Lowland Expedition Leadership

Level 3 Qualification

CTS is the leading provider of Level 3 Qualification in Lowland Expedition Leadership (formally BELA) 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 Leadership Skills Foundation (formally 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.

We are proud of the positive feedback we receive following delivery of our LEL3 courses, which is testament to the quality of instruction, support, and attention to detail, that delegates receive both during and after the training course - Testimonials

Since 1989, we have successfully trained over 1850 delegates for this qualification!

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 the environment chosen, i.e. rural, urban or restricted spaces, as indicated in the Expedition Aim & Requirements.

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 effectively lead and teach young people, particularly those undertaking their DofE, the knowledge and proficiency needed to successfully complete an expedition, meeting the aim and benefits of the DofE Expedition section and those of the wider DofE programme. Delegates leave the course ‘better equipped’ to positively support and inspire young people within the DofE, hence the reason this qualification is so popular and has been for over 35 years!

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.
Chase Training Solutions Lowland Expedition Leadership LEL 3

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.

The delivery of the minimum of 72 tutored hours of the course is usually undertaken during an intensive, five consecutive days, training course (residential), or a weekend-based course (delivered over several weekends), both with additional post training course modules.

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 Leadership Skills Foundation 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.

Cost - £400 (plus VAT)

If undertaking the course as a Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award participant for the Residential section, the cost is subsidised to £350 (inc. VAT). Please use the separate registration form below to apply for the course.

This includes Leadership Skills Foundation registration (£75.00), tuition, residential and camping fees and the final assessment weekend (if attended within 12 months of training course*). Participants meet their own food, transport costs and other personal expenses. Schools and VAT registered organisations are usually able to reclaim the VAT charged on the invoices we raise. *If assessment is taken after 12 months of the training course, the cost of assessment is £75.00 plus VAT.

Upcoming Courses

Assessment Dates

Assessment Dates

19th / 21st April 2024

Chiltern Hills

Level 3 Lowland Expedition Leadership Assessment

(included in course fee if completed within 12 months of training course)

20th / 22nd September 2024

White Peak

Level 3 Lowland Expedition Leadership Assessment

(included in course fee if completed within 12 months of training course)