Using external providers and facilities

Good practice Planning and Preparation

We have revised the document 4.4h Using external providers and facilities to emphasise the importance of ensuring that any provider that you choose meets acceptable standards.  This may be as simple as checking that the provider holds appropriate external accreditation.   The easiest way to check that the quality and safety of most providers has been externally accredited is to look for the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge.

You can find further details of the badge and also check a provider’s accreditation status here.

Managing a residential visit when you know that some participants are in a sexual relationship

Frequently Asked Questions

We have been asked whether there is any advice we can give to visit leaders arranging residential visits who know that some of the participants are in a sexual relationship.  A new document 6m FAQs – Young people in a sexual relationship sets out the legal position along with some other issues that you will need to consider.  You can download the new document here.

Revised Home Exchange Forms

Model Forms

We have revised the English, French, Spanish, German and Italian versions of the home exchange forms to include an extra question about activities planned during the stay.

We have taken the opportunity to also add Microsoft Word versions of the forms for those who want to arrange for them to be completed online.  You can find the forms in the Checklists, Model Forms and Mindmaps section of the National Guidance website.

If you use the Microsoft Word versions, we would advise you to check that the format and questions on the returned forms have not been altered.

4.5e Hiring a coach

Good practice Transport

Do you find that choosing one coach company over another is an impossible task when you have no specialist transport knowledge?

Help is now at hand.  There are questions you can ask, and documents you can request, that will help to make that task far simpler.  The new document 4.5e Hiring a coach takes you through them, and offers a number of pointers towards good practice in the use of coach transport.

You can download the document here.

New Document: 1b Foundations

Basic Essentials

We have created a new document, 1b Foundations, to explain the ideas that underpin the rest of the guidance.  1b Foundations takes you step by step through the thinking that will help you to ensure that you have the right leaders doing the right activities with the right young people in the right places at the right time – the key to any successful outdoor learning, off-site visits, and learning outside the classroom.

You can download 1b Foundations here.

Previously we relied upon the radar graph to explain this, but it has become clear that the radar works best in a training or induction setting, where it can be used as an interactive tool to encourage discussion.   The graph on its own can be easily misinterpreted.

You can still find the original radar document on the National Guidance Website.  It is now located in a new section: Training Resources.

Financial Support for National Guidance


OEAP is determined to continue to provide National Guidance, and to keep it regularly updated. We think it is vital that this resource remains free to all who wish to use it.

We therefore welcome offers of financial support from organisations committed to providing freely-available guidance in support of outdoor learning, off-site visits and learning outside the classroom. This support is offered altruistically as it confers no influence or control over any aspect of NG beyond contributing to its continued existence.

OEAP is therefore pleased to announce that the National Union of Teachers (NUT) has joined the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom (CLOtC) and the School Travel Forum (STF) as organisations who have agreed to contribute to the cost of maintaining and updating this resource.

We have added a new page to the “About” tab on the National Guidance home page where we list the organisations who provide financial support for National Guidance.  You can view the page here.

Amendable versions of emergency action cards


Three of the emergency action cards available on the National Guidance website have space for contact numbers and other user-entered information, but, as they are PDFs, they must be printed for the information to be entered manually.

By popular request, we have also made them available as amendable Microsoft Word documents.  You can now customise them for your own needs and add additional information before printing.

The new versions are:

4.1l / 8.1l Visit Leader Emergency Action Card – amendable version

4.1m / 8.1m First Contact Emergency Action Card – amendable version

4.1n / 8.1n Establishment Management Emergency Action Card – amendable version

High Quality Outdoor Learning

Making the case Research and reports

The English Outdoor Council published its new guide: High Quality Outdoor Learning in 2015.  The guide is now available as a PDF for download.

It outlines the benefits of working in outdoor contexts and has been written to help evaluate, and set about improving, or further improving, the quality of outdoor learning.  In support of this, it identifies ten key outcomes of outdoor learning, with a range of indicators attributed to each one.

You can download the guide here.