OK, that statement probably isn’t true. But, how do you know?

What we do know is that hundreds of people start a Forest School qualification every year. We also know that not all of them go on to complete their course and gain the qualification. Trainers will often say how many trainees they take on each year but some are a bit coy about their completion rates.

There is no central record of all Forest School qualification awards. Each awarding body makes their own awards. We could ask each separately but, even if they were willing to provide that information,  there have been a number of changes in the structure of awarding bodies over the years and more colleges are starting to produce their own courses. It would be big job to take on and the FSA does not have the resources.

We also know that there are many people ‘out there’ saying that they do Forest School but who do not have a qualification in it. Conversely, many of the people who do gain their Forest School qualification never go on to use it.

So, if you are a member of the public wanting to know if someone is Forest School qualified or not you have two choices. Firstly, you could ask to see their qualification certificate yourself … let’s be honest, almost no-one is going to do that. Secondly, you could search for them on the internet and find out whether or not they appear on the FSA database of verified qualified Forest School practitioners… perhaps some people would do that.

Of course, if someone sees the FSA badge for verified practitioners being used as part of the practitioner’s publicity and promotion then they will know that that person is indeed qualified. The more the badge is used by qualified FS practitioners the more likely it is that people will expect to see it being used, and ask questions if it is not.

The FSA regularly gets asked, ‘how many qualified Forest School people/leaders are there?’ and ‘how many active Forest School leaders are there?’. The answer is, ‘no one knows’. All we can hope to do is establish a comprehensive database of qualified people from the FSA membership. Other ideas welcome.

We know that we have over 600 FSA members who say that they have a Forest School qualification. Only 108 have had their qualification verified by the FSA so far. Why not take your certificate and certificate copy to your next local group event and get the copy countersigned? 

How to get on the database of qualified Forest School practitioners 

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