International Outdoor Instructor Course

In 2018 from ROOKIE to PRO

Outdoor instructor course information

Why we organised the course this way

After working in the outdoor industry for 25 years, doing courses around the world, we felt that there were not a lot that provided the experience people want when they decide to move to this field of work. Adventure. Most courses run in the centres low season, to make a profit during the winter months. Travel is minimized for profit, courses are advertised as ‘fast track’, meaning there is little room for you to get ready for some of the qualifications. For most of the places that also means being wet and cold for long hours while trying to learn the basics.

Our course aims at:


Why Portugal

A big cause of poor performance in training courses is comfort. If you are hungry, cold, wet and miserable, you will not retain most of what you are learning. When choosing a course check the pictures of the school. Do you see people smiling? Great! But are they wearing gloves? Hoodies, rubber boots in the water? Winter jackets in most of them? These little details will help you know what to expect.

We choose Portugal for the conditions, climate and easy, close access to different landscapes and activities.

Our centre is located in one of the best places in Portugal, with :


What you will learn

Hard Skills

Soft Skills



Offered Qualifications

British Canoeing 1, 2 and 3 Stars Canoe and Kayak

British Canoeing Foundation Safety and Rescue (FRST)

UKCC Level 1 Coach paddle sport

Single Pitch Award (SPA) UK Mountain Training

British Canoeing Sea Kayak 3 Stars

Scottish Mountain Bike Leader Award (SMBLA)

First Aid

Beach Lifeguard (Portuguese Navy)

Local Skipper (Power and Sail)

ISA Surf Instructor

BSUPA Stand Up Paddle Board Instructor

VHF Radio Operator

International Mountain Leader Training, UK Mountain Training

SSI Open Water Diver



How do I enrol?

You can enrol by sending us a message. After receiving the information package and returning the filled enrolment sheet more proof of payment.


What happens after I enrol?

We will send you an information package with details about the course plan, equipment requirements, fitness plan and add you to the course’s private facebook page.


How far in advance do I need to sign up for the course?

There is limited space on our courses.  We recommend submitting your enrolment form as early as possible.


What does the cost of the course cover?

The total cost includes all tuition and fees for the course. Tuition covers the cost of 3 meals a day, accommodation in shared rooms, instruction, permits, qualifications, technical gear and activity insurance while on course.


What is not included in my tuition?

Not included in this total cost are personal expenses such as clothing, insurance (health and travel), airfares and baggage fees (other than the travel done with the course group).   If you require visas to enter any of the countries visited by the course, you will be responsible for getting them and the additional costs.


What if I need to change or cancel my enrolment on the course?

We do not refund the full course fees, please be sure before taking a spot on the course. In some cases you can transfer part of the fees to the next course. Please read our terms and conditions.


Are there any extra charges?

There are no hidden charges on the course. The extra expenses you will need to make are for your own personal equipment and registration fees for the appropriate governing bodies (NGBs) so you can apply for the qualifications. These include: Mountain Training UK, British Canoeing, Scottish Canoe Association, etc (full list will be given upon enrolment).


Why are some of the qualifications only to training level?

Some qualifications schemes require several phases: personal experience, training course, consolidation, assessment. For example, the SPA (Single Pitch Award) requires you to have 15 lead climbs before training, 40 before taking the assessment. The longer qualifications require sometimes more than one year.


Do I need insurance?

All outdoor activity companies in Portugal are obliged by law to carry insurance for participants during the activities. We do recommend you get extra insurance that covers you outside the training schedule.


I don’t have a lot of experience.  Can I be successful?

Yes! We will teach you all the basic skills and help you progress in all the activities. The course is designed to accommodate all levels of expertise.


Am I too young/Old?

We will take you if you are more than 18. If you are above 90 you probably need a extra insurance.


How can I be physically prepared to attend course?

Physical fitness is key component on course. If you can get out of bed and walk out the door, you are fit to join in. The first months of training will get you up to speed, and ready to start expanding you fitness levels.

Upon enrolment we will send you an easy training schedule, to get you started.


What gear will I need?

Casual clothing, toiletries and footwear (full list will be sent after enrolment). We will provide technical gear that includes, but is not limited to, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents/tarps, canoes, kayaks, surfboards, cooking gear, etc.


Where does my course start?  How do I get there?

Peniche, Portugal. 1 hour north of Lisbon. Bus 9€ or taxi transfer 100€.


Can I take my dog/cat?

Not really… unless it is for use in the survival training 😉


What are the course hours?

Normally we will be on from 8 am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. Some days we might start earlier or end later if it means catching the right tide or best conditions.


Will I have free time?

Weekends are normally free. Sometimes we will be on expedition and include the weekend. If you are not planning on doing the internship in August with us, this month will also be free time for you (the course fee does not include food and lodging for August; if you are doing the internship we will offer full board).


What happens to my belongings while I am on course?

Tobacco, alcohol and recreational drugs are not permitted. Valuables like plane tickets, passports, iPods, cell phones, computers, wallets etc. should be left in your allocated personal locker (in your room).


How is the accommodation?

You will stay in Shark’s Lodge, sharing a room with 3 other participants, with private bathroom, in front of the pool.


How is the food?

You will be offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of these meals will be cooked by the group, while on the field or on expedition. The quality of the food is the same as served in our restaurant. Please check Shark’s Lodge Restaurant.


Can you accommodate food allergies and other dietary needs?

Contact us so we can try to accommodate your special dietary needs or food allergies. We consider these needs on a case-by-case basis.


Shark’s Lodge – Peniche embodies a lifestyle concept where love for the ocean and unique cultures from around the world is expressed by receiving guests with Portuguese warmth and tradition, in a comfortable and chillaxed ambience. Associated with reliability and professionalism of our team and constant improving and innovation of our services, we represent a whole new approach to experience surfing, always concerning our guests’ safety and mainly providing an unforgettable experience.

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Shark’s Lodge

Active Holidays – Baleal, Peniche, Portugal

Rua do Salgado lote D1, 2520-193
Peniche – Portugal
+351 262 782 043

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