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COLT is committed to providing accurate information and guidance to prospective students to ensure they make informed decisions about choosing to take the COLT semester program. Entry assessment tools and admission requirements ensure students have the required language competencies and the basic knowledge, skills and abilities to achieve program outcomes.  Admission requirements may not be waived by either the student nor COLT.

COLT Statement of Purpose

The Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training program is a dynamic semester designed to train high quality and well-rounded outdoor educators and guides.

Student Statement of Rights

Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training is certified with the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) of the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. Before you enroll at a certified private training institution, you should be aware of your rights and responsibilities. You have the right to be treated fairly and respectfully by the institution.

You have the right to a student enrolment contract that includes the following information:

  • Amount of tuition and any additional fee for your program
  • Refund policy
  • If your program includes a work experience, the requirements to participate in the work experience and the geographic area where it will be provided
  • Whether the program was approved by PTIB or does not require approval.

Make sure you read the contract before signing.  The institution must provide you with a signed copy.  You have the right to access the institution’s dispute resolution process and to be protected against retaliation for making a complaint.

You have the right to make a claim to PTIB for a tuition refund if:

  • Your institution ceased to hold a certificate before you completed an approved program
  • You were misled about a significant aspect of your approved program.

You must file the claim within one year of completing, being dismissed or withdrawing from your program. For more information about PTIB and how to be an informed student, go to:

Admission Requirements

  • You must be 19 years old at the start of the program. Students turning 19 during the program may be granted admission on a case-by-case basis.
  • BC high school graduation or equivalent. Mature students who have not graduated high school may have the graduation requirement waived, but they must meet all the other admission requirements.
  • Participate in a 30-minute interview and provide at least one personal and one professional reference.
  • You must agree to the COLT Program Policies and Code of Conduct.
  • Agree to the COLT Program Policies and Code of Conduct.
  • You must have English language proficiency as determined through the written application and interview.
  • You must meet the program suitability criteria.
  • Students must have a current tetanus shot.

Language Proficiency Assessment Policy

Instruction at COLT is conducted in English. Students whose first language is not the language of instruction are screened for English language proficiency prior to acceptance into the program to ensure they have the language abilities necessary to safely and successfully complete the program. Language proficiency requirements are admission requirements and may not be waived by either the institution or the student.

The Language Proficiency Assessment is done through the following:

  • A thirty-minute interview in English to assess verbal comprehension skills.
  • Review of the written application to assess written communication skills.

Code of Conduct Policy

As a COLT student you are in a leadership development capacity and as such, need to display appropriate behaviour for the other students and guests who attend Strathcona Park Lodge and their programs.

  • Be safety conscious and follow safety procedures outlined by COLT instructors
  • Be health conscious.
    • No smoking on any of the COLT programs during instruction or in the accommodation.
    • No use of illegal substances or non-prescription drugs.
    • No use of alcohol while on program time.
  • Show respect for others by employing respectful manners, language and appropriate humour. Refrain from behaviour that is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, malicious, degrading or otherwise offensive to an individual or group of individuals or creates an unwelcome environment.
  • Forming an exclusive relationship of two or more people tends to make others left out and can create a difficult group dynamic. We strongly discourage exclusively or becoming sexually involved with any other members of our group while you are on your COLT course.
  • Intimate relationships with COLT instructors are prohibited.
  • Bring an attitude of openness, honesty, compassion and humour.
  • Bring a learning attitude and approach, including cooperation with instructors and schedules.
  • Inform the COLT Program Manager prior to any absence from the program.
  • Show respect to the natural environment and show respect for all equipment and personal property, including SPL grounds.

Practicum Policy

After successful completion of the COLT program, students may apply for a 3-5 week practicum placement with the outdoor education programs offered by Strathcona Park Lodge. Applications for practicum are made at the end of the COLT semester to the SPL Chief Instructor and awarded based on the number of spaces available and recommendation from the COLT Director. Practicum is unpaid but room and board are provided. Practicum is only available to COLT graduates.

Student Attendance Policy

COLT is more than just a skills-based program and its success depends on the participation of all students to create a supportive learning environment. We recognize that COLT is a very demanding course and to maintain your health and energy level you may need to take an additional day off from time to time to look after your physical and emotional needs.

  • Students are expected to attend the first day of the COLT semester. A student who is absent for the first two days of the semester, without written permission from the COLT Director, will be considered to have withdrawn from the program and their space may be assigned to a waitlisted student.
  • A student is expected to regularly attend lessons, lectures, participate in group debriefs, help during trip-prep days and go on field-based trips. Participation in any of these may be refused by the instructor for consistent lateness, failure to show respect for other students or for conduct that poses safety concerns for the student(s).
  • A student is expected to attend a minimum of 85% of course time throughout the semester to obtain a COLT certificate. Where a certification course is offered, the attendance policy of the accrediting organisation applies.
  • If a student will be absent they should notify the COLT Director or course instructor by email, in person or by written note passed on by another student.
  • In the case of deficient attendance without cause, a student may, on recommendation of the COLT Director and with the approval of the Managing Director or President, be withdrawn from a course.

Dismissal Policy

If the COLT Code of Conduct is not adhered to, then a student may be asked to leave the semester. Serious breaches such as the following may result in immediate dismissal:

  • Physical abuse, theft or non-accidental damage to COLT/SPL property
  • Endangering oneself or others by failure to abide by the safety guidelines laid down by COLT instructors while on program time or on COLT/SPL property
  • Behavior displaying insubordination or refusal to cooperate with instructors and schedules
  • Behavior displaying disrespect toward fellow students and the institution’s employees or guests
  • The use of non-prescription drugs or illegal substances while in attendance at COLT. Excessive use of alcohol at any time or any use of alcohol on program time
  • Disrespect of COLT Code of Conduct
  • Disrespect of COLT Policies
  • Willful breaking of any civic, provincial or federal law

The process by which a student may be dismissed from a program is as follows:

  • Verbal warning from the COLT Director
  • Written warning from the COLT Director
  • Verbal dismissal as well as written dismissal from the program from the COLT Director or Managing Director

Dispute Resolution Policy

COLT is committed to providing a living and learning environment conducive to student success. Where there is a concern about the quality of teaching, disagreement with other students or another aspect of your COLT experience, you are encouraged to have open and respectful communication with the other individual(s) involved as a first step to resolve the issue.

If you are not able to resolve the situation as above or if the circumstances prevent you from bringing it to the subject of your complaint, follow the process outlined below.

  1. This policy governs complaints from students respecting COLT and any aspect of its operations.
  2. A student who makes or is otherwise involved in a complaint will not be subject to any form of retaliation by the institution at any time.
  3. The process by which the student complaint will be handled is as follows:
  4. A dispute between individuals should try to be resolved by the parties involved and if no resolution is forthcoming with the support of the COLT Director(s) (CD)
  5. If no resolution is forthcoming or if the dispute is respecting COLT, student complaints must be made in writing to the Colt Director Julia Tashiro (
  6. If the CD is named in the complaint they will forward it to the Managing Director Paul Chatterton (MD) (
  7. The CD or MD will request a written submission from all involved parties, including witnesses. An investigation will be set up and a meeting will be conducted with all parties. Due to the largely field-based nature of COLT this process may take longer than 48 hours. The institution must provide the reasons for the determination and the reconsideration (if any) to the student within 30 days after the date on which the student made the complaint. The written reasons will advise a student, that if the student is dissatisfied with the determination, and has been misled by the institution regarding any significant aspect of that program, the student may file a complaint with the Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB  Complaints must be filed with PTIB within one year of the date a student completes, is dismissed from, or withdraws from the program.
  8. The student making the complaint may be represented by an agent or a lawyer.

Grade Appeal Policy

COLT maintains a collaborative atmosphere where open discussion, frequent individual/group debriefs and ongoing student assessment is provided through regular verbal and written feedback throughout the semester. Upon completion of the program each student receives a written evaluation from the COLT Director. While students do not receive grades in the COLT program, there may occasionally be disagreements about the feedback and assessment provided by instructors. In general, a student should take the following steps to address concerns about feedback they receive.

  1. Attempt to resolve the issue with the instructor with whom the issue originated;
  2. If the issue is not resolved, attempt to resolve the issue with the COLT Director, or if they are the instructor, the Managing Director.
  3. If still unresolved, submit your complaint in writing to the President who will make a final decision.

The COLT program includes industry certification courses accredited by third-party organisations. These certifications have assessment criteria established by their governing body that cannot be waived by the COLT instructor/examiner. In most cases the above process will help to resolve an issue related to certification. If the issue is not resolved the student should follow the appeals process established by the governing body.


Respectful and Fair Treatment of Students Policy

COLT is committed to providing a living and learning environment that promotes the respectful and fair treatment of all students; free from discrimination, bullying and harassment. Discrimination violates the fundamental rights, personal dignity and integrity of individuals or groups of individuals and may require remedial action by COLT.

The definition of bullying and harassment includes any inappropriate conduct or comment by a ‘person’ towards an individual that the ‘person’ knew or reasonably ought to have known would cause that individual to be humiliated or intimidated. A ‘person’ includes any individual, whether or not they are a fellow student, workplace party, such as an instructor, supervisor, member of the public, client or anyone a student comes into contact with at COLT.

Inappropriate conduct or comment is any form of communication or behaviour that is unwelcome and likely to result in an uncomfortable or hostile environment, including communication or behaviour that is demeaning, embarrassing, humiliating, insulting, intimidating, isolating or exclusionary. Examples may include name-calling, offensive jokes and gestures, display of signs or objects that single out an individual/s. Harassment and bullying is often repetitive.

Harassment and bullying may arise from an imbalance or abuse of power, an individual’s personal style of communication, competition for title or resources or a personality conflict between two or more individuals. Harassment and bullying may be a form of discrimination on grounds prohibited by the BC Human Rights Code, which include race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex (includes pregnancy, breastfeeding and sexual harassment and pregnancy), sexual orientation, or age. Harassment and bullying may be criminal, under CCC section 264, Criminal Harassment.

Sexual harassment is legally defined as any comment, gesture, or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation. One of the challenges with this is that ‘appropriate’ behaviour is an individual value judgement. It is important to articulate your boundary for ‘appropriate’ behaviour, identify intent and ask for respect.

It is the responsibility of COLT and its employees and students to create and maintain a culture that recognizes bullying and harassment as unacceptable behaviour and where everyone can realise their full potential.

At all times, students will treat others with respect and dignity, ensure they do not harass, ensure they do not condone harassment or an environment where harassment can occur, actively contribute to a supportive, comfortable, productive and harassment free environment, apprise others of the acceptable standard of behaviour, ensure others are aware of their rights and responsibilities regarding harassment, ensure that others do not suffer from harassment, take early action to deal with behaviour that may become intimidating or offensive, intervene if any person’s conduct is intimidating, hostile or offensive or adversely affects performance, health or satisfaction and report all known or observed harassment.

If you experience or observe bullying and harassment, report the incident to the COLT Director, the Managing Director or the President. On receiving a harassment complaint a person or persons duly authorized by COLT will investigate the complaint by interviewing the complainant, subject of complaint, those involved and/or witnesses, make a determination of what happened, consult (if necessary) with any expert or source on harassment and recommend a course of action.

Upon coming to or receiving the outcome of an investigation, COLT or duly appointed person will inform the complainant and subject of complaint of the outcome of the decision, take action to stop harassment by conciliation, counselling, reminders, removal of person/s (as appropriate), other action (as appropriate), restore a harassment free environment by clarifying rules, providing or allowing accommodations, educating. No person will be penalized for making a complaint in good faith. This policy will apply whether or not the harassment also falls under another jurisdiction, such as the Human Rights Code, Criminal Code or other organization’s policy. This policy is not intended to cause undue hardship to COLT or its students or compromise mandates, goals or activities such as safety, imparting skills and knowledge, testing and recognition of competence and performance or any reasonable action on the part of COLT relating to the delivery of educational objectives.

Sexual Misconduct Policy

COLT is committed to the prevention of and appropriate response to sexual misconduct. Sexual misconduct includes the following.

  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Stalking
  • Indecent exposure
  • Voyeurism
  • The distribution of a sexually explicit photograph or video of a person to one or more persons other than the person in the photograph or video without the consent of the person in the photograph or video and with the intent to distress the person in the photograph or video
  • The attempt to commit an act of sexual misconduct
  • The threat to commit an act of sexual misconduct

A Complaint of sexual misconduct is different than a Report of sexual misconduct. A person may choose to disclose or complain of sexual misconduct without making a formal report.  A Report is a formal notification of an incident of sexual misconduct to someone at the institution accompanied by a request for action. A student making a Complaint will be provided with resolution options and, if appropriate, accommodation, and will not be required or pressured to make a Report.

Making a written report or verbal complaint about sexual misconduct:

If you experience or observe bullying and harassment, express the incident to the COLT Director, the Managing Director or the President.

Responding to a report or complaint of sexual misconduct:

On receiving a harassment complaint or report a person or persons duly authorized by COLT will investigate the complaint by interviewing the complainant, subject of complaint, those involved and/or witnesses, make a determination of what happened, consult (if necessary) with any expert or source on harassment and recommend a course of action. All this will occur in a reasonable timeframe.

It is contrary to this policy for an institution to retaliate, engage in reprisals or threaten to retaliate in relation to a Complaint or a Report. Any processes undertaken pursuant to this policy will be based on the principles of administrative fairness. All parties involved will be treated with dignity and respect.

All information related to a Complaint or Report is confidential and will not be shared without the written consent of the parties, subject to the following exceptions:

  • If an individual is at imminent risk of severe or life-threatening self-harm.
  • If an individual is at imminent risk of harming another.
  • There are reasonable grounds to believe that others in the institutional community may be at significant risk of harm based on the information provided.
  • Where reporting is required by law.
  • Where it is necessary to ensure procedural fairness in an investigation or other response to a Complaint or Report.

Tuition & Refund Policy

COLT fees include separate charges for tuition and food & accommodation. To deliver the COLT program we begin incurring and committing significant expenses well before the program start date. Upon acceptance into the program we require a $2000 deposit, to be applied towards food & accommodation costs, to confirm your registration. A second deposit of $2000 for food & accommodation is due 45 days prior to the start of the program (March 17th for summer semester or June 26th for fall semester).

Tuition fees are due in full on the first day of the program along with the remainder of the food & accommodation costs. Naturally, we regret the receipt of any cancellations, but in most cases a portion of the course cost has already been allocated before your arrival. Tuition refunds are explained in the following table, while student food and accommodation payments are not refundable. We strongly recommend that you purchase medical and trip cancellation insurance to protect you in the unfortunate event that an injury or life events require you to cancel or withdraw from the program after registering.

Strathcona Park Lodge and COLT have followed public health guidance throughout the pandemic for the health and safety of our students, guests, and staff. Students are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and influenza. If vaccination requirements for post-secondary students are reintroduced during the semester unvaccinated students may be required to withdraw from the program. The regular refund policy will apply and students will not be eligible for a refund of food and accommodation costs.

Tuition fees are refundable as mandated by the Private Training Act. Food & accommodation costs are not refundable.


Circumstance Tuition Refund Entitlement
COLT receives a written notice of withdrawal from a student or an international student delivers a refusal of study permit:
No later than seven days after the effective contract date and before the program start date 100% tuition refund
Between the date the contract was signed and the start date of the program, where that period is less than seven days 100% tuition refund
More than seven days after the effective contract date, and at least 30 days before the program start date COLT refund 90% of tuition
More than seven days after the effective contract date, and less than 30 days before the program start date COLT will refund 80% of tuition
After the program starts, but before 11% of instruction hours have been provided COLT will refund 70% of tuition
After the program starts, and between 11% and 30% of instruction hours have been provided COLT will refund 50% of tuition
After 30% of instruction, hours have been provided No refund of tuition
COLT delivers a notice of dismissal to a student:
Before 11% of the instruction hours have been provided COLT will refund 70% of tuition
Between 11% and 30% of the instruction hours have been provided COLT will refund 50% of tuition
After 30% of instruction, hours have been provided No refund of tuition


  • The institution will refund fees charged for course materials paid for but not received if the student provides a notice of withdrawal to the institution or the institution provides a notice of dismissal to the student.
  • Refunds required under this policy will be paid to the student, or a person who paid the tuition or fees on behalf of the student, within 30 days:
    1. of the date the institution receives a student’s notice of withdrawal,
    2. of the date the institution provides a notice of dismissal to the student,
    3. of the date that the registrar provides notice to the institution that the institution is not complying with section 1(c) or 2 of this policy, or
    4. after the first 30% of the hours of instruction if section 3 of this policy applies.
  • If an international student delivers a copy of a refusal of a study permit to the institution, sections 1(a), 1(b), 4, 6, and 7 of this policy apply as if the copy of the refusal were a notice of withdrawal, unless the international student requests an additional letter of acceptance for the same program that was the subject of the refusal of a study permit.