Instructor Development Scheme

The Instructor Development Scheme’s (IDS) purpose is to support motivated individuals to develop their careers in the outdoors. This support includes National Governing Body (NGB) awards, and gaining experience of decision-making, coaching and leadership in the outdoors.

All IDS participants will have the opportunity to experience a year of training, personal development, and work experience at Glenmore Lodge, sportscotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre.

Instructor Development Scheme (IDS)

sportscotland is the national agency for sport in Scotland. Our vision is an active Scotland where everyone benefits from sport.

Glenmore Lodge is Scotland’s National Outdoor Training Centre, where our aim is to offer world class training in outdoor adventure sports and encourage more people to enjoy the outdoors more often.

We’re offering an exciting training scheme opportunity for four motivated individuals, aimed at supporting outdoor leaders and instructors in furthering their outdoor career to the next level.

This is a one-year programme for those suitably experienced and interested in developing their career as an outdoor instructor.  We will provide opportunities to gain high level qualifications through both a tailored and mentored experience, along with peer learning, coaching/instructional placements and personal development.  

You will spend 20 hours per week contributing to the running of the Centre. The rest of the time will be a mix of programmed opportunities, self-programmed time to get out with peers and attend training/qualification courses.

In return for this opportunity, sportscotland expects the successful candidates to contribute to the operation of the Centre, primarily fulfilling key roles within the centre both at evening reception, overnight and a centre support role.

In accordance with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007, placement in the scheme will be conditional on a successful applicant being able to obtain PVG membership (further details can be found here).

As part of the scheme, this role is paid at the Real Living Wage. (£10.90 per hour). As this is a residential appointment there will be a deduction of £257.50 (in 2023 subject to a small annual increase) per month for accommodation in the IDS staff house.

If you have any questions about the scheme, please review the information sheet, email [email protected] or call 01479 861256

sportscotland – sport for life



Having grown up in North Devon I decided to make the move up to North Wales seven years ago to pursue a career in the outdoors. After cutting my teeth climbing, mountaineering, mountain biking, and everything else besides, I opted for a change of scene and applied for the IDS. My first ever experience of winter mountaineering was just up the road on a Johnathan Conville Scottish winters course in 2017, since then I’ve been back a handful of times and always wondered what it would be like to live here. A few goals of mine here are; see the Northern Lights, see a golden eagle, and of course see a haggis (live, in the flesh)!


I grew up in Aberdeenshire before moving to the Granite City for 9 years. I spent my time studying textiles and working my way up in hospitality before diving headfirst into the outdoor industry in 2022 and I’ve never looked back. When I’m not working I can be found either scrambling up a mountain, surfing on the North East coast, or getting shouted at by the Duolingo Owl to do my Gaelic lesson! Having spent the last few years teaching paddleboarding, surfing, and indoor climbing, I am excited to become a student at Glenmore Lodge and learn as much as I can over the next 12 months


As a teenager from London, I ditched the stick-and-ball sports once I became exposed to mountain biking. This took me to Whistler BC (Canada), where I instructed downhill mountain biking. My friend introduced me to rock climbing while at university – this escalated! A traineeship in North Wales gave me a taste for working in the outdoors. After university I moved back there and worked as a freelance instructor. The Lodge couldn’t be better placed for adventures, and it’s a friendly community at the Lodge – everyone is excited to talk plans and adventures. I am very excited to go on adventures with friends and discover what the Scottish mountains have to offer, getting stuck into tons of climbing and mountaineering. I also hope to learn to ski, and rediscover the psych for mountain biking

Laerke Nielsen

I’m Laerke (‘Lark’), originally from the idyllic flat plains of Denmark but I fell in love with Scotland and never really left again after coming over to do my postgrad in outdoor education at the University of Edinburgh in 2017 – a lot of the degree took place right here in the Cairngorms. As a true Scandi kit I went to forest school from the ripe young age of 3 and spent most of my childhood outdoors. however I never considered it a possibility as a career path until travelling around the world in my gap year and meeting a bunch of inspiring women leading groups in the hills, which planted the seed that maybe I could do that myself one day. Havin been Edinburgh based and working mainly as an outdoor youth worker over the last couple of years, I am now super excited to be back in the middle of the mountains where my journey first started



I’m Cameron, originally from Inverness. Before starting the Instructor Development Scheme I studied Adventure Education at the School of Adventure Studies, UHI. Having loved the outdoors from an early age, I began mountain biking aged twelve and have since acquired a range of leadership qualifications. Over the last two summers I have enjoyed freelancing in this field, exposing people to the love of bikes! My motivations this year is to upskill in a variety of outdoor sports, and hopefully gain further qualifications including the Summer Mountain Leader


Hi I’m B! I’m from North Wales and grew up in a very outdoorsy family. We did loads of activities from a very young age and it stuck with me solidly! I raced kayaks for a few years, then went to university and joined the mountaineering club which became a huge part of my life. I’m a keen bean for everything and super excited to get involved with the loads of things that are going on here at the Lodge!


Hello, I’m Naomi! I was born and bred in the wild west … Fort William! My life so far has been one massive adventure and I’m not planning on changing that any time soon. I have set myself the goal this year of being able to back flip in at least one of the disciplines here at Glenmore Lodge… watch this space! I started my professional working journey as a PE teacher and 8 years later I decided to re-evaluate if that was the correct route for me. I was lucky enough to be accepted onto the IDS and I am beyond excited to find out where my career in the outdoors can grow to as a result. The outdoors is powerful and multifaceted, there is a place and purpose for everyone within it. Here’s to the future making the outdoors accessible to all!


Hi, I’m Graeme! I grew up in Ayrshire and have been working as an engineer in Glasgow, designing offshore wind farms. I’ve come to Glenmore Lodge to leave the desk behind and kick start a career in the Scottish outdoor industry. My first foray into the outdoors was in whitewater kayaking in high school. I loved it and started competing and travelling all over the country to go paddling. I now spend as much time in Scotland’s mountains as I can and I’m really excited to start working in an environment I’m passionate about!

2022-23 IDS

Hear from the IDS how they’ve been finding things at Glenmore Lodge since joining us in April 2022 HERE


Before I started at the Lodge, I was a climbing instructor and route setter at a climbing centre in Northampton. I am originally from Northamptonshire, and I was a customer at that centre for years before I worked there.


Hi I’m Meg, I’m from North Wales and before starting at the Lodge I worked at Plas Menai doing an Instructor Development Program, similar to the Lodge but more water based with activities such as sailing, windsurfing, foiling and paddling of course! I did enjoy most of the water side but found that I enjoy the mountaineering side of things a lot more and wanted to pursue that down the line. And then I saw the Instructor Development Scheme at the Lodge!


I’m Kyle! I grew up in a very outdoorsy family, and my parents became outdoor instructors whilst I was in high school. I wanted to branch off and do something different, but when I moved to Edinburgh to do Psychology, I quickly realised that it wasn’t right for me. I decided to sack that off and embark on a year’s volunteering journey with Project Trust where I ended up teaching geography and science in Guyana. After countless adventures there, I returned to the UK and I’m excited to be embarking on my next lot of adventures at Glenmore Lodge!


I’m Matthew, originally from County Armagh, Northern Ireland. For the last seven years I worked as a National Trust Ranger in Northern Ireland – a job that involved nature conservation, environmental education and facilitating public access to the outdoors. Currently, my main outdoor pursuits are hillwalking and paddlesports, but over the course of the next year I plan to throw myself into everything the Lodge has to offer so as to try out new things, develop a wide-ranging skillset, and discover new interests!


Before starting at the Lodge, I completed my degree in Marine and Natural History Photography and since graduating I worked a variety of interesting jobs including Paddlesports Assistant, Photography Teacher, and a Santa’s Lapland Ranger!