Friends of the Award

Supporting Young People to Achieve

FOTA are offering a 10-week internship to help us deliver a programme of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expeditions to 4 schools in Edinburgh and Midlothian. This opportunity will give the suitably qualified intern a substantial experience base of practical youth expedition leadership, which could help with entry into careers in outdoor learning.

The program has been fully funded by the Scottish Government Covid-19 Outdoor Education Recovery Fund and dates have been agreed with the 4 partner schools. As a result, most of the work dates are already set and are listed below.

On each activity, the intern will be working alongside one or both of our two permanent expedition staff, and some of our expedition volunteers. Activities will comprise training in walking, campcraft and expedition skills, accompanied practice walks, and remotely supervised expeditions.

Normally, each staff member (including the intern) will have responsibility for one group of 5 to 7 young people for the duration of each activity, however some training sessions will be run with multiple groups taking part together with multiple staff. The young people are Bronze and Silver DofE participants, aged 14-18. During all activities, the intern will have to abide by FOTA’s Expedition Safety Procedures, as well as the specific activity plans and risk assessments that have been drawn up in advance for each session. An induction into our safety procedures will be provided at the start of the internship.

Most activities will take place at the 4 partner school sites. Time travelling from home to each school site is not paid. The intern will not be required to provide transport, they will simply need to arrive fully equipped at the specified start time. Some expeditions will start and finish at other locations which have not yet been agreed, in these cases we will work with the intern to organise suitable travel arrangements and the time and any expenses involved will be reimbursed.

Job Description

Contract Term: Fixed Dates, Mon 23 August to Sun 31 October 2021.

Working Hours: 294 hours, averaging 34 hours per week including annual leave. Weekend working and overnights are required. Work to include the fixed days listed below:

  • Mon 23 Aug to Fri 27 Aug
  • Mon 30 Aug
  • Thu 02 Sep & Fri 03 Sep
  • Sat 04 Sep to Mon 06 Sep including 2 overnights
  • Fri 10 Sep to Sun 12 Sep including 2 overnights
  • Mon 13 Sep to Fri 17 Sep
  • Tue 21 Sep & Wed 22 Sep
  • Wed 06 Oct to Thu 07 Sep including 1 overnight
  • Fri 08 Oct to Sun 10 Oct including 2 overnights
  • Wed 13 Oct
  • Thu 14 Oct to Fri 15 Oct including 1 overnight
  • Tue 26 Oct & Wed 27 Oct
  • Thu 28 Oct to Fri 29 Oct including 1 overnight
  • Sat 30 Oct to Sun 31 Oct including 1 overnight

Hourly rate: £10 per hour. Up to a maximum of 12 hours are paid on days that include a following overnight. Total remuneration of £3,400.

Annual Leave: 46 hours (pro rata based on 7 weeks per year). Leave may not be taken on work dates listed above.

Location: Distributed working at 4 secondary schools in Edinburgh and Midlothian, with home working for planning and preparation.

Responsible To: Expedition Coordinator.

Main Responsibilities: To deliver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expeditions at Bronze and Silver levels to participants in four schools in Edinburgh and Midlothian.

Major Tasks:

  • Delivering expedition skills training days in school grounds and surrounding areas, working with our permanent expedition staff and volunteers, and groups of 10-25 participants.
  • Assisting our permanent expedition staff to deliver expedition planning sessions to groups of 10-25 participants.
  • Supervising Practice walks and Practice Expeditions, you will be responsible for a single group of 5-10 participants, usually working alone in the same area as colleagues leading other groups, undertaking ongoing dynamic risk assessment, using variable levels of supervision, and providing ad hoc training as required.
  • Supervising and Assessing Qualifying DofE Expeditions, you will work as part of a team with other staff and volunteers to implement a flexible remote supervision plan for the expedition, with a ratio of 1 qualified instructor per team of up to 7 participants. Most of the time you will be working alone with communication by mobile phone.
  • Supervising groups camping during expeditions at basic campsites and wild camping – camping will always involve at least 2 adults supervising and at least 1 adult per 10 participants.
  • Issuing equipment at the start of each activity and collecting it in at the end.
  • Taking part in advance planning meetings with other Expeditions staff.
  • Writing up Assessor’s Reports (when Assessing).
  • Submitting expense claims in a timely manner.
  • Full induction and DofE-specific training will be provided at the start of the internship.

Person Specification


  • A recognised UK walk leadership qualification (Lowland Leader Award, Hill & Moorland Leader Award, Mountain Leader Award or Sports Leaders UK Level 3 Certificate in Basic Expedition Leadership).
  • A valid 16-hour Outdoor First Aid certificate (more recent than 1 Nov 2018).
  • Suitable level of fitness to take part in multi-day walking expeditions in mixed terrain with overnight camping.
  • Experience working with young people.
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to motivate others.
  • Good communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision.
  • Recent experience of supervising or assisting with organised walks or expeditions.
  • Substantial personal camping experience.
  • Must be prepared to work flexible hours including camping overnight.


  • Experience of supervising DofE Expeditions at Bronze and Silver Levels.
  • Working knowledge of countryside areas in the Lothians.
  • A recognised qualification including camping leadership.
  • Clean driving licence valid for driving in the UK.
  • Experience working with hard-to-reach learners.

Please note: This post is Regulated Work with Children and so the successful candidate will be required to be or become a member of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme.

This internship is fully funded by the Scottish Government Covid-19 Outdoor Education Recovery Fund.

Applications: Please send application form and CV to Neil Birch

Closing date: Sunday 15th August. Interviews to take place on Microsoft Teams in the week of 16th August.