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Silver NNAS Anchor
Bronze NNAS Anchor

National Navigation Award Scheme Courses

What is the National Navigation Award Scheme?

The National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) is a personal performance, non-competitive, incentive scheme for all ages to learn navigation skills and gain confidence to get out and enjoy the countryside. NNAS courses are delivered throughout the country by over 500 approved providers.

Which course is right for me?

If you’re new to navigation, whether you’ve been walking for a while and relying on guidebooks or other people, or you’re new to the outdoors, the Bronze National Navigation Award is for you.

You’ll learn from an experienced and qualified instructor who will guide you through the essentials of map reading in a focussed and structured way. You’ll gain confidence and by the end of your course you’ll be able to plan suitable walks and navigate round them with confidence.

The skills you’ll learn will help you explore the thousands of miles of paths, tracks and trails across the UK and further afield. 


If you’re a confident map reader but want to extend your skills to include compass work and simple contour interpretation, then the Silver National Navigation Award is for you.

Building on the skills taught on a Bronze award course, the Silver introduces you to more advanced compass skills, like taking bearings from a map and following those bearings to find features in open country. You’ll begin to use smaller landscape features to keep a check on your location.

Bronze NNAS

What is covered in the Bronze NNAS Award?
  • 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.

2 Days
Dartmoor National Park
£95 per person

Silver NNAS

What is covered in the Silver NNAS 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.

2 Days
Dartmoor National Park
£110 per person
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