Forest Kindergarten CPD Award

Course code 97X3

What is special about this course?

This National Workplace Award is suitable for qualified early learning practitioners, early years workers, managers, teachers, third sector workers, and others who wish to organise and supervise regular off-site visits to woodland and green spaces for children in their care.

Accredited through the SQA, the award recognises the value of woodlands as an integral part of the learning process for pre-school children and covers the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to develop a forest kindergarten.

On successful completion of the course, you will develop your knowledge, skills, and confidence to plan and lead forest activities.

Special features

  • Flexible delivery using a mix of online learning and face-to-face practical experience
  • National Workplace Award accredited by the SQA

Entry requirements

  • No formal qualifications are required. However, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they have some knowledge or experience in working with children in an early years setting.
  • Access to practical placement in a nursery, school or voluntary setting is also required.


CPD Award

This is a Level 7 SQA Award with 4 SCQF points. It consists of one unit with three outcomes:

  • Forest kindergarten site (The place) - locating a suitable woodland and practical steps to ensure a setting can use it
  • Planning and engaging with children and adults (The people) - suggestions to prepare, inform and educate staff, children and parents about the woodland visits
  • Setting up and leading forest kindergarten sessions (The activities) - possible lines of development to extend children's experiences of playing in the woods

How will I study my course?

Additional information for course delivery in 2021-22

From September 2021, it is our intention that physical campuses will be open to all students for access to study facilities, support services and social activities, subject to Scottish Government guidance. Our priority is to provide a safe learning environment for all students and staff. For this course, the required practical outdoor activities will be conducted, when it is possible and safe to do so, following Scottish Government guidance, including social distancing. The theory elements may be delivered online through a combination of tutor-supported study, video-based seminars and self-directed study using the university's virtual learning environment. You can access your online and video-based classes from home however it is our intention to provide on-campus space for individual students where required as far as possible. Further information will be provided by your home campus.
  • Part-time (Structured)
  • You will learn through a combination of online study using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE) and face-to-face practical activities. The practical elements will be delivered in an outdoor environment with online content and videos available for consolidation.

How long will my course last?

  • 40 hours

Where can I study my course?

  • Argyll College UHI - September starts only
  • Inverness College UHI
  • Moray College UHI
  • North Highland College UHI
  • Orkney College UHI
  • Perth College UHI
  • West Highland College UHI

Start date

  • September
  • January
  • Variable - for information on start dates please get in touch with your chosen campus


For information on costs of this course please contact the college at which you wish to study.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this award you will be able to plan and deliver outdoor activities using a forest kindergarten approach.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

Outdoor learning not only improves mental wellbeing and health and fitness, it can make a huge difference to children's confidence levels and their ability to risk assess while encouraging a lifelong love of the outdoors. 

Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Childcare and Early Years

Apply for Forest Kindergarten CPD Award

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2022 or Aug/Sep 2022 or Jan/Feb 2023

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.