, there is no upper age limit for this qualification)
  • Guided learning hours: 127 hours (including 30 hours demonstration of leadership)
  • The qualification does not qualify people to lead groups in remote or mountainous areas.

The Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership has nine units of work including 30 hours demonstration of leadership:

Course tutors must not run the qualification in remote or mountainous areas. The qualification is to be run in lowland areas or on the fringes of urban areas.

The qualification will take approximately 127 guided learning hours. However, various factors such as the learner/tutor ratio, the number of learners, the experience levels of the learners and the compulsory requirement for a valid and current first aid qualification will influence the time allocated to the delivery of any given course. 

As part of the course delivery, learners must include two consecutive nights camping under the supervision of the Tutor/Assessor or other appropriately qualified person. Sports Leaders UK recommends an Accredited Tutor/Assessor learner ratio of 1:10.

Demonstration of Leadership

In order for your learners to complete their Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership they must complete 30 hours demonstration of leadership within the community. This element of the qualification is part of Unit 5 and Unit 9, however the 30 hours demonstration of leadership must happen at the end of the course, after all of the taught aspects have been delivered but before the final assessment.


Before learners can undertake their assessment, the Tutor/Assessor must ensure that the learners have produced a log of eight day walks. The walks are to be six hour minimum duration, planned and led by the learner in DWL/BEL terrain. These walks must be completed in addition to the walks carried out as part of the course.Once the taught aspects of the course have been completed and learners have finished their 30 hours demonstration of leadership, they must be assessed for a minimum of 20 hours, to include a further two consecutive nights camping. During the assessment Sports Leaders UK recommends an Accredited Tutor/Assessor learner ratio of 1:6. 

Operation Remit of the award

Level 3 Award in Day Walk Leadership and Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition LeadershipAny person who has successfully completed the Level 3 Award in Day Walk

Leadership and/or the Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership should be deemed competent to train and lead parties in accordance with the criteria below.

The remit should be considered in its entirety when planning and executing a route. No single statement should be used in isolation to justify the selection of a route.

General Scope

Planning, preparation and supervision of journeying on foot in lowland terrain. Camping on official sites and in farm based fields or similar with access to toilets and tap water.* 

The training of participants to undertake these activities.

Acceptable Terrain

Low-lying rural countryside, farmland, valleys, woodland and small areas of forest.Lowland glens and valleys from which reliable access to communication or external assistance is feasible without undue delay and without reliance on any portable communications device.Gentle to moderate rolling terrain with no steep slopes to negotiate.


Remote sections of extensive lowland glens and valleys.Mountains, high hills, high level or remote moorland.Steep slopes where an inexperienced walker may feel intimidated or may require physical support or where a slip might result in a fall. Mountainous or rocky terrain which can be present at all altitudes.

Areas or terrain that would specifically require the leader to hold an Mountain Training Summer Mountain Leader Award , Hill and Moorland Leader Award and Lowland Leader Leader Award 

Contact Us

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Call us on 01254 704898 at any time.

If no-one is there at the time then there is a 24 hour answering machine, so leave a message and your phone number and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

New Meadows Gap Cottage
Cranberry Lane, Cranberry Fold
United Kingdom

Phone: 01254 704898

Fax: 01254 774420

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