ERA’s programme Walk Leader gives member organisations who train voluntary walk leaders the possibility to have their training programme certificated. For this purpose, ERA developed a framework plan which lists all requirements needed to obtain the certification.
With the certification and mutual recognition of the training, uniform standards across Europe, assurance of high standards of the voluntary walk leaders and consequently a high quality standard of the guided walks are achieved. From the certification of an umbrella organisation all clubs and organisations who are its members can profit. Despite of this, every direct member of ERA with its own training programme can apply for certification.
The programme also creates incentives or inspiration for organisations that do not at present offer structured or sufficient training.
If an organization wants to join the Walk Leader programme, it will have to compare the content and the methods of its own already existing training programme with the ERA framework plan/checklist. The description of requirements together with the minimal required duration of the training can be found in this document.
If the minimal requirements are fullfilled, the checklist is to be sent as application for certification together with its own training programme (in English, German or French) to the ERA secretariat. After positive review of the submitted training contents and methods by the responsible working group, an agreement for the certification of the member organizations with duration of 5 years is made between the requesting organization and ERA.
The certified organizations receive then from ERA a diploma showing that their training corresponds with ERA standards. The organizations are still responsible for the education of their voluntary walk leaders while ERA controls that the quality of education stays at the required level for all 5 years of the certification.
The licence allows the certified organization to use the ERA logo „Walk Leader“, also in the IDs of their voluntary walk leaders and on their training diplomas. It also entitles the certified organization to purchase the „Walk Leader“ pins for their trained voluntary walk leaders. Voluntary walk leaders trained in a certified organization are entitled to lead walks in their own area. They do not automatically get permission to lead walks all over Europe. National laws, rules and regulations have to be respected. Walk Leader do not get extra insurance from ERA. They are only covered by the insurance of their national or regional organization.
For the certification, ERA charges € 200,00 for the period of 5 years. If the certification is renewed after this period, the amount of € 200,00 will be due to be paid again.
The pins for voluntary walk leaders can be bought only by certified organizations at ERA´s secretariat for € 1,50/each. The organizations can then fix their own price for their distribution.
In case an organization needs help/support in order to reach the required standard, has questions or needs more information, the ERA secretariat can be contacted (firstname.lastname@example.org).