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EQFOA – European Qualification for Outdoor Animators

  • Promoter: SkillsActive UK
  • EOSE role: Technical advices, Management of the European Labour Market Information, Dissemination and exploitation.
  • Duration: 24 months (01/10/2006 to 30/09/2008)
  • Partnership: Training Providers, employers and EU Networks from 8 different European countries
  • EU programme: Lifelong Learning Programme, Leonardo da Vinci, Transfer of Innovation
  • Scope: The Outdoors

In Europe, the Outdoor Leisure sector is recognised as a fast growing industry. Indeed, it is easier nowadays to travel from one country to another, people tend to benefit from more and more free time, and the whole year round, holiday-makers from all over Europe are increasingly seeking for active type vacations such as biking, hiking and mountaineering, skiing and snowboarding, sailing and windsurfing and many other outdoor activities.

As a consequence, more and more entrepreneurs are not only setting up private companies to provide this growing clientele with the services they desire, but are also seeking for competent qualified outdoor animators who unfortunately are difficult to find on the European labour market and are often trained in a variety of ways that are by no means related. At the same time, more and more young people are entering the outdoor leisure industry, but they face difficulties in finding the right training programs and qualifications to become animators in outdoor activities especially if they wish to practice their trade in more than one country.

It can therefore be concluded that although the industry continues to flourish, employers and employees have difficulties matching each other’s requirements because Vocational Education Training is at best unclear and at worse non-existent in the Outdoors sector in Europe. It is more than crucial to develop a professional structure for the outdoor industry.
A collection of partners from the project met together and decided to develop this proposal to produce some crucial and indispensable tools and European standards aiming at providing a better visibility of the outdoors sector, in terms of staff competencies. Employers’ unions have called for the development of these standards to ensure transparency of qualifications across the sector in Europe; increase the number and quality of trained professionals; encourage and enable mobility of workers; and improve the content of training programmes in relation with the needs of the market and employers.

The specific aims of the project were:

  • To develop and validate the Industry Occupational Map for the Outdoor sector across EU.
  • To research and produce Individual Job Descriptions and profiles for the current job activities of Outdoor professionals in the partner countries.
  • To develop and agree the Industry Functional Map for the whole Outdoor Sector across EU.
  • To produce and sign off a Competence Framework with technical and non-technical competences.
  • To explore the Feasibility of Developing a Verification Process to validate qualifications of professionals in the Outdoor sector.
  • To research the Labour Market to establish number of enterprises and employment patterns and the Vocational Training Systems.


EOSE was in particular involved in:

  • The technical and management team.
  • Providing technical advices on the way and different steps to develop occupational standards (7 Step Model).
  • The management European Labour Market Information survey carried out in Europe as package leader: development of the research, collection and analysis of the data.
  • The consultation proces.
  • Dissemination and exploitation of the project outcomes.
EOSE – European Observatoire of Sport and Employment

A new wave for the sport and active leisure sector

Ensuring the right skills in the right place

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