Fri 18 Dec 2020: Some suggestions for adding value to the Ten Tors experience

The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges to many aspects of our normal lives, nowhere more so than within outdoor activities. Ten Tors Challenges 2020 fell victim and was cancelled. Training for Ten Tors 2021 has been disrupted but contingency plans are in place to hold Ten Tors on 7-9 May, covid permitting. Whilst the vaccine offers a return to near-normality, the unpredictability causes concern. With this uncertainty, it would be all too easy to put Ten Tors training on hold. This would be a further setback for young people whose developmental opportunities have already been restricted.

Many Ten Tors Challenge participating establishments are continuing with training when possible and this is to be applauded. For others, the lack of a definite training objective and planning difficulties has been overwhelming.

In order to provide alternative, relevant, staged training objectives that are not fixed date dependent, Ten Tors establishments may wish to consider incorporating Mountain Training Hill Skills and National Navigation Award Scheme Navigator courses in their training programmes. These accredited courses offer opportunities to gain valuable knowledge and experience in outdoor skills and provide the foundation for a life-long habit of outdoor activity and enjoyment. Some Ten Tors Challenge establishments already use them and have found them beneficial and rewarding. The qualifications gained provide formal recognition of the training Team Managers already provide for Ten Tors trainees. The trainees are enthusiastic, and parents are also appreciative of the additional recognition. Receiving this training provides useful stepping stones to safe enjoyment of the outdoors and Mountain Training qualifications.

Mountain Training and NNAS courses can only be delivered by registered providers and whilst this is a minor administrative burden, it is worth the effort to secure the benefits. On the other hand, you may wish to employ a registered provider

The Hill Skills syllabus at includes most of the essential Ten Tors skills that Team Managers are already delivering but with the added benefit of the achievement being recognised by Mountain Training, the National Governing Body. Registration to deliver Mountain Training Hill Skills courses is detailed at: Further information is available from It should be noted that the application deadline is Mon 1 Feb 21 with an induction course, probably virtual, on Sat 6 Mar 21. There are also Approved Tutors within the South West if you wish to outsource the training.

The National Navigation Award Scheme offers training and qualifications at 3 levels, Bronze (the essentials), Silver (open country) and Gold (the pinnacle – able to read the landscape and navigate to subtle contour features). The syllabi are at The Awards - National Navigation Award Scheme ( Registration to deliver NNAS Navigator courses is detailed at: There are also many existing providers offering the courses in the West County. Contact details are at Find a Course - National Navigation Award Scheme ( .Further information is available from There are no application or induction deadlines for NNAS registration. NNAS courses have been accredited by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQF), rated at Bronze level 4, Silver 5 and Gold at level 6 with each award worth 2 points. These ratings are accepted by all the UK qualifications agencies, eg the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) at levels 1, 2, and 3, and by the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) at levels 2, 3 and 4.

Last updated 18/12/2020

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