National Navigation Award Scheme

The National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) is a personal performance, non-competitive, incentive scheme for all ages.

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

Syllabus and Assessment Procedures

All 3 levels of the Award expect an understanding of safety procedures relating to the Activities being undertaken, a working knowledge of the Country Code and practical issues relating to access and environmental protection, appreciation of appropriate clothes and equipment for the demands of countryside navigation and a knowledge of basic first aid.

Levels Of NNAS Award

All courses include knowledge of safety and access issues when walking in the countryside, as well as an understanding of environmental issues and awareness of impacts.

Bronze NNAS
Award - navigation in the countryside using paths tracks and other linear features, basic map interpretation and compass work is included. Distance 2-5 kilometres.

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, e.g. choosing an appropriate attack point. Distance 5-8 kilometres.

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. Distance 6-10 kilometres.

Level 1 - NNAS Bronze Award

The candidate will be assessed on his/her ability to navigate round a simple line feature course in open countryside and /or woodland. This course will include a number of destination points on distinct features
which require the navigator to use a variety of line features (e.g. tracks, streams, field edges) as handrails for precise navigation and location. The points can be indicated by small circles on the map or by grid references if an OS map is being used. The course should have frequent turning points to test map orientation and should be about 2-5km depending on terrain, scale of map being used and the age and fitness level of participants.

The practical assessment will be backed up by questions on the basic skills outlined above, which can be answered orally or in writing. Both instruction and assessment could well start on a centre site and progress on to a local park or common. An approved list of NNAS questions is available which can be used selectively, though assessors can equally well use their own questions adapted to local circumstances. If first efforts result in failure, the assessment can be taken again later to allow learning to be reinforced and a successful outcome achieved. The Navigator Bronze Badge and Certificate will be awarded to successful candidates.

Level 2 - NNAS Silver Award
Assessment Procedures

Assessment will be made on a continuous course (or courses) in open countryside or forest which turns frequently, includes uphill and downhill sections, and tests the ability to use attack points at the end of line feature routes in order to reach subtle location points. As for Level 1, any type of accurate map can be used and locations can be indicated by circles or grid references. The length of course will depend on age and fitness of participants as well as map scale, but will normally be between 5 and 8 km depending on roughness of the terrain.

Participants will be monitored for the frequency with which they check the accuracy of their chosen routes with reference to checkpoints (e.g. path junctions, field boundaries), their close attention to the map, and their decisiveness at times when they are unsure or lost. Practical assessment will be supplemented by oral and/or written examination as for Levels 1 and 3. The Navigator Silver Badge and Certificate will be awarded to successful candidates.

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