Ascend Instructor Training Program
POSITION TITLE: Instructor Trainee / Apprentice / Instructor
LOCATION: Skardu, Pakistan
CONTRACT LENGTH: 2 years
SALARY: Salary negotiable based on progress and commitment
HOURS OF WORK: 25hours per week
REPORTING TO: Program Manager
Ascend: Leadership Through Athletics is a US based not-for-profit organization working to empower young women through mountaineering-based leadership training. For more information, please visit Ascend’s website: http://www.ascendathletics.org
Summary: Ascend employs a train-the-trainer curriculum to increase local capacity among girls and women to safely and responsibly access the outdoors, specifically rock climbing, trekking, and mountaineering. The heart and soul of our program is our “instructors.” The program is designed with three levels: Instructor Trainee, Instructor Apprentice, and Instructor. At each level, qualified professionals administer exams and instructors are evaluated on rigorous, globally-recognized standards. Instructors who attain the highest (third) level of certification are competent in outdoors skills, safety and rescue, and leadership.
Step 1: Instructor Trainee
Timeline: 3 months
The Instructor Trainee position is a three-month unpaid position in which the Instructor Trainee receives instruction primarily in rock climbing, mountaineering, and fitness with some exposure to mental health, leadership and community service. After the three-month training, Instructor Trainees will have a basic understanding of key skills including but not limited to: rock climbing, physical fitness, nutrition, basic first aid and outdoors skills.
Instructor Trainees who successfully complete the three month program and who declare an interest in continuing the program may be invited to become an Instructor Apprentice. The Instructor Apprentice is a part-time, paid position with Ascend. The Apprentice will deliver daily lessons to new program participants while continuing her own training, under the guidance of a Master Trainer.
Previous experience required: None
Age requirement: Minimum 18
Cost: None, provided Trainee completes the course and continues as Apprentice for 2 years. See below. Students who do not complete the course will be required to refund the cost of the training.
Commitment: Minimum 12 weeks, 25 hours per week to complete the course
Instructor Trainees hold minimum (at end of 3 months)
First aid training
Physical fitness training
Basic climbing skills
Basic camp craft and outdoor hiking experience
Step 2: Instructor Apprentice
Timeline: 6 months minimum
The term “instructor apprentice” will be used until such time as the employee holds the relevant standard of qualification within the activity. The employee will work as an instructor apprentice under the supervision of a qualified instructor (a master trainer). The employee leads daily activities for beginner-level participants, while continuing to further her own practice and learning. Apprentices perform leadership roles in team activities, training, and expeditions. By observing and learning from Ascend’s master trainer and qualified instructors, the instructor apprentice can gain the necessary experience to pass Ascend’s qualifying instructor exams, and will at such time be able to instruct on her own.
Ascend invests greatly in the training and preparation of each Instructor. We require that when we take on new Instructor apprentices, they will have the dedication and passion for Ascend's activities, goals and values, and have interest and ability to lead others in the Ascend program for at least two years, but preferably more, after they become fully qualified Instructors.
Instructor Apprentices should be physically and mentally strong, and motivated to lead others. Training outside scheduled events is encouraged to take place as often as possible, but should never take preference over work duties or general Ascend program activities.
Previous experience required: Successful completion of 3-month Instructor Trainee course (see above)
Age requirement: Minimum 18
Cost: None, provided Trainee completes the apprenticeship and continues as Apprentice for up to 2 years. Apprentices who leave the course before completion will be required to refund the cost of the training. Apprentices are paid as part-time employees.
Commitment: Minimum 6 months, 20 hours per week
Instructor Apprentice can expect to earn:
Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness First Responder Certification
Camp craft and advanced hiking and camping experience
Prerequisites for Single Pitch Instructor Course
Prerequisite for Summer Mountain Leadership Training
Leave No Trace Master Trainer Certification
Step 3: Instructor
Timeline: requires 9 months minimum prior experience with Ascend. Instructors may remain in Ascend’s employment for years.
Ascend instructors will have successfully completed the previous steps 1 and 2, and will pass exams administered by qualified professionals in various outdoor disciplines. These may include but are not limited to:
Rock climbing instruction
Single Pitch Instructor Certification
Summer Mountain Leadership Certification
Previous experience required: Successful completion of Instructor Apprenticeship (see above)
Age requirement: Minimum 18
Cost: None, provided Trainee completes the Apprenticeship course and continues as Instructor.
Commitment: 25 hours per week
Phase 1 - April-May-June. Instructor training. 10-15 instructor trainees.
Phase 2 - July-December. Apprenticeship (for 10-15 trainees) with coaching & oversight by master trainer; apprentices lead daily activities for 30 participants beginning in July
Phase 3 - Jan-Feb-March 2024. Testing and evaluation of apprentices (10-15) and continuing education & training