Jan was introduced to outdoor activities at an early age on family outings and has been a keen sailor since the age of 8.
Sailing competitively through her teens, Jan switched to kayaking at university, continuing to sail and obtain instructor awards in the summer holidays.
Having completed a degree at Bristol University, Jan then went to Exeter, obtaining a teaching certificate then working for the local youth service running an outdoor activity centre, where she remained for 18 years. During her time at the centre, Jan trained and qualified in a wide range of outdoor activities, working her way up to assessor levels in paddle sports and sailing. Jan was Regional Coaching Organiser for the British Canoe Union, sitting on the national coaching committee. She was involved in developing various accreditation and centre approval schemes for national governing bodies, and for the British Activity Holiday Association and Welsh Tourist Board.
When the Adventure Activity Licensing Authority was established in 1996, Jan took the role of Senior Inspector, and worked across the South of England for 6 years, before (envious of her 18-year-old children) taking a gap year to travel.
From 2003 onwards, Jan has worked freelance in various roles. As an inspector for AALA then AALS, as a consultant adviser in outdoor education and teaching, as well as coaching and inspecting for the Royal Yachting Association.