Ireland Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders

forest school training ireland

We are delighted to be working in partnership with Earth Force Education to bring our ground breaking Level 3 Certificate for Forest School Leaders (OCNWMR). 

Circle of Life Training is offering Forest School Programme Leadership in association with Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC. 


The training will combine key principles of Forest School with best practice from Environment and Nature Education, child development, the world of play (wild, free and therapeutic play) delivered by our professional team who have many years experience.

Course content and units:

The OCN accreditation training carries a total of 18 credits at Level 3 and consists of 5 units.
Credit Value 18, GLH: 96, TQT: 180
Guided Learning hours (GLH) supervised or direct study time required for a unit.
Total Qualification Time (TQT) number of guided learning hours (GLH) plus the time taken by learner for private study or work experience

2019 dates:

Part One (5 days): 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th & 9th October, 2019 and
Part Two (4 days): 22nd, 23rd, 24th & 25th February, 2020.
Link to the Ireland online booking form:

NB: All dates inclusive, you must attend all parts of the training and they cannot be joined part way through.

Times: Training is from 9am to 4.00/4.30pm daily, with the final day finishing at 3pm.

This training is:

  • Level 3 certified through the Open College Network West Midlands.
  • An internationally recognised qualification of the highest quality standard.
  • Underpinned by our philosophy and nature connection values.
  • Set in the wider context of ecological education, bush-craft and nature connection.
  • Combines personal, environmental and cultural understanding within a dynamic of holistic development.
  • Suitable for working with all ages.
  • Run by highly trained and experienced staff.

Who is the training designed for?

This Level 3 Training is designed for professionals already working with young people who wish to establish and deliver a Forest School/Environmental Education programme. It is appropriate for those over the age of 21 years with relevant qualifications including teachers, youth workers, playworkers, rangers, ecologists or teaching assistants with experience of working with young people or adults (at least 2 years).

Assessment will combine written work, use of practice workbooks, reflective logs, practical demonstrations and group discussion. This Training requires a significant level of paper work e.g. short written assignments, risk assessments and health and safety policies. You can let us know in advance if you have any concerns in this area.

Participants should also have access to a group with whom they will run a 6 week Forest School Programme.

All participants must be Garda/CRB vetted and hold a first aid certificate by the end of the Training. They must hold a 16 hour Level 2 Wilderness First Aid certificate or equivalent. We can provide this during the Training (at an additional cost of €110).

Wilderness First Aid is not equivalent to the Occupational First Aid. It is a slightly higher level of first aid than Occupational First Aid as it incorporates splinting of sprains and breaks and how to look after a patient in non-urban forested locations.

Earth Force Education can organise WFA Level 2 training for your group.

Cost and How to Book:

This training is booked through our partner provider Earth Force Education further information can be found here.

The total cost of training is €1200.00
Booking forms and deposits are all payable to Earth Force Education.

Please contact Ciara Hinksman at / 086 3199 515 for more information or if you would like a booking form emailed directly to you.

Passionate to share her love of the outdoors, Forest School Leader Ciara Hinksman founded Earth Force Education in 2009. As well as adult Forest School trainings in association with Educational Training Boards, County Childcare Committees and Third Level institutions, she coordinates and delivers long-term Forest School Primary School programmes in association with several Local Authorities and groups throughout Ireland. She is an An Taisce/Heritage Council of Ireland Heritage in Schools specialist and was featured in Nationwide’s ‘RTE Goes Wild’ She is in partnership with Circle of Life Training to offer certified Forest School Leader trainings in Co. Wicklow. Ciara is the founding chair of the Irish Forest School Association.

Feedback from 2018 participants:
"I enjoyed the whole course- its allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. You have made learning fun!!"

"The course is a great chance to meet other people sharing experiences and ideas with the opportunity to try things out in a supportive space filled with laughter and positive energy."

"I really enjoyed how holistic and focused this training has been- there is a real understanding of the need to promote the forest school belief system."

"I really enjoyed how different cultures teachings were incorporated into the activities, especially the aboriginal walk about game."

"We were never bored! Only stimulated, challenged, questioned, encouraged, lead and left to grow."

"Absolutely amazing combination of practical, theory and personal reflection. I have never attended a course and felt this fulfilled and nourished."

"Holistic- You walked the walk- Thank you!"

"I would recommend this course to others because it encompasses the whole picture and was so rewarding on both a personal and professional level"

"Doing this course has given me a deeper appreciation and of the natural world and new ways to look and see what is really going on."

"This course is quite unique- it goes deeper that just training to facilitate a forest school session. As an organisation there is a real focus on deepening our connection with nature."

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