Is there really such a thing as a qualified forager?
When I decided to take on foraging as a job or as a ‘professional’ I dug around to see whether there were any types of foraging qualifications out there.
If you’re reading this article you’ve more than likely searched for the same terms as I did.
I found one or two companies, typically bushcraft types, that appeared to be offering foraging qualifications. The first was offering just three days on the course and I questioned how, in any way, that would qualify anyone to forage, in a professional sense, safely. Of course I’d agree it may point us in the right direction but three days, really.
I also recently found another ‘so called’ accredited foraging qualification, that was mentioned as being a Level 3, but this specific course was all based around self learning. There was no hands on training – AT ALL. How on earth would we be qualified through this type of training, after digging a little deeper I went on to realise this course wasn’t L3 or accredited with anyone.
So all of these people and companies were just handing out a piece of paper as a certificate to say we’d attended the event.
At this time I was actually delivering L3 qualifications in forest school, and suddenly it came to me. I could create and develop a real L3 accredited wild food and foraging qualification. I knew the basic framework for qualifications, had great experience in running foraging courses and harvesting wild ingredients and everything that revolved around this. After consulting with a whole load of people, we then decided to link this qualification with Ofqual….
A little on them:
The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation is a non-ministerial government department that regulates qualifications, exams and tests in England
A long time later and it’s ready to be released, initially we will be rolling this qualification out to our own foragers whilst ironing out any issues before then releasing it to the public.
There are 3 major units to this qualification and it covers everything from correct identification, toxic lookalikes, edibility, cooking potential to teaching styles, learning styles, land and woodland management, harvesting techniques all the way to tarp hanging and knot tying – it’s everything you would ever need!
I’m so excited to get this to a point when it’s ready to be released entirely – expected 2020.
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