Being tested is an effective way of measuring skill level in any discipline, it is very easy to hand over hard earned cash for an educational experience and come away with a nagging insecurity concerning ownership of the skills you have paid to learn. Testing students has a twofold benefit; the student knows exactly where they are with regard to their learning and the teacher knows if their instruction has been effective. This premise is fairly standard across the educational spectrum, it is our belief that bushcraft is no different from any other subject taught and one can measure both the students ability and the teachers delivery.
Accreditation is simply a way of recording this progress. Many bushcraft instructors set a series of tests that the students have to complete, often on the last day of a course. This is a great way of gauging the success of the course from both sides of the learning partnership. The students are often graded pass, merit or distinction and receive certification: when we first started to look into accreditation we took this basic principle but applied nationally recognised and quality controlled standards to it. Our delivery and assessment methods are now closely monitored by the awarding body leading to high standards of both learning and delivery. Accreditation also gives the student a sense of pride in achievement and can be used to structure progression and learning.
The assessment process can only be effective if it is fair and relevant to the subject area, if our students are to be assessed on a practical subject then that assessment will be practical. If they are required to identify trees and plants then identification tests are used. We believe assessment is integral to learning and use it as much to address knowledge missing as much as knowledge retained. What counts is true and obvious ownership of the skills you have paid for. In fact we believe assessment of knowledge retained is so important we do it on all of our courses although for the non certificated ones it will be definitely less formal and less obvious. It may take the form of questions, or recapping or observation which ever method we use but rest assured we will be on hand to ensure you have understood and correct things if you haven't.
Regardless of our belief surrounding accreditation of bushcraft skills and regardless of whether or not you agree with accreditation our courses offer very high standards of instruction, are fun and informative and according to our students, regularly life changing. They have great value with or without the qualification.