About World Challenge

Become an Expedition Leader


With the right experience and qualifications, you can step into one of the most rewarding and stimulating careers in overseas youth expeditions

World Challenge are recruiting for Expedition Leaders based in the UK, South Africa, North America, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. If you are interested in leading for us in any of our locations please get in touch


Why lead for World Challenge?

  • A competitive and progressive level of pay 
  • Access to a wide range of continuing professional development courses
  • Unrivalled back up and support, both prior to travel and in country
  • Opportunity to get involved in the training of your team prior to expedition

  • Year-round expedition work opportunities 
  • A choice of over 40 destinations worldwide                                                       
  • Up to 20% discount at Cotswolds Outdoor clothing and equipment supplier  


Expedition Leader Pay & Benefits

Every World Challenge Expedition is accompanied by an Expedition Leader and we pride ourselves on attracting the best in the industry. Our pay and benefits package has been designed to reward loyalty and aid the development of our Expedition Leaders through their career with World Challenge.



Relevant technical outdoor leadership qualification – the minimum qualification we ask for in the UK is the Mountain Leader Summer Assessment.

Youth Work experience – minimum of 10 weeks experience working with 13-18 year olds, with a working knowledge of youth development in an outdoor and residential setting

A minimum of 4 weeks experience travelling in either South East/Central Asia, South/Central America or Africa, including an element of independent travel, where you are planning and following your own itinerary

Valid remote first aid qualification 

Youth work experience

It is essential our leaders have proven experience working with young people, ideally aged between 13-18, and have a working knowledge of youth development in an outdoor setting. We ask for a minimum of 8-10 weeks of active youth work experience to include some form of residential responsibility.

Travel experience

A minimum of one month’s personal travel experience in Central/South America, Africa or South East/Central Asia. Many applicants will have travelled extensively in these regions, which allows them a greater choice of expedition at placement.

Application Process


If you meet all the prerequisites  apply HERE 

If you have any questions regarding the application process or our prerequisites, please contact us on 01494 427600 or email [email protected]


Once you have submitted your application for one of our expeditions, we check your qualifications alongside your experience before offering you a place on one of our Potential Leader Courses.

Potential Leader Course

Part 1: The first day is a theoretical day designed to introduce applicants to the World Challenge ethos, operating procedures and being part of the Expedition Leadership Team.
The second day is more practical and focuses on expedition-specific scenarios; here you will get a chance to show us what you know about developing world travel and dynamic risk assessment.
Part 2: For this part of the assessment and screening process you spend two days working with a group of our Challengers (students) as they attend their Training Expedition weekend.
This is designed to help prepare them for their trip later in the season. Here we get a feel for how well you interact with the team and have a chance to see you teach and supervise.

Feedback and expedition placement

On completion of both parts of your Potential Leader Course, we review all of your feedback with our Head of Operations and look to sign you off as a World Challenge Expedition Leader. We then get in touch with you and let you know the outcome. If it is successful, we also take this opportunity to discuss expedition options for the coming year. If your application has been deferred, we formulate a personal development plan with you so that you can reach the required level.

Continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities

Our CPD programme typically runs from November – June. Options include a facilitation course accredited by the Institute for Outdoor Learning, a water safety and river crossings course run by our Technical Advisor and a high-altitude course run by our expedition medicine expert. Be sure to take advantage of these courses, which are run at cost price. Some are free to attend, and if there is a cost, you can use any training credits you have saved up against it (see our Expedition Leader Pay & Benefits for information). 

Meet the Leader Evening 

In most cases, this is your first chance to meet the team that you are set to accompany on expedition. Meet the Leader evenings are part of our extended expedition build-up programme and generally happen between February – May for summer departures. The meeting normally takes place at the school and is hosted by a full-time member of World Challenge staff. 

Expedition Preparation Conference (EPC)

Each year World Challenge invites all of our travelling Expedition Leaders and most School Leaders to one of our regional EPCs. The day is designed to give you some specific training and information prior to your departure. It includes safety and medical updates along with destination briefings and additional skills workshops.

Build-up Day

Your expedition starts here! The Build-up Day is normally held at the school on the day before or day of departure (depending on the departure time). This is a chance for you and the team to go through all the important final checks, including passports, documentation and personal kit. A run-through key safety briefings helps to prepare the team for arrival in country.

"I teamed up with World Challenge in 2009 because I wanted to take my own love of mountaineering and travelling, and encourage young people to get out there and explore the world... It is so nice to see how the Challengers develop throughout the expedition; it really is a life-changing experience and I often stay in touch with groups long after they've returned home." Vanessa Johnson (Expedition Leader)

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After Build-up Day, you set off on expedition for a duration of between 8 days – 6 weeks.

We had requested our leader as he was great to work with on last year’s trek. Again, he was fantastic. Our safety was always paramount, he gave responsibility to the student leaders chosen each day, he was calm and great to work with. During downtimes he introduced a game, which the kids loved. They really thought a lot of him, as did my colleagues and I. We were sad to wave him off at the airport.
School Leader – Sweyne Park School
Morocco 2013

Why go on a school trip when you can go on a World Challenge?

"The structure of a World Challenge expedition is a winning formula. The way the students are engaged and involved from the outset gives them true ownership of their experience... It is an experience like no other!"
School Leader, DENBIGH SCHOOL, Tanzania (Mt Kilimanjaro) 2014
or call +44 (0)1494 427600