The Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership is a nationally recognised qualification that trains and qualifies teachers, youth workers and other members of the community to:

  • Lead walking groups in lowland countryside
  • Impart the knowledge and skills needed to undertake a day walk
  • Have responsibility for the care of others while leading a day walk in lowland countryside
  • Plan and lead overnight base and mobile camps.

It is the minimum qualification required by some Licensed Organisations for those wanting to train and lead groups in the Expedition section of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The level of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award that a Basic Expedition Leader can lead depends on the terrain in which the expedition is taking place. The terrain must fall within the BEL Operating Remit.

The qualification could also count towards the volunteering section of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Mountain Leader Training UK include the Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership on the qualification matrix in the National Guidelines for Climbing and Hillwalking Leaders.

  • Age: 17 and over (learners must be at least 18 years of age on completion)
  • Guided learning hours: 127 hours (including 30 hours demonstration of leadership)
  • Price: View the price
  • Qualification code: 500/9858/5
  • On completion: Learners will be able to lead expedition groups independently

Select "Specification" from the menu for more information.

The qualification does not qualify people to lead groups in remote or mountainous areas.

Course tutors must not run the qualification in remote or mountainous areas. The qualification is to be run in lowland areas or on the fringes of urban areas.

The qualification will take approximately 127 guided learning hours. However, various factors such as the learner/tutor ratio, the number of learners and the experience levels of the learners will influence the time allocated to the delivery of any given course.

As part of the course delivery, learners must include two consecutive nights camping under the supervision of the Tutor/Assessor or other appropriately qualified person. Sports Leaders UK recommends an Accredited Tutor/Assessor learner ratio of 1:10.

Demonstration of Leadership

In order for your learners to complete their Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership they must complete 30 hours demonstration of leadership within the community. This element of the qualification is part of Unit 5 and Unit 9, however the 30 hours demonstration of leadership must happen at the end of the course, after all of the taught aspects have been delivered but before the final assessment.


Before learners can undertake their assessment, the Tutor/Assessor must ensure that the learners have produced a log of eight day walks. The walks are to be six hour minimum duration, planned and led by the learner in DWL/BEL terrain. These walks must be completed in addition to the walks carried out as part of the course.

Once the taught aspects of the course have been completed and learners have finished their 30 hours demonstration of leadership, they must be assessed for a minimum of 20 hours, to include a further two consecutive nights camping. During the assessment Sports Leaders UK recommends an Accredited Tutor/Assessor learner ratio of 1:6.

For Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria, please refer to the Tutor Resources.

Date printed: 19/08/2017

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Sports Leaders UK is the operating name of The British Sports Trust, a registered Charity 1095326. The British Sports Trust - Registered in England - Company Number 04597192. Registered Office: The British Sports Trust, 24 Linford Forum, Rockingham Drive, Linford Wood, Milton Keynes MK14 6LY.
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