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Allan Shaw

Freelance Instructor
Sole Trader at ashawexperience

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About Allan Shaw


During my time at Buxton & Leek College (Part of Derby University) I have undertaken numerous roles, these have included:

Course leader for Adventure Sports level 3Course leader for Sports level 2Course leader for Public Services levels 2 & 3Advanced Teaching PractitionerHead of Business, Media, IT and Accounts


My current full-time role is running the Adventure Sports course.  This involves the delivery of theory and practical components of the course on a daily basis, purchasing and managing equipment, resources, additional staff and vehicles, also writing risk assessments, operating procedures, and completing trips and visit forms.  I manage and organise a bi-annual ski trip to the Alps, annual expeditions to Snowdonia, Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Llangollen and have organised and led an expedition to Kerala, South India, for my own students.


I have also mentored and supported at least one (sometimes up to 3) PGCE or Certificate of Education student per academic year, both within my specialist area and more widely across the college.  Early on in my time at the college, I suggested the creation of Advanced Teaching Practitioners to develop teaching, which involved me observing, supporting, coaching and developing staff from across the institution to improve teaching, learning and assessment prior to our last OFSTED inspection in 2019.


I have organised and delivered Duke of Edinburgh at Bronze, Silver & Gold levels, delivered various additional qualifications including first aid, mental health first aid, safeguarding, RYA level 2 coastal powerboat, Lowland Expedition Leader, British Canoeing star and later Explore & Discover Awards.

On behalf of the college I have delivered a range of commercial short courses including: First Aid at Work, Emergency First Aid at Work, 16 hour Outdoor First Aid and Mental Health First Aid courses.  Some of those courses have been delivered to college students, to college and university staff, members of the public and local businesses.


In the summer months, I work freelance for World Challenge since 2004 and have led expeditions in the following countries:

Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, North Vietnam, Malaysia, Nepal, India, Ghana, Swaziland, Norway, Morocco, Cambodia. I have also been working freelance for many years running climbing, mountaineering and kayaking trips for numerous organisations and have worked with Scouts, Cadets, Guides, Brownies, NCS, Probation groups and many more.


I have my own training business and have been delivering Advanced First Aid courses on a monthly basis for organisations such as Awesome Walls Climbing Station and Liverpool Watersports Centre.  A highlight was last year where I ran an Advanced Expedition First Aid course to the staff of 360 Expeditions in Tanzania, at the foot of Kilimanjaro. The staff are guides who lead expeditions on Kilimanjaro.


I have been lucky enough to have worked in education, in one form or another, since 1990 and have had the privilege of teaching an entire spectrum of abilities and age groups. These include teaching YTS students, SEND students, HNC and HND management students, university students, adult learner classes, Duke of Edinburgh participants from grammar schools to youth offending groups and more recently, 16+ students in the further education sector.     My strong interpersonal skills and my extensive education experience has resulted in me achieving Outstanding grades in numerous observations both internally and externally including Training Standards Council and Ofsted.  

I am forward thinking and innovative, demonstrating this when I developed numerous successful courses from Army Prep and Outdoor Pursuits at Wirral Met to Open College Network Climbing courses and Level 4 Public Services at South Cheshire College.  I was also instrumental in setting up courses at Wirral Alternative School Project such as Army Preparation courses, first aid and NCFE level 2 in Outdoor Sport, which transformed their future delivery.  This resulted in me being nominated for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Award for Excellence and Innovation in Education, of which I am extremely proud.

Other qualifications I have contributed to are: 

Edexcel Public Services Level 2 - Unit 8 Outdoor PursuitsNCFE Uniform Services Level 1 Map Reading & Navigation AwardsNOCN Introductory Rock-Climbing AwardCommonwealth Games Volunteer Programme (Later became Olympics Games Maker)I am also noted as a co-author in the BCU Canoe Games publication


During the last few years of my career, I have been able to assist in the growth and development of numerous courses and outdoor provision thereby providing both support and financial growth to the organisations that I have worked for. I actively promote my course on our college social media pages, celebrating successes and recently showcasing the alumni with Student of the Day to tell prospective students about the amazing jobs they have gone in to following the course. As an educational visit coordinator, I also have to be conversant with all legislation and regulations concerning Health and Safety as well as risk assessment and child protection.


In the last 18 years, I have run countless residentials in MOD (Ministry of Defence) camps which have assisted many young people in deciding future career paths as well as facilitating their teamwork and confidence. 

I have led expeditions for World Challenge which has taken me to such interesting places as the mountains and jungles of Ecuador, fiords of Norway, deserts of Morocco and mountains of Croatia.  Whilst on expeditions for World Challenge my primary role is to lead, inspire and motivate, whilst ensuring the Health and Safety of all concerned.  These expeditions include the development of soft skills including leadership, teamwork, budgeting and organisational skills.  Challengers have the opportunity to undertake social projects and this helps to develop their citizenship and environmental awareness.  


Aside from my full-time employment, I love to utilise my outdoor skills and maintain my currency by carrying out a range of freelance activities. Over the past 8 years, I have led over 60 national three peaks challenges, leading groups of people up the 3 highest peaks in the UK.  I have led kayaking expeditions from one side of Scotland to another along the Caledonian Canal, taken groups walking along the Pennine Way from Scotland to the Peak District. I have also managed Duke of Edinburgh residentials for hundreds of young people across North Wales, Yorkshire Dales and Scotland. I have taken numerous groups on residentials staying at centres from Kingswood and PGL and local authority centres such as Oaklands and Colomendy, to wild camping in the hills and mountains. Working alongside a colleague, I organised and delivered the Youth Outdoors Project for Wirral Borough Council, which facilitated the development of a large number of disenfranchised young people, providing them with access to outdoor activities and supporting their development in achieving leader qualifications.


I fully support enrichment activities for my students and some examples of this include; I work closely with Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service where they deliver the Drive Survive Courses with which increases student’s confidence whilst also developing an awareness of danger and risk. I arrange careers talks and tests from the MOD and outdoor centres such as PGL, Acorn Adventure, Kingswood and Operation Encounter.   


I encourage all of my students to complete first aid courses as well as positive handling classes.  I develop their employment skills, nautical studies, skills for water and land-based activities, expedition skills, public service skills, command and control, citizenship, diversity, teamwork and leadership.     These support the implementation of Safeguarding and Prevent, ensuring learners are safe, aware of risks and work towards making a valuable economic contribution.


My roles have also provided me with many networking opportunities and I maintain a strong list of sector contacts including Cheshire Police, British Army, Fire Brigade, Connexions, countless employers and development agencies. Networking and multi-agency working has always been an important part of my work role and I believe that it is my ability to look at the wider picture which has supported and enhanced my delivery and facilitated the development of thousands of young people over the years that I have been in education. 

My wide variety of life skills and experiences have enabled me to develop excellent communication skills at every level, whilst enabling me to develop successful relationships through good rapports and shared knowledge.  A testament to my excellent teaching and pastoral skills are the hundreds of young people taught by myself, that have progressed into employment within the public services, university and further education as well as working in the outdoor sector around the world.


I have also worked as a volunteer with the RNLI lifeboat crew at New Brighton and this valuable experience has supported my knowledge and understanding of incident management.  I have also been an active member of Buxton Mountain Rescue team.     I have recently applied for and successfully become a member of the International Rescue Corps, which I believe will also support my knowledge and skill base whilst providing me with valuable insights into the wider role of emergency situations

I believe that I am an inspirational leader with a passion for the outdoor sector and often enjoy the challenge of using my own initiative and being able to demonstrate how I cope under pressure and balance priorities as appropriate. 



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First year of Freelancing
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BSc Hons Outdoor & Environmental Studies
Fda Management of Leisure & Tourism Distinction
BMC- British Mountaineering Council Mountain Leader
BMC- British Mountaineering Council Single Pitch Supervisors Award (climbing instructor)
International Rescue Swift water Rescue Course [SRT1] Technician X 3
RYA-Royal Yachting Association Powerboat Instructor
RYA-Royal Yachting Association Safety Boat Instructor
RYA- Royal Yachting Association Sea Survival
BC-British Canoe Stand Up Paddlesport coach
BC- British Canoe Raft guide level 1 course [Coach]
BC- British Canoe Bell Boat Helm
BC- British Canoe Kayak Coach level 1
BC- British Canoe Kayak Coach level 2
BC- British Canoe Kayak Coach level 3 trained
NCA-National Caving Association Cave Leader
BSCA Mountain Bike Leaders Award
Duke of Edinburgh Silver/ Gold validation course Assessor
BOF-British Orienteering Federation Level 1 Leader
NCFE level 2 Bushcraft survival course
Wilderness First Responder
Rescue & Emergency Care Tutor
Merseyside Ambulance Service AED Tutor
First Aid at Work Certificate x 7
R.Y.A first aid certificate
QNUK Level 3 Award for First Responders (RQF)
Expedition / Adventure Medicine
High Altitude first aid course x 3
Jungle Medicine 1st Aid Course x 2
Medicine in Remote Areas
Administration of Penthox qualification
Celox Academy Trainer
QNUK Level 3 Award in Administering Oxygen (RQF)
REC Level 4 Advanced First Aid
Basic Wilderness Life Support
BASICS Scotland Hypothermia CPD
Trauma Care Pre-Hospital Management of Severe Hypothermia
Trauma Care Injured Children - The Difference Between Adults and Children
Trauma Care The C-ABC of Recognising and Treating Heat Stroke
Honors & Awards
Nominated for Queens Golden Jubilee Award for Excellence & Innovation in Education
Dont get lost or killed

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A First aid provider who provides standard 16 hour outdoor 1st aid courses as well as ADVANCED overseas expedition courses.
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