The Trainee Course 2023

The training course will start on Monday 17th April 2023.

Please arrive anytime on Sunday 16th April to set up your tent and meet the others. If you wish to travel up the day before, please give Andy Camis a call.


The training course has been designed to work on two levels. Firstly, to give you the necessary skills to work for us, gaining invaluable group experience while doing so; secondly to further your personal skills. In charge of the Training course is Andy Camis. You should speak to Andy about day-to-day matters relating to your training. He will organise the schedule for your course in conjunction with Steve Ranger and Paul Morley.

When you arrive we’ll ask you to sign a contract of employment. This lays out the terms of work, the notice you have to give and so on.

On arrival you can put up your tent and be shown around Blackland Farm. Many of you will already be familiar with the basic layout, having attended selection day.

On Monday morning Andy Camis will introduce the company and go over the essentials.

You will go to the Peak District for the week on Week 2. Andy will brief you, lend out any kit needed and generally prepare you for the week before you go.


On site assessments and further training will start on your return, and we will also during the first week at Blackland Farm:

· Complete the Staff Information Form including your bank account details, National Insurance number, etc. – please bring these details with you.

· Complete your DBS check

· Apply for registration for the RCI if you haven’t already done so (you pay the fees for this)

· Apply for insurance for the Alps trip, including BMC Membership (you pay the fees for this)

During the course we will be staying at various locations, training in different activities. You will have a permanent base at Blackland Farm where you can leave any kit you’re not using.

To get the most out of the course you will need to be physically fit. There is a very good reason for this – it is a physically demanding job! We’re not talking marathon fit, but the fitter you are, the more you will get out of working in this environment.

You can expect:

  • Intensive training to enable you to operate our high wire elements.
  • An introduction to lead climbing.
  • Significant training towards your RCI.
  • RCI Training *
  • Food Hygiene Certificate
  • TrekCo in house Mountain Bike Certificate
  • If ready you will have the opportunity to take your RCI assessment.
  • You will have the chance to go multi-pitch climbing and mountain scrambling.
  • Training in mountain leadership. Navigation, route planning, mountain safety
  • A trip to the French Alps. Activities include Canyoning, via ferrata, glacier walks, climbing, and rafting.

* if we feel you are ready, you have registered, completed your online log and done the necessary lead climbs as required. If you haven’t done your climbs or aren’t ready and by that time have left TrekCo, you’d have to arrange and pay for your own courses as you would normally. But if you’re still working at TrekCo we’ll still pick up the tab.

TrekCo covers the costs of this course. This includes transport to and from venues on compulsory trips, campsite fees (while at BF), instruction, specialist gear etc. While working on residential courses food will be provided. (An outside caterer brings in enough food for all clients and staff working on that course) There is one set of additional costs; for weekends away we will ask you to provide your own food. These costs are small. We pay for RCI Training if you are ready, registered and have completed the climbs, and are still at TrekCo.

When we are away, for example in North Wales, you will be expected to pay for your own food as we don’t have catering facilities there. At BF there are basic cooking facilities; microwave, fridge. While away on training trips some places will have basic cooking facilities and some will not. A small gas stove is the easiest and cheapest solution. (See kit list.)

TrekCo Staff Facilities
Below is a list of facilities available at Blackland Farm where you will be based. This should give you a rough idea of what to expect.

  • Phone / Post: Mobile signal is usually good at Blackland Farm; there is 4G coverage. There is a telephone box in the yard for outgoing calls only. The letterbox is by the main entrance. Any post to you should be directed to:Your Name, Trek Co Staff, Blackland Farm, Grinstead Lane, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 4HP.
  • Washing / drying clothes: There is a washing machine and tumble dryer in the staff toilet block. Free, of course.
  • Toilets / showers: There is a staff toilet block, 10 metres from the campsite. Showers / toilets and washbasins: there’s permanent hot water available in the toilet blocks.

Living arrangements: You will need to bring a tent big enough for you and your stuff. This is the part most people worry about. Don’t! You won’t be on you own; mid season there will be up to 40 staff on the staff campsite. Camping on the staff campsite is free.
Visitors: Visitors to the campsite (boyfriends / girlfriends) can’t unfortunately stay overnight on the staff campsite when there is a school course running. This is for two reasons – child safety, and school staff concerns. This is regrettable, but obviously from the point of view of a school, strange adults are not ideal anywhere that school children are staying.

Staff uniform

At the Trekking Company you are not required to wear a staff uniform, as in many situations it would be impractical. You are expected to wear appropriate clothing for the activities you are doing. When you start work you will be given a Trekco t-shirt and fleece. Every season there is an optional item of uniform that is heavily subsidised by us. (Down jackets, mountain packs, fleeces etc.)

We will give you guidance on whether we think your clothing is appropriate for working with schools and other clients – basically, don’t be too scruffy and always present a clean appearance. The only solid rule is that we don’t permit wearing flip flops whilst working, you must wear shoes in which you can run in an emergency.

Kit List

Please ensure you turn up on Day 1 of the course with all the correct kit or with the intention of getting it soon. If you have ANY problems with the kit list, please let us know, as we may be able to help.


· Originals of your outdoor qualifications (not other qualifications like GCSEs etc.)

· National Insurance number and P45 if you have one

· GHIC form for travel to Europe – this used to be the EHIC card; same process.

· Passport and Driving Licence if owned (provisional OK)

· Birth Certificate

· Bank statement or utility bill from the last 3 months – must be for the same address

(Please note these must be originals and some of them are to enable us to process your Criminal Records Bureau application, EHIC is for travel to the French Alps)


In general you will be living and working in the outdoors. You need to be appropriately equipped to operate in a professional capacity in this environment. Below is a list of essentials an aspiring outdoor professional will need.

It doesn’t have to be expensive to do the job. (As an example; our work Jackets are £30 and are great for the outdoors. If you were looking for gore-tex or e-vent they would be £200 – £400. Instead of buying a Thermarest for £50+, get some foam sleeping mats, £3)

During training week we will look at your kit.


Tent – Big enough for you and your stuff at
Blackland Farm

Rucksack / day sac – 35 / 45L

Sleeping bag & mat – It can be cold in April and can be warm in July! Think carefully.

Waterproof jacket and trousers – We will be out whatever the weather.

Warm Hat and gloves – Very important.

Headtorch – absolutely essential.

Climbing harness, helmet, belay device,

Slings and a couple of screw gate karabiners – You will need these! If you don’t have these already or are not sure what to get, wait.

Rock boots

Walking boots – Very important. You must have a pair that fits you and is comfortable.

Clothing for the cold – Down jacket, fleece trousers, thick socks etc. (or lots of fleeces or jumpers!)

Mountain tent – For use on training trips / Alps

Larger pack for overnight exped’s and bivis – 65L +

Stove and Pans – Not essential as you can share.

Bivi Bag – Not orange plastic. Can be picked up from army surplus for £15 (must be breathable)

You will also need clothing you can wear on a day-to-day basis.

Training to set up climbs in the Peak District - trainee outdoor instructors at TrekCo

Training to set up climbs in the Peak District