Thurston Outdoor Education Centre: Unaccompanied activities policy


  1. Introduction
  2. Venue
  3. Staffing
  4. Equipment
  5. Operating considerations

Revised: January 2022


Activities which are not directly supervised by centre staff e.g. village studies, low level walks, problem solving, orienteering, D. of E. expeditions and / or a combination of these.

There are two main types:

  1. Visiting staff choose to undertake activity under their own responsibility (not covered by this procedure).
  2. Activities unaccompanied by any staff.


Centre grounds, nearby commons or woodland. Further afield with approval from Head of Centre or Instructor in Charge.


  • All unaccompanied activities will be discussed and agreed with the permanent member of staff in charge.
  • Group size should be determined by the instructor, or by instructor in consultation with Head of Centre, taking into account student age, experience, training, activity, terrain, weather and daylight hours.


  • If any equipment is needed from other guideline areas i.e. ropes, canoes or boats, then relevant procedures should be followed.
  • Participants should be appropriately dressed and carry appropriate equipment to cope with any foreseeable eventuality that may turn up.

Operating considerations

  • Participants should be carefully briefed about emergency procedures and 'lost routine'. Consideration should be given to potential hazards and students being attracted to them i.e. water, quarries and mines.
  • Clear instructions should be given to the students about any hazards, and if deemed necessary, appropriate areas supervised.
  • Participants should be made aware of appropriate behaviour relevant to environment and activity being undertaken.
  • Groups must be instructed to stay together except in extreme emergencies.
  • Recommended that if groups are out in the dark adequate torches are taken.
  • If participants are given equipment to use in an emergency then clear instructions on its use must also be given.
  • A methodical system of checking out and checking in group members must be in place.