Training details

Essential Training:

The essential course Leading a Waterway Clean Up contains everything you need to know to plan and run a safe, effective and enjoyable waterway clean-up.

Two day-long sessions combine with practical volunteering to help you get the best learning experience. You will receive a workbook, regular feedback and support and an NCFE* accredited certificate upon completion of the programme.

Extra Modules:

Clean-ups are just the start. We want to help you look after the health of your waterways too. Extra modules are available to registered trainees, including introductions to Water Quality Testing; Surveying Invasive Non-Native Species and Vegetation Management in Your River Catchment. More mini-modules are being developed all the time to complement your core training with us.

How is the training structured?

We have designed our training courses to suit the needs of a wide range of volunteers, including those that may not have prior experience of formal training. We like to combine the classroom sessions with practical volunteering, observation and support so that you get the best possible learning experience. We will also ask you to provide a small amount of written work to show your learning, but you will recieve full support with this.

After day two of Leading a Waterway Clean Up, individuals can register with our Event Support Team taking on extra responsibility at Thames21 organised events. We will cover your expenses, provide support and feedback and send you our monthly newsletter.

Independent groups will receive guidance from Thames21 on running their own events safely, effectively and enjoyably. Thames21 will attend a minimum of one event to provide feedback and support. Find out about the Thames21 Badge here:

When do classroom sessions take place?

Open training sessions are pre-arranged throughout the year at venues in Central, East, West and South London. The dates are planned then advertised every three months. To make the sessions as accessible to volunteers as possible, training largely takes place at weekends and in the evening, but there are weekday sessions too. Please see our events calendar for upcoming sessions.

The first and second day of the essential Leading a Waterway Clean Up are deliberately split to fit in with your other commitments, and give you time to put your learning into practice.

If you would like the training to be delivered to your local group, at a time convenient to you, please arrange a bespoke session with the Training Officer.

How much does it cost?

The training is currently free for volunteers, with a Pricing Structure in place for volunteer managers and corporate groups. Please contact the Training Officer for more information.

To Register:

You must complete a registration form before you can train with Thames21. Your place on the training will be confirmed by the Training Officer, subject to available space.

1)      Complete a registration form selecting your preferred dates at the bottom of the form.

2)      If you have already registered and are interested in another session, please email the Training Officer ( directly

3)      Await confirmation from Training Officer

Training Policies:

You can view our training policies by following these links:








*NCFE have given formal recognition to our bespoke courses against a quality assurance framework matched to a range of recognised standards