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Newquay Activity Centre



£5399 or £7784*

*Inc Accommodation

OAIC Intro

Make the ocean your office

  • Gain all the outdoor qualifications you need to live the life you love
  • Duration: 13 weeks (Mondays-Thursdays)
  • Learn to lead activities including surfing, paddlesports and coasteering
  • Comprehensive training in First Aid and beach lifeguarding
  • Luxury Accomodation available for course duration

Do you dream of waking up every day to go to a job you love? Take your future into your own hands and turn your passion into a profession with Newquay Activity Centre’s Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course. Based in Newquay, Cornwall, this in-depth training course will give you the tools you need to become an effective outdoor professional and set you up for a life of expertise in open-air action!

*Price for course only £5399, Price for Course & Accommodation £7784

Want More Info?

Would you like to find out a bit more about us or one of our courses?

OAIA Contact Form

OAIC About UsAbout this course

Do you spend your weekends embracing the outdoors only to return to the office again every Monday morning? Are you tired of having adventure stripped away from you? If you love spending time with the sand between your toes and the fresh air in your lungs, then qualifying as an outdoor instructor could take you down the new career path you’ve been dreaming of.

Here at Newquay Activity Centre we know first-hand the benefits of living the adventure life day in, day out. The sun on your face and the ocean breeze in your hair; there aren’t many jobs that even come close to providing you with such a high degree of lifestyle happiness.

If you like the idea of being surrounded by oceans, mountains, good people and good times, then it’s probable that life as an outdoor instructor is for you. Our Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course is a three-month long adventure programme that ultimately equips you with the skills you need to become an effective outdoor instructor.

You’ll learn how to coach, guide, instruct and save lives at sea using the Newquay coastline as your very fun but very real training ground. During the course you could get the opportunity to shadow our existing instructors during weekend retreats, as well as the opportunity for paid work with our local business partnerships. We’re here to help shape your future in the industry however we can, no matter your desired job role.

OAIC About Us

During the programme you will gain a wide range of qualifications readying you for a life of enjoyable work in the great outdoors. These will include your ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Award, British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Award (this will allow you to guide kayak and SUP tours), a Beach Lifeguard Qualification and an award in Outdoor First Aid.

We now offer elements of this course as individual modules.  If you would like to just become a surfing instructor our Surfing Instructor Course can get you fully qualified and ready to teach in just three weeks!

We aim to spend a minimum of 50% of the course with outdoor practical lessons taking place in the ocean or on the beach and the remainder is theory based. We’re focussed on finding that perfect balance between outdoor adventure and learning!

Whenever the weather is right, we much prefer to be sitting on the beach or on a cliff top delivering your theory work rather than being stuck inside. After all, outdoor instructor life is all about having the fresh air in your lungs and the sun on your face. Why wait until you’re qualified to reap the benefits?

On completion of the course you could stay and work in Newquay with our ‘guaranteed interview’ process, or you could pack your bags and jet off to places like New Zealand, Morocco, Bali or beyond. Our qualifications are internationally recognised and highly sought-after, putting you in an excellent position for working abroad.

Our Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course in Newquay will harness you with all the training, skills and assessments you need to get qualified. What’s more, you’ll get real on-the-job experience through shadowing hours when you’re experienced enough to do so. You’ll also get a guaranteed interview for a lead instructor position after the course at our award-winning centre!

OAIC About Us

You’ll develop your skills and get trained in:

●      Surfing

●      Coasteering

●      Beach Lifeguarding

●      First Aid

●      Stand Up-Paddleboarding

●      Kayaking

●      Canoeing

●      Bodyboarding

●      Bodysurfing/Handplaning

●      Bushcraft & Foraging

●      Team Building

Ordinarily it would take years to gain the qualifications and skills on offer. Enrolling in our instructor academy gives you the chance to kickstart your dream life on the beach as soon as possible!

Here at Newquay Activity Centre we have condensed all of your training into just a few short months. This means you can be qualified and ready to enter the world of outdoor instructing as soon as you finish the course. When you undergo outdoor instruction qualification, there are necessary shadowing hours as part of your training. These can be quite hard to come by so we have fast-tracked this process for our students within the course. These hours can be completed during the three months or fairly soon after completion.

Your course days will be split between outdoor practical learning and indoor theory work.

Outdoor Instructor Courses NewquayItinerary


No two days on the OAIA course are the same. The tides and conditions will always have the final say, so our schedule can and will change. Normally our training will run from 9am-4pm, but be prepared for us to seize the early morning tide and schedule a dawny, or equally utilise every minute of daylight and surf until sunset.

Week 1

Introduction to the course, your instructors and your fellow students. You’ll  break the ice and build a team dynamic which will continue to bond the group for the rest of the course. You’ll have an introductory session in each of the main disciplines, get to know the local beaches and explore Newquay. During this week you’ll also have a swim coaching session with a timed swim. This will help the OAIA gauge your swimming ability and if necessary put a coaching plan in place in preparation for your timed swim assessment in week 5.

Week 2

This week you’ll master Bodyboarding, Handplaning & Bodysurfing. You’ll start learning to read the waves and understand water movement. You’ll gain your first qualification and finish the week as a bodyboarding instructor.

Week 3

This is the start of your surfing module. If you haven’t already, you’ll learn to love surfing and get a buzz from coaching it. Your focus will be on delivering a classic beginners surf lesson. There is a lot of surf theory to absorb, detailed video analysis sessions, and the opportunity to shadow real surf lessons.

Week 4

You’ll be pleased to hear that there’s still more surfing to enjoy… This week you’ll be honing your techniques, developing your coaching style, analysing more footage and being assessed on your lesson delivery for your ISA Level 1.

Outdoor Instructor Courses NewquayWeek 5

Welcome to Lifeguarding week; this is a pivotal week in the course as from this point on you may be able to pick up paid work as a surf and bodyboard coach. You’ll learn vital first aid & rescue skills, and be assessed for your SLSGB qualification which is a requirement to instruct in the UK and internationally.

Week 6

A relatively chilled week after the adrenaline fuelled antics of last week’s lifeguard training. You’ll enjoy snorkelling & Wildlife theory, explore your career options, and learn about dynamic decision making during incident scenario training. You’ll find your lifeguard training now underpins the way you operate in the water, you have a new found confidence and awareness of your surroundings.

Week 7

Welcome to the wonderful world of Super Stand Up Paddleboarding (SSUP). This training will give you your first exposure to Paddlesports, and involve a lot of games and exploring the Cornish coastline.

Week 8

The challenge of coasteering commences. You’ll start to learn the famous Newquay coasteering routes, and become skilled in the techniques of traversing, climbing, shallow and deep water jumps, and walking like a space monkey. You’ll develop core skills, and gain confidence in a variety of sea conditions.

Week 9

Yor core skills will be put to the test with group and incident management. You’ll bring your lifeguard skills into play and enhance them with rope work and scenario based coastguard call outs. You’ll be assessed for your coasteer assist qualification with a group of real customers.

Outdoor Instructor Courses NewquayWeek 10

Things take an interesting twist now that we enter the Paddlesports arena. You’ll be trained to use a variety of craft including sit on top, and closed cockpit kayaks, SUPs & Canoes. You’ll master the techniques necessary for paddling efficiently, and learn about water safety & rescue protocols. There is an emphasis on navigation & tidal planning, iIncident management & group management.

Week 11

You’ll further hone your techniques & management skills and prepare for your Paddlesports Leader assessments with real customers.

Week 12

This week is your time to shine if you’d like to upgrade your SLSGB qualification to a full Beach lifeguarding ticket. This involves a higher level of swim and rescue skills, but by week 12 you’ll be ready to take this on. If not, there is additional time for developing your surf skills or gaining more hands on experience with customers.

Week 13

Our final week will be spent exploring the wilderness with our bush craft & foraging module. You’ll be planning and executing a charity event, and of course, celebrating the success of your OAIA course.

Outdoor Instructor Courses CornwallCalling all water babies


If you like the idea of being surrounded by oceans, mountains, good people and good times, then it’s probable that life as an outdoor instructor is for you.

You don’t need any previous qualifications to enrol in this programme. Neither do you need to be proficient in the course activities; we have excellent instructors who can teach you from the ground up.

 If you don’t pass the surfing skills within course time you  have a further 10 months to make the grade.

The same applies to other disciplines, such as Paddlesports. It’s not a problem if you’ve never SUP’ed Kayaked or Canoed before. We’ve got plenty of time to perfect your skills, and if you don’t think you’re quite ready for your assessment our team will come up with a pathway development plan to get you there. And we’ll continue to support you along your journey.

Outdoor Instructor Courses CornwallIf you think you may benefit from a few extra sessions before or during the course, please check out our surf lessons and get in touch, we will discuss how this works. Please bear this in mind for any other technical skill that you think could need improvement.

However, this course does require competent swimming skills and a good level of fitness.

The course includes training & assessment modules alongside optional shadowing hours, helping you gain instructing experience in a variety of areas. You’ll get the chance to find direct employment and further training opportunities depending on your interests and abilities. If you can tick all of the following requirements, then you’re in a great position to start:

  • 18+ years old
  • Competent swimmer (to attain Surf Coach Safety + Rescue or Lifeguard Award)
  • Enthusiastic to learn
  • Good level of fitness


Outdoor Instructor Courses Cornwall

In terms of personal skills, You’ll need :

  • Patience and the ability to work well with others
  • Enthusiasm to learn and train
  • Sensitivity and understanding
  • Leadership skills
  • To be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • The ability to work on your own
  • Knowledge of the English language
  • To be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
  • The ability to retain important information
  • The ability to remain calm when faced with new situations

What do others say about this course?


The Isle of Man, UK

Beth, from the Isle of Man, was working as a teacher but was desperate to spend more time outdoors so she put her education training to great use. She shone throughout the course and then during her time with us at NAC. Since then, she’s flown the nest. The call of travel was too much to ignore! These days you’ll find Beth Surf Coaching and exploring in New Zealand.


Liverpool, UK

Erin was waitressing in a restaurant where she could see the surf and longed to be in it! She was desperate for more time in the water so she signed up for our three-month long Outdoor Activity Instructor Course starting in April 2023. Since finishing the course in July, Erin’s been working as a Surf Coach for Women + Waves and Newquay Activity Centre.

Manchester, UK

Before the course Nik was working as a police officer. She took the leap and embarked on a big career change and can now be found living in South Cornwall and working as Surf Instructor, Coasteer Guide and Paddlesports Instructor

Grenada, Caribbean

Desari travelled over to the UK from her home, the beautiful island of Grenada. After successfully completing the course, she has returned home with a view to set up the Caribbean’s first coasteer company.

London, England

Growing up with a love for the ocean, Jacob from London had a lifelong ambition to become a watersports instructor and lifeguard. He excelled on the course and has now set up his new life on the coast.

Sydney, Australia

Carley, from Australia, joined the course to re connect with nature, to experience the best of the outdoors and for her own personal development. She smashed it!

Course Dates


11th September – 7th December


8th April – 11th July
23rd September – 19th December

Outdoor AcademyOur Headquarters

Our purpose-designed building is ideally located within walking distance to Towan Beach, Fistral Beach, Newquay Bay as well as the bustling town centre itself.

Our state of the art HQ, with toilets, heated changing rooms, hot outdoor showers, lockers for valuables and storage for clothes and bags. Although we prefer to use the beach and ocean as our classroom, we do have a nearby training room for our theory work.


If you’ve surfed or kayaked before you’ll know how much kit and equipment there is, and it can be a daunting prospect having to pay for it all. So, for the duration of the course, we have all of the necessary equipment stocked in our centre for our students to use for free. At the beginning of the course you’ll get supplied with key kit to use for the duration of the course or until you get your own.

FacilitiesOnce you sign up to the course you’ll be supplied with a kit list too and advice on where to get it. We’ve got some great and trusted suppliers so there’s even discounted rates for our students too!

Our knowledgeable team is always happy to offer advice on kit and equipment before, during and after the course!


During the course we’re keen to support you in upskilling yourself so we’ll allocate you use of our equipment during your spare time throughout the course.  If you want to improve your surfing, kayaking, bodyboarding, SUPing etc during the evenings or weekends, our equipment is ready to be used.

This is an unusual privilege on a training course like this but we feel it will offer you an excellent opportunity to up-skill throughout the course. Please note this will need to be booked in with the centre for your required times.


To supplement our Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course, we have a couple of in-house accommodation options available to add on as an extra. We have two apartments, both within walking distance to the beach and both stylishly fitted out with all modern luxuries.


Please note: the cost of accommodation is not included in the course price. Accommodation is charge at £795 per month for the duration of the course and is due 8 weeks prior to the course start date.




Our first apartment overlooks Pentire Headland and benefits from lots of natural light in a spacious living area. This two-bedroom property is perfectly located close to Fistral Beach and Newquay Town Centre; ideal for a post-lesson surf or a bite to eat in the evening. Both the Gannel Estuary and Crantock Beach are within a five-minute walk too, with the coastal path or main road being accessible from the apartment.

Our luxury apartment is located on the third floor with both elevator and staircase access. There is also a spacious, open-plan kitchen diner to enjoy home-made meals after a hard day of training. There is a juliet balcony in the kitchen that enjoys morning sunshine for alfresco breakfasts too. The dining room houses a large dinner table which is a great space for working or eating while enjoying ocean views out across Fistral Beach.

During the course we transform the living room into a lush workspace to deliver some relaxed lessons in a chilled atmosphere.

In the large lounge you will find a sofa-bed, flat-screen TV, plenty of space and a private south-facing balcony. This means you will benefit from sunshine all day alongside excellent opportunities to check the surf and catch some epic sunsets.

Each of the two bedrooms have a set of twin beds, a wardrobe, chest of drawers, bedside table and reading light. One has an en-suite with two hand basins, a bath, shower and toilet. There is also a separate bathroom and WC. Both bedrooms have stunning sea views for that ultimate hint of luxury.





The second choice of accommodation is our Newquay Bay Apartment, a place where you really couldn’t get any closer to the action if you tried. This apartment is ideally located directly above the Newquay Activity Centre HQ, making it the perfect choice for those who like to snooze that alarm clock every once in a while!

Newquay Bay Apartment is a modern, quiet, two-bedroom property that benefits from brand new fixtures and fittings due to a complete refurbishment in 2021. There is a new and modern kitchen as well as a brand new bathroom. The apartment is just a two-minute walk to Newquay Harbour where you will find one of our favourite wild swimming spots and idyllic ocean views. In the opposite direction, but just as close, you’ll find Newquay Town Centre with an abundance of coffee shops, restaurants and surf shops.

During the course we transform the living room into a lush workspace to deliver some relaxed lessons in a chilled atmosphere.

Inside the property there is a large and spacious living room/diner, comprising a sofa bed and brand new 52” TV. There is also a sizable dining table that lends itself nicely to group meals. Alternatively, it can double up as a large work or study space to go over your course notes in the evening. During the course we may transform the living room into a lush workspace to deliver some relaxed lessons in a chilled atmosphere.

The two bedrooms are both twin rooms with zip-link beds; these can be connected together if you’re after a private double room or you’re staying with a partner. Both rooms have wardrobes, chests of drawers, bedside tables and reading lights.

The living room space benefits from four large windows that face out across Towan, Great Western and beyond – all the way to Watergate Bay on a clear day! There is also a large south-facing courtyard to the rear of the property, perfect for catching some rays or hanging wetsuits out to dry.

There is also the advantage that we will hold a number of classroom sessions in the large lounge in the apartment as it is a great spot for group discussions, training etc. We also base some of the coaching weekends which you will have the opportunity to work as a shadow instructor on, at the apartment. We will explain to you, during your induction how we manage this to ensure that it doesn’t impact on your living environment.

You can view more images of our accommodation.

You will be in an apartment with fellow students from the course and we will do our best to place you with people of similar ages, backgrounds and interests. This will vary depending on course participants. You will be sharing a same-sex twin room.

Please note:

There is a £100 Security Deposit, made payable in cash on arrival. This will be held by the landlord until the final inspection, if there is no damage and the property is cleaned to the agreed standard it will be refunded.

There is also the advantage that we’ll hold a number of our classroom sessions in the living area of the Newquay Bay Apartment, as it’s a great spot for group discussions, video analysis and training. This is super handy for those living there; logistics couldn’t be easier, they can leave their laptop and notebooks at home, and it’s the quickest commute on record!

Payment Plans



When booking one of our courses the are four easy options for payment:


1. PAY IN FULL – Pay the full amount in one, that’s it, you’re done!

2. 50/50 – Pay 50% deposit and the remaining 50% at an agreed date

3. MONTHLY PAYMENT PLAN – Pay an initial holding fee (of as little as £250 and we can then set up monthly payments to come out on the 1st of each month.


We can’t guarantee your place until we have received a payment from you. To hold the place for more than 24 hours we require a non-returnable holding fee. This can be as little as £250 and will be deducted from your final payment for the course.

Once you have made a payment, you’ll then be sent a confirmation email with booking details on. Full Payment must be received 12 weeks prior to the course start date.

Instructor Training After Qualification

Life after the course



After successful completion of the instructor course, you’ll have the opportunity to become a member of our friendly team or you may go on to work with other providers and expand your experience and training. There’s an opportunity to interview for instructor roles at Newquay Activity Centre, Women + Waves and Bodyboard Holidays.



If you’re thinking of heading inland that doesn’t mean you need to stop Surf Coaching! We’ve got links with the Wave, Bristol so you can spend your time in the city but still get surf time!



For those who want to use this course as an opportunity to travel, we have some excellent partnerships that will allow you to do just that. We got links with centres and surf providers all over the world! Including programmes with partners in New Zealand and Morocco.


Once you’re fully qualified and competent in all aspects of the course, you could be given the opportunity to fly out to NZ and work for a season as a surf instructor. As well as being a paid opportunity for work, this is a chance to visit new places, meet new people and experience new cultures.


You’re guaranteed to make new friends, create awesome memories and maybe even open your horizons with regards to your career plans. Travel is food for the soul; this kind of opportunity doesn’t come around every day!


Our Academy graduates are all over the world so we’re constantly getting new spots and contacts all over the globe!


Want More Info?

Would you like to find out a bit more about us or one of our courses?

OAIA Contact Form

Course Dates


11th September – 7th December


8th April – 11th July
23rd September – 19th December


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Got any questions? Please contact us to discuss your booking (online chat, call or email!)