Frequently asked questions

before applying

We have compiled a list of the most-asked questions we receive here in the PGL Recruitment Team to help you find out more.

We hope you find the answer to your queries here, but if not, please use the Contact Us page to email us a question and we will get back to you. Alternatively you can send us a direct message via social media on Facebook or Twitter.

Do I need any qualifications to work for PGL?

Not always. Energy and enthusiasm are the most important qualities that we are looking for. Providing you have previous experience in the area where you want to work, we can put you through training courses to gain the necessary qualifications. If you do not have the necessary experience for the role you are applying for we will aim to offer you a more suitable role.

For some Instructor positions you will need to hold certain qualifications (see the relevant job page for details) however we would still like to hear from you if you have lots of experience but do not have the required qualifications as we operate a variety of training courses.

What qualifications can I get at PGL?

As we work with all the major National Governing Bodies, you can gain activity qualifications at all levels through our on-going coaching programmes: canoeing/kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, rafting, fencing, surfing, archery, rifle shooting, orienteering, life saving, hill walking and climbing.

We also offer a range of vocational qualifications, including the Open College Network's Level 2 Award in Introductory Work in the Outdoors and Apprenticeships in Active Leisure and Learning, Customer Service and Hospitality (in Catering, Drink Services or Front Office). Our Apprenticeships and Advanced Apprenticeships include NVQ Intermediate Level 2 and Advanced Level 3. We also offer NVQ Level 4 in Management, usually to our centre managers or head office team.

In addition to nationally recognised qualifications we run a range of in-house personal and professional development courses throughout the year.

When can I apply for a job?

We start accepting applications on September 1st for the following year.

Vacancies fill quickly, so if you are interested in applying to work at PGL it is best to get your application in early even if you are not able to start for several months. Priority will be given to applicants who can start in Jan-May.

Do you have a closing date for applications?

No. Staffing our centres with the right people, holding the correct qualifications, personalities, skills and experience is like a big jigsaw. As the season progresses we may have fewer roles available, so the earlier we receive your application, the more chance you have of being offered your preferred job and location.

Is there anyone I can talk to about my application?

Yes. The recruitment office is open 8.00am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday. You can contact the PGL Recruitment Team by phone, fax or email. Outside of office hours you can leave a message on the answer phone and we will call you back.

Email: recruitment@pgl.co.uk 

Phone 0333 321 2 123 (from overseas please call 0044 1989 767833)

What is the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and what is the form for?

Any UK citizen wishing to work with children or other vulnerable members of society needs to receive a clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) - this is the new name for the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). The Disclosure is an impartial and confidential document that details an individual’s criminal record, and where appropriate, details of those who are barred from working with children and vulnerable adults.

After you have submitted your PGL online application you’ll receive a link via email to apply for DBS clearance. Your application will only be processed once you have completed both a PGL application form and an online DBS application form.

When you are offered a position with us, you will receive your contract, job offer letter, a Post Office Identity Checking form and information on how to get your ID verified.

PGL takes advantage of the Identity Checking service offered by the Post Office which allows applicants to have their identity confirmed without the need to send original documents to Head Office. This service costs £8.75 and is offered at the majority of Post Office branches. Details of ID documents needed are on the Post Office Identity Checking form.

Tips for completing the online DBS:

The address that you list as your current address must be on one of your identity documents. You must list all your addresses for the last 5 years in date order with no gaps or overlaps. If you have spent any of that time travelling please provide dates and countries. If you were travelling in the UK please provide cities or counties.

If you have resided in another country for 6 months or more during this time you will need to obtain a police check from that country.

Please contact us if you are unsure of anything.

Overseas Applicants

If you are applying from overseas, you must send a Certificate of Good Conduct which you can obtain from your local police office, with your application. When applying on-line, please also send a copy of the certificate via email to recruitment@pgl.co.uk.

Do I need to apply for Disclosure and Barring Service Clearance before I have been offered a job with PGL?

Yes. As the majority of our job roles require interaction with young and/or vulnerable guests, we want to ensure their safety. Therefore all staff wishing to work with PGL must complete the online DBS form as soon as a job application is made. We will not process your job application until you have completed an application to the DBS.

Your DBS form will only be processed if you are successfully offered a job with PGL. PGL will pay for this.

You will not be allowed to begin working with us or be on a PGL centre if the DBS have not started to process your enhanced disclosure application by your contract start date.

How long can I work for?

The PGL season lasts from mid-January until November with some centres operational for shorter periods within this time. If you are available throughout this length of time, we can offer you work at more than one of our centres.

You can apply to work for the whole season or for a short term contract . The longer you can work for the more beneficial it is for us.

Can I do a work placement at PGL?

We have great opportunities for people looking for a college placement for a minimum of twelve weeks and each year over 100 people come to PGL for this reason. We can offer college placements for students of water and/or land-based outdoor activities, catering and French.

Unfortunately we are unable to facilitate short-term school work experience placements (i.e. one or two weeks or one day a week).

To apply to join us for your college work placement, simply apply as normal. You must be at least 18 years of age at the start of your contract and be available to stay for at least twenty weeks. Your placement period can last as long as necessary, although we take on very few people to work just over the summer months, so the earlier you are available, the better chance you have of being successful. Most placement students come to PGL from April - September.

You'll receive the same staff package as the rest of the team: meals, accommodation, a competitive wage, qualification bonuses if applicable, access to a wealth of potential training opportunities, transport to resort from a UK departure point if working overseas, and much more.

If your college tutor needs to visit you during your placement, you can arrange this with your manager once you're on centre. Unfortunately we are unable to offer placements to anyone under 18, or for periods shorter than twelve weeks. Many PGL staff, including some of our managers and head office team began working for the company on a work placement, returned after finishing college and have made their career in the outdoors industry with us.

Do I have to be British to work for PGL?

No. We welcome applications from overseas residents and believe that cultural diversity amongst our staff team is invaluable. You MUST hold the relevant work permit or visa before applying to us and send a photocopy to us along with your application to prove your eligibility. If you apply online, you can scan and fax or email a copy to us, but you will need to bring the original documents with you when you arrive to start work, should you be offered a contract.

Can you get me a work permit/visa, or offer me a job so I can apply for a visa?

To work at PGL you must be legally entitled to work in the UK. If you are applying from overseas, you must send proof of your right to work in the UK with your application form.

PGL are unable to assist with or apply for a work permit/visa on behalf of an applicant and are unable to offer you a job if you do not have the correct work permit.

My friend and I would like to work at PGL, will we be based at the same location?

On your application form there is a space for you to say if you are applying with a friend. If you write their name on your form we will do our best to make sure you are both placed at the same centre. You will both need to write each other's full name on the form so that we know you both feel the same way!

If I join PGL in a residential role, where will I live?

All our staff accommodation is at the centre. The majority is shared, with communal social areas, separate showers and toilets. Depending on the time of year that you arrive, your accommodation may be indoors, such as shared house, wooden cabin or chalet, or could be a single or shared large frame tent.

In Northern France all accommodation is indoors in shared rooms and in southern France and Spain, all staff share large frame tents with the exception of Lou Valagran where staff share small chalets. Further information about each centre's staff accommodation can be found on the relevant centre info page.

How will I get to my centre?

If you are working in the UK, you will need to make your own way to your centre or training venue: whichever you need to go to first. If you are travelling by public transport, you will need to get yourself to the closest coach, bus or train station to the centre and we will send someone to collect you. We will transport you from your training venue to centre of work in the UK, France or Spain. More information on centre locations, directions and public transport will be sent with your contract offer.

Do I have to fill in my own application form or can my parent do it on my behalf?

We need each individual to complete their own application form and submit it. If you are successfully offered a position with PGL, you need to sign the contract yourself; a parent or friend cannot do this on your behalf.

We are also unable to give out certain information over the phone or via email unless it's to the individual concerned. Only the individual named on the contract can request that any amends be made to their contract start and finish dates.

Can I be an Activity Instructor at your centres in Southern France or Spain?

Unlike our roles in the UK, all of our instructors working at our locations in Southern France and Spain require activity qualifications, especially UKCC/BCU or RYA awards. This is because the majority of our centres in these regions focus on watersports.

Can I bring my pet with me?

Unfortunately not. You will be sharing accommodation and it's not fair on your room-mate to bring a pet along.

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Key PGL Facts

Key PGL Facts

Need more convincing to apply? Surely not, but if so – here are a few ‘must know’ key facts:

  • we employ over 3,000 people every year
  • over 400,000 guests visit a PGL centre every year
  • we are old! We have been providing activity holidays since 1957 (almost 60 years)
  • we have the most competitive staff package
  • we are the employer of choice within the outdoor activity industry!