Safe operating standards

Making safety our highest priority

The PGL approach to outdoor education

PGL has been operating holidays, tours and courses since 1957 and has therefore amassed a wealth of experience over half a century. The lessons learnt have become the foundation of our operating policies and practices - resulting in our excellent safety record.


PGL has always placed a huge emphasis on safety – as a founder member of BAPA (British Activity Providers Association) and a licence holder for activities in scope of AALA (Adventure Activities Licencing Authority) regulations. Canoeing at all our centres is approved by the BCU (British Canoe Union) and all our sailing centres are recognised RYA (Royal Yachting Association) teaching establishments.

We have always been pioneers of a safe approach to outdoor education. At the same time, we acknowledge that risk is part of life and so we try to help ensure that children understand the concept of risk benefit, so that they can learn to remain safe whilst still being able to live life to the full.

Staff - Recruitment and Training Standards

Our Centre Managers and Seniors have normally worked their way up through the PGL ranks over a period of several seasons and have a thorough knowledge of all our standards and procedures.

Approximately 50% of our centre staff are returners: the remaining 50% are recruited annually by our central Recruitment Department. Our recruitment officers all have extensive experience in outdoor education or recruitment and make their selections based on a detailed application process and two formal written references from people who know the applicant in a professional capacity. Any qualifications claimed by applicants must be supported by documentary proof of level and currency.

PGL’s excellent reputation ensures that we receive a wealth of applications from enthusiastic and competent young adults. The candidates selected are offered contracts of employment subject to satisfactory checks (at enhanced level) via the Disclosure and Barring Service, the successful completion of pre-employment training, and a favourable performance during their probationary period.

All new staff will complete our 'Foundation Programme' which consists of a comprehensive induction and job specific training followed by regular observations, feedback, reviews and assessments. The Foundation programme includes a QCF Level 2 Certificate in either 'Working in the Outdoors' or 'Hospitality and Operational Support' and has been awarded a Quality Mark by the Hospitality Guild.

All staff members that graduate from the Foundation Programme are offered the opportunity to continue their personal development through PGL's Staff Development Scheme which includes job specific apprenticeships such as Activity Leadership, Customer Service, Retail, Hospitality and Management. PGL is an approved centre to deliver qualifications with a range of awarding organisations including the ILM, EDI, City and Guilds, OCNWM and 1st4Sport.

We also organise a wide range of National Governing Body training courses for our staff to ensure that we can meet our commitment to guests on qualifications and also to provide our staff with continuous personal development and recognition of their skills and ability. We work particularly closely with the British Canoe Union and the Royal Yachting Association.

All staff are made aware of the centre's chain of management and the person responsible for the supervision of staff leading activities.