Navigation courses

Drumalban offers navigation courses for beginners and experienced hill walkers and bespoke training courses for professionals and volunteers in the fields of conservation, ecology, renewables, forestry, and other outdoor services.

Hill skills for outdoor workers

Sjoerd has practical knowledge of the demands of outdoor work for conservation and ecology professionals and volunteers. Having worked in remote Scottish environments he can tailor the training to the circumstances likely to be encountered in the field (e.g. dawn surveys, featureless moorland, etc). This training also helps participants with identifying decision making pathways. The demands and expectations that are part of delivering projects make this particularly relevant in an employment/contracted situation. The training outcomes cover problem avoidance, decision making, planning and preparation, health and safety and effective map and compass use.

National Navigation Award Scheme

This award scheme offers a framework for training and assessing individuals in the effective use of map and compass. It has three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Upcoming courses:
NNAS course overview

To book you will have to sign up on the Tahdah system. Your details are used to send you the award certificate after you pass.

This level is great for people completely new to navigation. You will learn the foundations of map reading and navigating your way through well defined and easy recognizable terrain. It is also a good starting point if you would want to get more familiar with using a compass.

NNAS Bronze award is accredited by the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF) at Level 4, and 2 SCQF credit points are awarded on completion.

More information: NNAS Bronze Award

Silver is a useful award if you go out in the hills now and then and if you are already familiar with using OS maps. Perhaps you would like to gain more confidence for those moments when you need to use a compass. You will learn strategies for planning a route and more in-depth interpretation of map and landscape in remote terrain some distance away from paths and tracks. The Silver Award will also give you further skills in using the compass.

More information: NNAS Silver Award

This award is for those who are competent in using map and compass in the countryside, and would like to bring it to an advanced level. After passing the assessment, you will be able to use a variety of compass techniques using the compass and you can relate the map to the landscape in high detail. You will be able to effectively use contours, also in more complex terrain. With the Gold Award you will learn to recognize the right navigation technique for the right situation, whether on a path, in the field or in the mountains.

This award is split: The training and assessment are delivered separately. This is to ensure you have time to consolidate the skills you learn during the training before signing up for the assessment.

More information: NNAS Gold Award

Bespoke and individual training

Drumalban can provide training tailored for specific groups such as uniformed groups, walking and rambling groups, and Duke of Edinburgh groups. Sjoerd is an outdoor education specialist and is highly experienced in working with young people. He can also deliver a training aimed to improve and consolidate the skills of senior hill walkers.

Also get in touch if you need support in regaining your hill confidence after an ‘unplanned adventure’ and would benefit from private one-to-one training.