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National Navigation Award Scheme

The levels of the award

All NNAS courses include advice and information about relevant safety and access issues when walking in the countryside.   In addition, an understanding of relevant conservation and environmental issues and awareness of our impacts all form part of each course.

Training and Assessment courses use Harvey Maps of 1:25,000 or 1:40,000 scale, Ordnance Survey maps of 1:25,000 or 1:50,000 scale or orienteering maps of 1:10,000 or 1:15,000 scale.

Bronze NNAS Award – navigation in the countryside using paths tracks and other linear features, basic map interpretation and compass work is included.   For full syllabus of the Bronze NNAS Award see below:

Silver NNAS Award – navigation in the countryside using skills acquired at bronze level and adding skills required to navigate to features and places some distance from paths and tracks, accurate compass work is required and an ability to use appropriate navigational techniques to go across country in some cases, eg. choosing an appropriate attack point.   For full syllabus of the Silver NNAS Award see below:

Gold NNAS Award – navigation in the countryside using skills of the first two levels, but adding techniques and skills for dealing with complex contour features large and small.  The Gold Award is delivered as separate Gold Award Training and Gold Award Assessment courses. For full syllabus of the Gold NNAS Award see below:

NB: None of these awards are to be used as a leadership qualification of any kind.

Progression of participants
Participants may enter the scheme at any Level Bronze, Silver or Gold depending on their experience, though it is anticipated that most will start at the basic Bronze level and progress as far as motivation, hard work and ability can take them. Whatever the final level achieved, assessors should emphasise to candidates the necessity for constant practice and attention to fitness levels so as to maintain the level reached.

 

 

Bronze NNAS Award – The Learning Outcomes

  • Navigate using a variety of maps and scales.
  • Use 4 and 6 figure grid references with worded descriptions to define the position of a map feature and to locate a feature on the ground.
  • Orientate the map using handrails, obvious point features and major landforms.
  • Use linear features (e.g. paths, tracks, clear boundaries) as handrails in simple navigation exercises.
  • Relate prominent landforms such as large hills and valleys to corresponding contour information on the map.
  • Orientate the map by aligning a compass needle against grid north and be aware that magnetic variation causes an inaccuracy.
  • Use an orientated map to confirm direction of travel.
  • Use clearly identifiable features to confirm position along the route and to recognise when the target has been overshot.
  • Measure horizontal distance on the map and estimate distance on the ground using timing, pacing and simple visual judgements e.g.100m.
  • Plan and implement simple routes and navigation strategies based on the above skills.
  • Recognise a navigation error within a few minutes and apply simple relocation techniques using handrails and prominent features.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of local and national access issues, access legislation, personal responsibilities and the Countryside Code.
  • Demonstrate appropriate knowledge of walking equipment, safety equipment and emergency procedures.


Silver NNAS Award - The learning outcomes: (additional to those of the Bronze Award)

 

  • Utilise the skills and techniques of the Bronze Award in the context of Silver Award navigation strategies.
  • Relate small hills, small valleys, prominent re-entrants and prominent spurs to their corresponding map contours. Use prominent hills, ridges, spurs and valleys as a means of navigation in good visibility.
  • Use landforms and point features to orientate the map and as collecting and catching features.
  • Use a compass to: Accurately follow a bearing; aim off; check the direction of handrails and other linear features.
  • Deviate briefly from a compass bearing to avoid obstacles or difficult terrain and accurately regain the original line.
  • Use back bearings to check route following accuracy.
  • Measure distance on the ground in varied, open terrain using timing and pacing and make practical allowances for any discrepancies.
  • Simplify legs using coarse navigation, attack points and fine navigation.
  • Recognise dangerous or difficult terrain on map and ground.
  • Plan and implement navigational strategies based on the above skills.
  • Maintain route finding accuracy in poor visibility or darkness.
  • Recognise a navigation error within a few minutes and apply appropriate relocation techniques.
  • Understand how personal fitness and nature of terrain affect route choice both at the planning stage and on the ground.
  • Understand the potential consequences of fatigue and physical discomfort in demanding terrain and/or extreme weather conditions.
  • Select appropriate clothing, equipment and first aid items for walking in open country in all weather conditions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the Countryside Code, current access legislation and the environmental impact of walkers on the countryside.
  • Understand the responsibilities of walkers towards other countryside interests such as farming, forestry and conservation.

 


 

Gold NNAS Award – The learning outcomes: (additional to those of the Bronze and Silver Awards)

 

  • Utilise the skills and techniques of the Bronze and Silver Awards in the context of Gold Award navigation strategies.
  • Utilise contours and fine detail as the prime method of navigation.
  • Accurately: Follow a route, judge distance, check progress against time, use relevant compass skills and maintain continuous map contact.
  • Use back bearings and transits to confirm current position.
  • Use aspect of slope as an aid to relocation.
  • Select appropriate techniques within an overall navigation strategy.
  • Navigate in intricate terrain in reduced visibility i.e. mist or darkness.
  • Select an appropriate, safe route in relation to height gain and loss, dangerous terrain and other major hazards.
  • Assess the route ahead in the field in relation to prevailing conditions or changing circumstances (e.g. weather, time, daylight, ability/fitness) and re-plan the route appropriately if necessary.
  • Shorten a route, use an escape route and know emergency procedures.
  • Recognise the occurrence of a navigational error within a few minutes and apply appropriate relocation techniques.
  • Select appropriate clothing, equipment and first aid for walking in remote areas in all weather conditions.
  • Understand the physical demands created by hill and moorland terrain in all weather conditions.
  • Understand the effects of cold, heat, fatigue and discomfort on decision making and execution of a selected route.

 

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