Level 3 Qualification in Lowland Expedition Leadership (LEL3)

CTS is the leading provider of Level 3 Qualification in Lowland Expedition Leadership (formally BEL) courses in the UK, regularly running several courses per year, that provide high quality, cost-effective training to individuals, local authorities and other organisations, particularly those working with young people. With a proven track record, we are the ‘preferred provider’ of LEL3 courses for many local authorities, voluntary and statutory organisations, Licenced Organisation’s, National Operating Authorities and Directly Licenced Centres of the DofE, delivering courses in many areas of the country.

Chase Training Solutions, as a Sports Leaders Approved Assessment Centre, has been awarded ‘Leadership Academy’ status. Part of the citation reads: ‘Your organisation being a beacon of good practice and a shining example of a centre going the extra mile to support its learners. You have earned this unique status because you have been able to demonstrate your commitment to the philosophy of Sports Leaders and the benefits of leadership to young people and the community. In particular, your application has provided exemplar pathways that offer real benefits and opportunities to the learner and consequently produces a positive impact on the community.’ We are the FIRST and ONLY outdoor pursuit focused Sports Leaders assessment centre to have been awarded this Leadership Academy status for delivering the BEL/LEL3 course.

Since 1989, we have successfully trained over 1650 delegates on these courses!

LEL3 provides skills and experience for those wanting to lead expedition groups in lowland walks and train participants to undertake their own self sufficient expeditions, whilst helping to raise awareness of our environment and promoting physical health and well-being. It also provides a fundamental starting block for further National Governing Body qualifications in outdoor activities, i.e. Hill and Moorland Leader Award, Mountain Leader Award, etc.

LEL3 is a recognised qualification required by most Licensed Organisations of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, allowing staff to train and supervise participants for overnight DofE expeditions that take place within ‘typical’ Bronze and Silver terrain, i.e. normal rural, open countryside, as indicated in the ‘The Handbook for DofE Leaders’.

Unlike other NGB awards based on hill/mountain walking, the LEL3 learning outcomes look at developing a broader range of ‘soft and hard’ leadership and other key skills that are required to successfully lead and teach young people, particularly those undertaking their DofE, the knowledge and proficiency needed to successfully complete an expedition, meeting the aim and achieving the benefits of the DofE Expedition section and those of the wider DofE programme. Delegates leave the course ‘better equipped’ to truly lead and inspire young people within the DofE’ hence the reason these courses are so popular and have been so for 30 years!

“Hi Dave, just a quick email to say many thanks for the BEL course last week; I was a bit worried it would be rather ?dry?; but I was more than pleased to find the reality was otherwise. In 22 years of education/teaching, I can honestly say this was the best course I’ve yet been on. Owen was superb & told us what we legally and educationally needed to know, then backed that up with pragmatic, common-sense info; and his knowledge of his subject was beyond impressive. I think he could tell me black is white and I’d believe him. The density of knowledge passed on in the 5 days was, in retrospect, staggering. Even more staggering, as I think about it, most if not all of it seems to have stuck in my late-middle-age (and therefore usually increasingly forgetful) brain. Can’t thank/praise Owen enough. I’m looking forward to getting back to school next week so I can bang on in DofE sessions about everything covered on the course. I hope the other course attendees enjoyed it half as much as I did. Regards and thanks again”
– Teacher (Secondary School)

The qualification trains and qualifies teachers, youth workers and other members of the community to:


Assist in the delivery of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions for the Bronze/Silver awards within the scope of the qualification – Operating Remit
Can support qualifications such as BTECs in Public Services and Sport by providing experience of outdoor leadership.
The Level 3 Qualification in Lowland Expedition Leadership is perfect for teachers/tutors who want to lead their own outdoor expeditions with students and is recognised by local authorities.
Helps young people develop a long-lasting passion for outdoor physical activity.

Outdoor Activity Centres

Enhance your organisation’s offer to local schools and community groups.
Help create a future employment and volunteer workforce.
Improve young people’s awareness of your local environment.
Develop young people’s vital transferable leadership skills.

“A fun course that encouraged group members to share their ideas and experiences in an informal setting, as well as using the traditional practical activities to develop skills. Group members developed leadership qualities throughout the course and gained in confidence. Thanks for the hard work in organising the course.”
– Teacher (Secondary School)

The requirement for a course is a minimum of 135 hours of total qualification time (TQT) (including 30 hours demonstration of leadership), consisting of instruction and practical work; and a final assessment weekend. Download the course – Learning Outcomes.

The delivery of the minimum of 72 tutored hours of the course is usually undertakenBasic Expedition Leadership during five consecutive days (residential), or a weekend-based course and an additional post training course module.

After training, delegates must then complete 30 hours demonstration of lowland walk leadership and lowland expedition leadership, prior to undertaking a final two-day, two-night, assessment weekend. Guidance and support will be given to delegates for this aspect of the qualification.

The syllabus is laid down by Sports Leaders and is accredited on the Required Qualification Framework (RQF).

Any person who is 17 years of age or over can commence the LEL3 course training. Participants must be at least 18 years of age before they can qualify.

The qualification also counts towards the Volunteering section in all three levels of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and, in the case of the five-day course, can be used as a Gold Residential section opportunity.

Mountain Training UK include the Level 3 Qualification in Lowland Expedition Leadership on the qualification matrix in the National Guidelines for Climbing and Walking Leaders.

CTS organises ‘open to all’ intensive LEL3 courses during the school Easter and summer holidays, as well as October half-term.

Course Dates – 2022
10th – 14th April (Surrey Hills – Sayers Croft)
31st July – 4th August (Shropshire – Long Mynd Adventure Camp)
23rd – 27th October (Shropshire – Long Mynd Adventure Camp)

Assessment Dates – 2022
8th (evening) – 10th April (Staffordshire Moorlands/White Peak)
23rd (evening) – 25th September (Staffordshire Moorlands/White Peak)

Download a Sample Course Programme

“I learnt a great deal and thoroughly enjoyed myself. There was precious little ‘down-time’ over the week, meaning our days were fully used. The handouts and pointers to the other resources were valuable. Even after having run 2 Gold and 3 Silver paddling DofE expeditions, I learnt a massive amount and now have the knowledge to help me run this coming year’s events to a significantly higher standard of professionalism.”
– Teacher (Secondary School)


*£350.00 plus VAT. This includes: Sports Leaders registration, tuition, residential and camping fees and the final assessment weekend. Participants meet their own food, transport costs and other personal expenses.
*Schools and VAT registered organisations are able to reclaim the VAT charged on the invoices we raise.

As part of the LEL3 qualification, delegates complete Unit 7 – ‘Management of unaccompanied groups in the countryside’ which, unlike most other NGB qualifications, is covered throughout this course, using classroom-based and outdoor learning to look at selecting and applying safe, appropriate and effective methods and levels of supervision 😊

“I learned many compass skills, having only a basic awareness before. Gained a much better understanding of the role of a DofE Expedition Supervisor, and a detailed appreciation of the route card and its practical application.”
– Teacher (Secondary School)

Basic Expedition Leadership

All our LEL3 training courses are based at residential centres where you will be required to lightweight camp for two consecutive nights to meet the qualification’s training requirements. Centre’s include:
Long Mynd Adventure Camp (Shropshire) and Sayers Croft (Surrey Hills)

Items of equipment will be needed for the course, i.e. lightweight tent, camping stove, etc., but often it is possible to borrow or share items with other delegates. Download the Equipment List.

“I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff for all of the hard work and effort put into providing us with the necessary training and expertise the pass the Sports Leaders BEL Course. Although the course involved a great deal of time and effort to complete we could not have asked for a more professional, friendly and knowledgeable training provider to prepare us to complete the assessment weekend.”
– Teacher (Secondary School)

Please contact us if you have any questions about our LEL3 courses.

Testimonials from our BEL/LEL3 courses

Has your organisation got six or more delegates who wish to undertake this qualification? If yes, please contact us to discuss arranging a bespoke LEL3 course for your group or organisation in your area. We regularly organise and run courses for local authorities, schools, DofE Licenced Organisations, Directly Licenced Centre’s and organisations from across the UK.

Before applying, please download and read our Booking Terms and Conditions

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