Below are some of the more common questions we get asked at the NNAS. If your question isn’t amongst these, email us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.
You can start at the Navigator Award Bronze Level with no experience at all. Each course has small numbers (typically 1:8 at the most) giving you lots of personal practice, the chance to ask questions and really gain confidence in your skills.
The Outdoor Discovery Award or ODA is ideal for people of all ages who wish to learn basic navigation skills at a gentle rate, encouraging them to gain and improve personal confidence to get out and get active.
The course provider would probably ask you about your previous experience and abilities to determine whether such a course would be appropriate for you, but yes this is possible.
In 2015 the Bronze National Navigation Award was officially accredited by the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF) at Level 4 and 2 SCQF credit points are awarded on completion. In 2020, the Silver and Gold Awards became similarly accredited, the Silver at Level 5 and Gold at Level 6, again both worth 2 credits.
The SCQF helps to compare the wide range of Scottish qualifications. It covers learning programmes in the workplace, in schools, colleges and university. It does this by giving each qualification on the Framework a level and a number of credit points. The level of a qualification shows how difficult the learning is. The credit points show how much learning is involved in achieving that qualification.
For more information about the SCQF please click here. The SCQF can also help you to compare your qualifications with the rest of the UK and Europe. This is very helpful if you plan to study or work outside Scotland. The Qualifications Can Cross Boundaries leaflet explains further.
Lucky you! Whilst you may not need to be accumulating credits, having the Navigator Award accredited means that you can be certain that the person leading your course has been accredited by the NNAS to teach you. They have the right qualifications and have attended the NNAS Navigation Tutor Award, so are using best practice techniques.
Accreditation means the NNAS quality assures every course.
The NNAS Navigator Award is the only non-competitive navigation award that has been accredited in this way so you can be certain you are learning to navigate with confidence in the best possible way.
Course providers charge various amounts as they offer different types of delivery and accommodation. Check with the provider of your choice from the Course Providers page.
Courses can run year round and take place all over the UK. Location and dates will depend on the course provider. Courses are often run at weekends, and some providers are happy to tailor a course to your own dates and needs. Check with the provider of your choice from the Course Providers page.
If money is changing hands, either directly or indirectly, please check with your chosen course provider that they have public liability insurance in place as the NNAS does not provide insurance to its providers.
There is no age stipulation for Navigator Award or ODA courses, at present, the age range across the two schemes is 7 to 70+. There is a course level to suit your current ability and you progress through the levels as and when you wish. Please talk to your chosen course provider for advice where young people are involved. For the Tutor Award the minimum age is 16 years.
If you hold a BEL award, Walking Group Leader award, Mountain Leader Award or an orienteering Coaching Award, then you or your organisation or centre could register with the NNAS office to become a course provider – for more information and an application form see the Become a Course Provider page.