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£5399 or £7784*

*Inc Accommodation

Outdoor Instructor Training Newquay

Make the ocean your office

  • Learn to lead exciting activities such as surfing, bodyboarding, paddlesports, and coasteering.
  • Receive comprehensive training in First Aid and Beach Lifeguarding.
  • Gain Internationally-recognised qualifications
  • Upskill beyond the essentials to stand out in the dynamic outdoor pursuits industry.
  • Explore emerging trends like environmental conservation, surf skating, and accessible activities.
  • Luxury accommodation available for the entire course duration.

Make the ocean your office with Newquay Activity Centre’s Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course! Join us in the vibrant coastal town of Newquay, Cornwall, for a 13-week immersive experience from Mondays to Thursdays. Gain the outdoor qualifications needed to turn your passion for surfing, paddlesports, and coasteering into a fulfilling profession.

We aim to get you ready for the adventure industry and make you stand out from the crowd by upskilling you in a whole load of surf-based activities AND the latest trends that are making waves in our world! Things like in-land surfing and wave pools are influencing the world of outdoor activities and we want you to have an understanding of these too.

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

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OAIC About UsAbout this course


Do you spend weekends immersed in outdoor adventures, only to return to the office every Monday? If you’re yearning for a career that keeps the thrill alive, consider becoming an outdoor instructor. At Newquay Activity Centre, we understand the unparalleled joy of living the adventure life day in and day out. The sun on your face, the ocean breeze in your hair – few jobs match the lifestyle happiness we offer.

Our Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course, a three-month adventure program, equips you with the skills needed for a fulfilling career. Whether it’s coaching, guiding, instructing, or saving lives at sea, our training, set against the backdrop of the Newquay coastline, ensures you’re well-prepared.

You won’t just acquire the basics. Our updated syllabus covers surf-skating, accessible surfing, surf photography, and even explores artificial waves at Bristol’s inland surf destination, The Wave. Our internationally recognized qualifications, including ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Award and British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Award, open doors to exciting opportunities.

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!

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

Upon completion, you can work in Newquay through our ‘guaranteed interview’ process or explore opportunities abroad. Our qualifications are your ticket to a global outdoor instructing career

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!

You’ll develop your skills and get trained in:

  • Surfing
  • Coasteering
  • Beach Lifeguarding
  • First Aid
  • Stand Up-Paddleboarding
  • Kayaking
  • Canoeing
  • Bodyboarding
  • Bodysurfing & Handplaning
  • Snorkelling & Wildlife awareness
  • Safeguarding
  • Water Safety & Rescue
  • Surf Photography
  • Surf Skating
  • Team Building

Enrol in our instructor academy, condensing years of training into a few months giving 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. We’ve fast-tracked necessary shadowing hours, ensuring a seamless transition to your dream career. Don’t wait; join us and transform your passion into a profession!

Outdoor Instructor Academy What's IncludedWhat’s Included


Internationally Recognised Qualifications

  • International Surfing Association (ISA) Level 1 Surf Coach Qualification.
  • SLSGB National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification (NVBLQ) or SLSGB Surf Coach Safety Award, covering Basic Life Support, Basic First Aid, and Intermediate First Aid.
  • British Canoeing Paddlesport Leader Award
  • Safeguarding qualification

*New additions to our syllabus*

  • Insightful session on Surf Therapy with the Wave Project.
  • Workshop: Using Surf Skating as a Surf Coaching tool.
  • Workshop: Surf Photography with Women + Waves videographer
  • Get a taste of Working in Wave Pools with a visit to The Wave, Bristol
  • Workshop: Introduction to Adaptive Surfing
  • Presentation: Building a Surf Brand with Women + Waves Founder Rachel Murphy
  • Bodyboard specific Surf Safety & Rescue

Other Qualifications

  • Coasteering Guide Award in accordance with the National Coasteer Charter Syllabus
  • Bodyboard Coach Award
  • Bodysurfing & Handplaning Coach Award
  • Super Stand-Up Paddleboard Leader Competency
  • Snorkelling & Wildlife Awareness
  • Beach Games & Team Building
  • Incident Management, Safety & rescue
  • Risk Assessing and Contingency Planning

Things to help you on your journey and make you stand out from the crowd

  • Loads of surf theory and video analysis surf coaching
  • All essential shadowing hours available during your course
  • Environmental Stewardship and Conservation with the Marine Conservation Society
  • Workshop: Career opportunities in the RNLI
  • Interview & CV writing skills
  • Invoicing & Time management
  • Longevity in the industry & Personal Development
  • Swim Coaching sessions
  • Real-life customer experience
  • ISA logbook meticulously checked and submitted on your behalf.
  • Coasteer Logbook provided
  • All equipment provided and available for use outside of course hours
  • Enjoy the perks of our award-winning Centre.
  • Luxury accommodation available for the duration of your stay

Become part of a community of industry leading companies: Bodyboard Holidays, Newquay Activity Centre and Women + Waves

  • Guidance from industry-leading experts steering you through the program.
  • Surf Skills Coaching from the remarkable 3 x British Champion and UK Number 1 Surf Coach, Alan Stokes.
  • Benefit from a Surf syllabus developed in collaboration with Women + Waves.
  • Benefit from a tailored bodyboarding syllabus designed by Bodyboard Holidays and European bodyboard champion Rob Barber
  • Opportunity to shadow Newquay activity Centre lessons, Bodyboard Holidays and  Women + Waves coaching weekends.
  • Access to Newquay Activity Centre’s Staff training sessions
  • Job interview with Newquay Activity Centre, Bodyboard Holidays or Women + Waves after the course

Ready to ride this wave of opportunities? Feel free to book online or shoot us a message through our chat if you’ve got any burning questions.We can’t wait to share this adventure with you! 

Outdoor Instructor Courses NewquayItinerary

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. There’s also loads of workshops to attend like Surf Photography, Surf Skating and an awesome evening with The Wave Project where you can learn more about Surf Therapy and how to get involved with them.

Week 4

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 5

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. And to celebrate the end of your surfing module there’s a trip up to the The Wave, Bristol’s inland surf destination to find out more about the growing inland surfing experiences.

Week 6

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 7

A relatively chilled week as you will have covered loads by now. We’ll be meeting with the RNLI Lifeguards to find out more about a career in Lifegsaving. Plus we’ve got an epic workshop with the Marine Conservation Society learning how to run Beach Cleans and look after your new beach-based office! You’ll enjoy Snorkelling & Wildlife theory, and learn about dynamic decision making during incident scenario training. Plus they’ll be loads more surfing! 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 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.

Week 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

There’s additional time for developing your surf skills or gaining more hands on experience with customers. Plus we’ll be developing you further as instructors! These weeks are about giving you that extra edge as you near the end of your course

Week 13

Our final week will be spent prepping for life as an Activity Instructor. We’ll be sharing our wealth of knowledge with you so that you know exactly what to expect in your new career in the Outdoors. You’ll be planning and executing a charity event, and of course, celebrating the success of your OAIA course.

Ready for your ultimate adventure? Seize the opportunity to become a certified outdoor activity instructor with OAIA. Whether it’s riding waves, lifeguarding, or exploring the paddlesports realm, secure your spot now and make waves in your new career—book online or reach out through our chat for any burning questions. 

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.

This course does require competent swimming skills and a good level of fitness. So, if you’re a little rusty in the ocean, or you’re worried you’ve not had much experience in the sea, we’d recommend doing our Foundation Surf Training course beforehand. This is an awesome introduction to all the essential skills you’ll use on this course. We can also tailor packages for specific activities and you can get a headstart from our epic instructors at Newquay Activity Centre, most of which have come through our courses! 

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

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


8th April – 11th July

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.

Outdoor Instructor TrainingAbout Us

As the longest-running activity centre in Newquay and the surrounding area (since ’99); we have the necessary experience to consistently maintain the highest level of safety and fun. We are a two-time Gold winner at the Cornwall Tourism Awards and a Gold Award winner at the South West Tourism Awards. Our coasteering routes have been fully risk assessed by our expert team of leading coasteer instructors, ensuring you have the safest possible experience whilst enjoyably pushing your boundaries.

For years our team has pioneered the training of surfing, bodyboarding and coasteering instructors in Newquay, enhancing core qualifications with professional in-house tuition to build experience in all outdoor conditions. We are a SLSGB Affiliated Training Centre which allows us to run SLSGB awards and qualifications, including the internationally recognised  NVBLQ Beach Lifeguard and Surf Coach Safety courses.

We have a purpose-designed, state-of-the-art centre, conveniently located close to both Towan and Fistral beach. We have hot showers, heated changing rooms, lockers, separate male and female toilets and clothing storage. We also boast a hire centre well-equipped with top quality equipment for all your needs after your coasteering session.



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 Portugal 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 Portugal and work for a season as a surf instructor. As well as the opportunity for work, this is a chance to visit new places, meet new people and experience new cultures.


How Do I Book And Pay?

When booking one of our courses there are three 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

Due to this course being in high demand, we have very limited availability. However, we can hold your space for 24 hours without payment.

To hold the place for more than 24 hours we require a none returnable holding fee. This can be as little as £250 and will be deducted from your final payment for the course

Yes definitely! We pride ourselves on being super welcoming and friendly. Most of our students arrive solo and leave with friends for life.

That’s not a problem, we’d recommend enrolling on our Foundation Surf Training course which has been developed to build water confidence amongst those with less experience in the ocean, or those in need of a refresher.

Through a combination of classroom and practical ocean sessions, you’ll develop a solid base of knowledge about surf theory, the beach environment, hazards, and rescue techniques that will help you excel in the ocean, whether you’re there for work or leisure.

As you can imagine you will be learning lots of technical skills from our team. Some are harder than others and we think surfing may be the most difficult to learn from scratch. However, we have proved this to be achievable for first-time surfers during the course.  If you don’t pass the surfing skills within course time you  have a further 10 months to make the grade. 

If you think you may benefit from a few extra sessions before or during the course, please check out our Foundation Surf Training course which has been developed to build water confidence amongst those with less experience in the ocean, or those in need of a refresher.

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 to get you there and support you along your journey.

If 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.

To work at Newquay Activity Centre as a surf instructor, you need to gain an SLSGB Surf Coach Safety Award. In order to complete this award, you need to be able to swim 200m in under 5 minutes. This is quite achievable for most standards of swimmers. Please note: at many activity centres you do not need this qualification in order to deliver kayaking, coasteering or stand up paddleboarding sessions

As a result of feedback from previous courses we have developed the Foundation Surf Training course which has been developed to equip you with the lifeguarding skills you need to pass this section of the course. .

During the course, to help you achieve the right swimming standard, there will be both sea and pool sessions built into the course. We also strongly advise you to train in the swimming pool prior to the course.

If you are looking for a career in lifeguarding, you will need to pass the National Vocational Beach Lifeguard Qualification. To do this you will need to complete 400 metres in an indoor pool in under 7 minutes 30 seconds. Although the NVBLQ is an excellent qualification to achieve, this is only necessary if you are interested in becoming a beach lifeguard. This assessment can be quite tough and will require most people to undertake prior swimming training to achieve the targeted time.


Both assessments are mid-way through the course so you will have a decent amount of time to train in the lead up. If you are currently wildly out on those swim times, you may need additional sessions in your own time and/or consider getting some coaching or joining the swim fit sessions at our local swimming pool.

The National Governing Bodies (NGBs): British Canoeing (BC), Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), Surf Life Saving Great Britain (SLSGB) and International Surfing Association (ISA) are all recognised worldwide.

Because of the UK’s internationally recognised standard of quality, many countries including Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Middle-East, Canada and most European countries all look favourably at qualifications gained by award-winning British providers like ourselves. Trainees also use their NGBs to get employment with UK companies operating abroad.

Start time: 09:00 – Finish time: 16:00. Please note that these times are approximate and will be subject to change. For example, we may need to start earlier to catch a tide or we may finish later due to sessions overrunning. We will inform you about this when possible so you can plan ahead. Please let us know on a week by week basis if you won’t be available outside the hours of 09:00- 16:00.

We try our utmost to make our instructor courses enjoyable and informative. We hope that our students want to gain as much knowledge as possible during this time of learning and that hopefully flexibility will come from the passion to learn. You will get out of this course whatever you put into it and we appreciate your enthusiasm for making the most of the available resources.

The outdoor activity industry is a sector that is growing both here in the UK and in many countries around the world. Having the correct qualifications and experience could potentially see you outdoor instructing in all four corners of the world! This is your chance to change your life for the better and bag yourself a healthy, active and fulfilling career on the coast.

After the successful completion of the Outdoor Activity Instructor Training Course, you will be offered an interview for the chance to become part of the team at Newquay Activity Centre, Bodyboard-Holidays or Women + Waves. This will be a paid role and you will form part of our instructor team.

We have a network of graduates all over the world and Newquay Activity Centre has great links with surf schools around the globe. This makes it entirely possible to live the endless summer, moving from one side of the world to the other. There are also other international surf schools and centres that we share staff with so we can help you to build a career of international work if that’s the path you wish to explore.

If you’ve set your sights elsewhere, there are many other options including contract and freelance careers. The beauty of this course is that it gives you the tools to make ‘work’ work for you! We suggest spending as much time experiencing as many different activities as you can; this is a great way of finding out where your passion lies.

Is there one particular area that you wish to explore more? Do you want to work abroad and travel the world? Are you happy just being outside as much as possible? Do you want to head down the management route? Maybe you want to open your own centre? Our course is designed to help you explore the options and guide you into making the right decision.

It is for you to answer the question: What do you want to do?

Due to the nature of the job we can appreciate there’s some pretty specialist equipment that not everybody will own. If you already have some of your own equipment (such as a wetsuit, buoyancy aid, helmet etc) we recommend bringing it with you to use on the course. However, don’t worry if this is all totally new to you; we’ll help you to order the best equipment at the best price.

We can also appreciate that costs add up and that you may need to delay investing in your equipment until a little later on. If this is the case, our helpful instructors will be able to sign over Newquay Activity Centre equipment for you to borrow during the course. This is to be kept safe and taken care of until the time comes to return it. Any loss or damage to the kit will be charged accordingly.

Leading up to the end of the course and beyond, we do advise that students begin building their own selection of good quality outdoor gear appropriate for professional use. If you are well equipped to start work straight away you will feel more comfortable and confident in your ability. In addition, we have close links with some of the top outdoor equipment brands with pro equipment deals available to trainees.

Our HQ is situated within walking distance to many of the sites we will be using throughout the course. We are located in Newquay town centre with lots of paid and unpaid parking options close to us. We are also just a short walk to both Towan and Fistral beaches, with many surf shops and cafés nearby.

On some days it will be necessary to venture further afield to make use of the conditions and the environment. On these days we encourage our students to car share as much as possible (please note our Covid guidelines). This helps to lower our carbon footprint and to split the cost of fuel. If you are happy to take fellow students in your vehicle then please let our instructors know. Travelling won’t be necessary every day but widening our activity net on the odd day will help to expose you to new surroundings and landscapes.   

Our Newquay Activity Centre van will be fully loaded to supply these trips with the equipment they need. However, if you are struggling for space in your vehicle please let us know and it may be possible to arrange something in advance.

We have our own accommodation option in the form of two luxurious flats.  Please contact us for more information. 

If that doesn’t suit there are loads of accommodation options in Newquay and the surrounding area. Check out AirBnB listings, Surf Lodges, Short-term lets and Spare rooms. 

Most pupils stay in one of the following;

An Air BnB (there is a huge range of options in Newquay)

Surf Lodge Accommodation (we work closely with Smarties, Escape and Ocean Surf Lodge)

Hotel or Guesthouse (Check for the options or drop us a line for recommendations)

Their van (either wild camping or staying on one of the many local touring parks/campsites)

Speak to our staff if you’d like advice or recommendations. 

Surf Life Saving Great Britain (SLSGB) and International Surfing Association (ISA) are all recognised worldwide.

Freelance surf instructors generally get paid between £35 and £50 for a two-hour coaching session (which means, with prep and lesson close down you will work for approx. 3 hours). A professional instructor will deliver three lessons per day. If you take a full-time job or build your own roster of regular clients the pay can range dramatically. Some instructors demand huge sums by offering an awesome service and getting excellent results. Like any job, the more that you put in to it, the more that you get out of it.

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

Cover for public liability will be in place whilst you partake in activities with Newquay Activity Centre, this is to a limit of £5 million. Personal accident cover is available, similar to travel insurance (injuries due to accidents etc), this is something participants can acquire themselves by looking online if they wish to purchase. Insurance is a topic covered during the course Q and A sessions so that everyone is clear of how this works in the outdoor industry.

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Travel costs – fuel, parking.  (We may occasionally travel further afield to seek out the best conditions. However, our centre is within walking distances to most sites so this will be kept to a minimum).
  • Retake fees incurred should they be necessary if you do not pass the initial assessment; you will be given training and support to prepare for each activity’s initial assessment whilst on the course, so please do not be concerned.

The visit to The Wave and presentation with the Wave Manger are included in the course price. Spaces in staff transport are limited so you may have to arrange your own transport. Normally students share lifts up there. If you’re wanting to surf whilst we’re up at the Wave you’re more than welcome to book a session, we’ll explain more about the timings of the day when you start your course. There’ll be one of the OAIA staff there to get some epic shots of you surfing or coach you in the water.

Yes, please see the accommodation tab  for more information and pictures of the accommodation.

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.

There will generally be ratios of 1:8 (instructor to pupil) for all activity training. However, theory classes may have larger ratios. You’ll often be broken down into smaller groups and all learning will observe the correct social distancing guidelines.

You must be over 18 to join the course. If you are 65 or over, or under 18 we’d love to chat to you about the course before you book. Please email us to arrange a time and we’ll contact you. Or you can call us on 01637 877722

If you can’t join the course, please let us know as soon as possible via email. Your cancellation notice will start from the date we receive it.

Cancellation charges for the Outdoor Activity Instructor Academy, courses and modules are payable as follows:

  • Over 12 weeks – 33% of total course cost
  • 36 days to 12 weeks – 50% of total course cost
  • 21-35 days – 75% of total course cost
  • Under 20 days – 100% of total course cost


Cancellation may fall under the terms and conditions of your holiday insurance policy and you may be able to claim.

Find out more under our terms and conditions.

We understand that plans change. If you are looking to change courses please speak to one of our team. Depending on how close the course start day is this may incur an admin fee.

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Course Dates


8th April – 11th July


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