John’s career in outdoor centres has included work in the public, private and charitable sectors. He has managed a specialist centre for people with disabilities and a large centre focusing on personal development. He has been a university lecturer in the field, a safety consultant and advised National Governing Bodies and other organisations on the inclusion of people with disabilities in outdoor activities, personal awards and instructor qualifications. He has interspersed his career with academic studies: a diploma in outdoor pursuits from Dunfermline College; a teaching degree in outdoor education and environmental science from IM Marsh (John Moores University) and a PhD in outdoor education and people with disabilities from Edinburgh University. He also spent 8 years at sea.
John has a range of instructional qualifications and experiences on water, in the mountains, on snow, on wheels, underground and in the air – several of them at high level. He has been involved in the training and assessment of instructors in many of these fields. John is a member of the Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres, has been chair of the Institute for Outdoor Learning and is a trustee of several outdoor learning organisations. He has written several book chapters and journal articles on the inclusion of people with disabilities into the outdoors.