Outdoor Training Organizations

The organizations below offer at least one type of program to help you develop as an outdoor practitioner and/or leader. The list is not exhaustive and not exclusive. If you know of an organization that offers such training but is not listed here, please contact us.

Outdoor Council of Canada

The Outdoor Council of Canada’s Field Leader courses are designed to educate outdoor leaders on how to ensure physical and emotional safety for their participants, manage logistics, solve problems, and provide meaningful experiences outside.

College and University Programs

  • Algonquin College, in Ontario, trains professional guides through their two-year Outdoor Adventure program. 
  • Camosun College, in British Columbia, offers a 13-month Post-Degree Diploma in Adventure Education.
  • Capilano University, in British Columbia, offers a two-year Outdoor Recreation Management Diploma.
  • Cape Breton University, in Nova Scotia, offers Outdoor Leadership as a focus within a 4 year major and honours program in Sport and Physical Activity Leadership.
  • The Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, in Quebec, offers a 3 year Adventure Tourism program.
  • College of the Rockies, in British Columbia offers a 9-month Mountain Adventure Skills Training program. 
  • Fanshawe College, in Ontario, offers a 16-month Adventure Expeditions and Interpretive Leadership diploma program with industry certifications.
  • Lakehead University, in Ontario, offers an Outdoor Recreation Park and Tourism program.
  • Laurentian University, in Ontario, offers a 4-year Outdoor Adventure Leadership program.
  • The Merici College, in Quebec, offers a 3-semester Outdoor Tourism and Ecotourism program.
  • Mount Royal University, in Alberta, offers a 4-year Health and Physical Education-Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership program.
  • Saint Francois Xavier University, in Nova Scotia, offers a Certificate in Outdoor Education specifically designed for teachers.
  • Simon Fraser University, in British Columbia, offers an interactive, online Graduate Diploma in Advanced Professional Studies in Education (GDE).
  • Strathcona Park Lodge, in British Columbia, offers a 3 month Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training Program.
  • Thompson Rivers University, in British Columbia, offers a 2-year Adventure Guide Diploma.
  • The University of Calgary, in Alberta, offers a 3 term graduate program in Outdoor Education.
  • The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi offers a 2 1/2 years bachelor’s degree in outdoor leadership.
  • The Université du Québec à Chicoutimi also offers a 2 trimester graduate studies diploma in Intervention par la nature et l’aventure (Adventure Therapy, Experiential Education and Corporate Team Building in the outdoors).
  • Yukon College offers a 2 year Northern Outdoor and Environmental Studies program.

Within the images below, you will find a list of outdoor training programs and where the institutions are located. The maps below are the result of the academic research work of Beau Williams Orser. He generously shared this information with the OCC for the benefit of the outdoor community. If you want to read Mr. William Orser’s dissertation or connect with him, contact us and we will facilitate the process.

National Organizations Offering Certifications

  • The Association of Canadian Mountain Guides is a national certifying body for climbing, skiing, and hiking guides.
  • The Interpretive Guides Association has a mission to establish and maintain high standards in heritage interpretation in Canada’s mountain parks.
  • Paddle Canada has for mission to promote recreational paddling instruction, safety, and environmental awareness to all Canadians.
  • The Canadian Avalanche Association‘s mission is to ensure that its diverse membership of avalanche practitioners meets the highest standards, and adheres to best practices to secure the confidence of governments, industry, and Canadians.
  • The Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors promotes and advance the sports of cross country and telemark skiing in Canada through the provision of high-quality instruction.

Provincial Organizations Offering Certifications


  • Paddle Alberta society promotes and supports safe, sustainable recreational canoeing and Kayaking in Alberta.

British Columbia


  • Paddle Manitoba‘s goal is to get people out in canoes and kayaks enjoying the amazing lakes and waterways of Manitoba.

New Brunswick

Newfoundland & Labrador

North West Territories

  • No organizations have been listed for this region yet. If you know of any relevant organization, please contact us.

Nova Scotia

  • Hike Nova Scotia encourages and promotes hiking, walking and snowshoeing throughout Nova Scotia.
  • Canoe Kayak Nova Scotia fosters the growth and development of safe and environmentally responsible, recreational stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, and kayaking in Nova Scotia; through training, promotion, advocacy and stewardship.


  • No organizations have been listed for this region yet. If you know of any relevant organization, please contact us.


  • Hike Ontario‘s mission is to encourage walking, hiking and trail development in Ontario.
  • The Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association promotes accessibility of paddling experiences for everyone, the development of safe, competent and knowledgeable recreational paddlers, igniting the passion for paddling and the preservation of the paddling environment.

Prince Edward Island

  • No organizations have been listed for this region yet. If you know of any relevant organization, please contact us.



  • Canoe Kayak Saskatchewan is the Provincial Sport Governing Body for canoe and kayak in Saskatchewan. Our goal is to encourage participation and develop excellence in the sport of canoe and kayak and to enable participants to realize personal excellence.


  • No organizations have been listed for this region yet. If you know of any relevant organization, please contact us.