In 2017, Mountain Movers received funding from the National Lottery which enabled us to bring these wonderfully inclusive and highly recognised courses to the home education community.

With demand increasing year on year, we are continually looking to make more course options available to all UK – based home educators at not for profit pricing. Every penny goes back into supporting the home education community and making this a self-sustaining service.

So what are ASDAN courses?

ASDAN is an awarding body who’s programmes and qualifications are delivered by over 3,000 secondary schools, special schools, colleges, alternative education providers and youth organisations across the UK and in more than 30 countries and territories overseas. They have been around since the 1990s and registered as a charity in 1997 with the mission to transform life chances through learning. It is this ethos of inclusion and passion for learning that make ASDAN courses the right fit for Mountain Movers Education.

How do the courses run?

It’s really important to note, there is “no teaching” provided by either Mountain Movers or ASDAN in the completing of their courses. As fellow home educators, we recognise and acknowledge that you as your child’s parent are best placed to support your child in developing their skills and ASDAN courses are all about skill development.

You receive all the course materials via email with a login to an online portfolio system where you upload the evidence of completing the course challenges. 

Mum and her child learning together using a tablet

An ASDAN course consists of a range of “challenges” of which your learner will need to pick which of them they wish to complete.

The basic concept behind ASDAN courses and qualifications is in the challenges. Your child PLANs to do a challenge, DOes the challenge and then REVIEWs how the challenge went. You build a portfolio of evidence of the challenges which you submit to our volunteer moderators who are looking for evidence of the development of skills. The outcome of challenges isn’t important, the journey and experience are. Most of the courses are focused on real life learning and skill development and so they are extremely compatible with home education.

If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but not the destination.

Author - Unknown

Lots of Talk of Skills but What Skills?

Completing an ASDAN course builds a portfolio of work that evidences core skill development in the following areas:

  • Learning – How the Learner manages their personal development and learning. It’s about planning and working towards targets to improve performance and reviewing their own progress.
  • Teamwork – How the learner works with others when planning and carrying out activities to get things done. Achieving SHARED objectives. This will involve working with a group of people.
  • Coping with Problems – Recognising problems and doing something about them. It’s about using different methods to find a solution and checking to see if they work.
  • Use of IT – making the best use of computers and other items such as printers, scanners, and digital cameras. Being familiar with how to use this equipment is of vital importance not only in the workplace but also at home.
  • Use of English – not only about how you talk to people but also about the ways you find out information and let others know your views and opinions in an appropriate manner. It also includes aspects of writing and reading.
  • Use of Maths – a learners ability to use numbers. Being able to demonstrate a good level of numeracy skills is highly sought after by employers. Short courses will give the learner opportunities to practise their numeracy skills.
a handing over of a portfolio folder to another hand


Building a learners portfolio of completed challenges will require lots of evidence gathering. We are looking for evidence that shows the core skill development and a stranger would be able to say with reasonable certainty, that this is the learner’s own work.

Evidence can be in a multitude of different formats, from photos (annotated), videos, witness statements, diary, PowerPoint/google slides presentations, letters, emails, diagrams, notes, charts, surveys, research.

It is key that the learner understands what plagiarism is and why is not acceptable. Short courses will help them develop the important skill of referencing their sources. There are a number of different resources and youtube videos regarding plagiarism.

What Courses Do you Offer?

Mountain Movers are currently offering the following course options:

Short Courses:

The subject options are extensive! There really is something for everyone. Like going on trips? Try the adventure and residential course.

Your child should be approx 12+ to start a short course however because they are multi-level, the focus is on completing challenges and skills development according to individual ability.

Accredits: 10-60 hours of activities

Price: £45 per child.

  • Activities and Peer Mentoring (sports, creative, anything goes and Peer mentoring is optional in this short course)
  • Adventure and Residential (great for those that like trips and educational mini-breaks)
  • Animal Care (most popular short course)
  • Beliefs and Values
  • Citizenship
  • English
  • Enterprise
  • Environmental
  • Expressive Arts
  • Foodwise
  • Football
  • Gardening
  • Geography
  • History
  • Leadership
  • Living Independently
  • Maths
  • PSHE
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Roadwise
  • Science
  • Sex and Relationships
  • Sports & Fitness
  • Volunteering (13-19year old, not the adult version)

For samples of each course, please head to the ASDAN website where you can download them.

Learner Introduction Letters

How to apply for a short course

  1.  Complete the online application form
  2. Email a photograph or scanned copy of a letter of introduction handwritten by the proposed learner. 

 Note A learner would need to be able to demonstrate the skills for a level 1 qualification (Pre GCSE level Key Stage 3) otherwise they would not be able to be awarded a certificate and/or credits unless there is supporting medical evidence of learning disability which would allow the moderators to make reasonable adjustments for.

In order to comply with the duty to ensure appropriate courses suited to a learner’s level are undertaken, an application for a short course must be submitted with a handwritten statement from the learner containing a small piece about who they are, why they would like to complete the short course and what they hope to achieve from the course. This will be assessed against the standard for a level 1 qualification. If it’s felt that from this evidence your child is not demonstrating the level required for the short courses, Mountain Movers will advise on a more appropriate course for your child. The decision remains with the parent as to which course they would like to pursue however certification is not guaranteed without the required standard being evidenced.

Please note that Mountain Movers does not offer refunds to those who do not achieve certifications in all circumstances.

See our Terms & Conditions for full details.

Lifeskills Challenge

A new offering for 2021. This course is a year’s opportunity to complete as many challenges as your learner wishes from the ASDAN Lifeskills Challenge Bank.

Designed for learners that require a personalised approach to learning, particularly those with ALN/SEN needs, the challenges are ranged from pre-entry to level 3 and accredit 10 – 30 hours per challenge. Challenges are mapped to the four Preparing for Adulthood pathways, covering 12 subject areas and eight vocational areas again with a focus on really targeting and recognising skill development. There are hundreds to choose from and the bank is regularly being updated with new challenges.

Price: £55 per child.

Applications are currently closed.

Coming Soon

Accelerating Progress Maths and English (GCSE focused).


Not Sure?

If you need any additional information or you would like to chat about what course(s) would be best for your child, please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your options.

plastic alphabet letters hung on a twine cord spelling out the word support. With a white wash wooden planks background

Already Completing an ASDAN course with us?

Coming Summer 2021, we have a dedicated online resource of supporting documents, FAQs, and more available to current learners with us. Please email us for a password to access this new support resource.