The FSA has released a policy statement and supporting guidance notes regarding UK Awarding Bodies offering Forest School qualifications.
Any OFQUAL recognised Awarding Body is able to offer accredited Forest School awards. It is a fairly simple matter for them to clone the Forest School qualifications that were developed by the GB Forest School Trainers Network, Open College Network West Midlands Region (OCNWMR) and LANTRA and placed on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). This is encouraged by the FSA. Unfortunately, there is no legal requirement for Awarding Bodies to also adopt ‘the requirements to offer the qualification’. We are aware that some Awarding Bodies have chosen not to do this, which has resulted in a lower entry threshold for Trainers than we would have hoped for. It is FSA policy that, in the interests of raising quality Forest School in the UK, no trainer should be delivering these qualifications without themselves having Level 3 Forest School Leader accreditation AND having a minimum of 2 years, post qualification, experience leading Forest School with at least one long term (i.e. through the seasons) programme. These are presently also criteria for joining the GB Forest School Trainers Network. The FSA is in the process of developing a Forest School Trainers endorsement system and it is highly likely that these criteria will also need to be met for FSA endorsement.
The full policy statement and guidance notes for Awarding Bodies / Trainers, can be viewed here.