In a world first, a new na­tion­wide school aimed at mak­ing you a crack nav­i­ga­tor opens its doors this month – and there‘s much more to it than meets the eye...

Trail (UK) - - Base Camp -

We want more peo­ple to get out­side by mak­ing sure they feel en­cour­aged, com­fort­able and, most im­por­tantly, safe.

Learn­ing how to nav­i­gate is fun­da­men­tal to stay­ing safe. Now, world­wide nav­i­ga­tion ex­pert Lyle Brother­ton has launched a new train­ing ini­tia­tive to help you do just that. The Ul­ti­mate Nav­i­ga­tion School (UNS) will op­er­ate across the UK, ad­her­ing to a cen­tral syl­labus, and is the first nav­i­ga­tion course in the world to have all its cour­ses in­de­pen­dently ac­cred­ited.

This is a big deal, as it means that qual­ity is as­sured (wher­ever and when­ever you take it) and if you pass you’ll re­ceive a cer­tifi­cate of as­sess­ment. Cred­its from this can also be used to gain ac­cess to fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion or pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment – a first for nav­i­ga­tion train­ing.

“It has been an am­bi­tion of mine to launch a cen­tre for ex­cel­lence in nav­i­ga­tion, which can both save lives and sup­port the work of or­gan­i­sa­tions I re­spect and value,” says Lyle. “Nav­i­ga­tional er­rors are the most com­mon cause of moun­tain ac­ci­dents and ac­count for around a quar­ter of all Moun­tain Res­cue call-outs – ei­ther di­rectly or as the first link in a chain that can end in dis­as­ter.” The course is based on the Ul­ti­mate

Nav­i­ga­tion Man­ual – re­garded as best prac­tice in the in­dus­try and writ­ten by Lyle fol­low­ing years of train­ing Moun­tain Res­cue Teams, Spe­cial Forces and emer­gency ser­vices around the world. UNS in­struc­tors are all ei­ther ex-mil­i­tary, Moun­tain Res­cue or DofE Na­tional Gold As­ses­sors. “If you can nav­i­gate pro­fi­ciently, it’ll set you free. Af­ter a while it be­comes sec­ond na­ture, like driv­ing a car. It al­lows you to re­lax so you’re able to just en­joy the walk.”

The main aim is to get peo­ple out­side, with the knowl­edge and skills to stay safe – you don’t even have to be as­sessed, you can sim­ply go along to learn. You can start with the ba­sics and move up to more com­plex nav­i­ga­tion. And all train­ing prof­its go back into the hills via char­i­ties Fix the Fells, Mend Our Moun­tains, the John Muir Trust and the Moun­tain Both­ies As­so­ci­a­tion.

“Our cour­ses suit ev­ery­one from hill­walk­ers through to Moun­tain Res­cue and Spe­cial Forces,” says Lyle. “We in­clude sat­nav ba­sics with map and com­pass cour­ses and vice versa, as we be­lieve nav­i­ga­tors need to use both com­fort­ably and to un­der­stand the lim­i­ta­tions of each. We want to make sure peo­ple are en­cour­aged, feel com­fort­able and are, most im­por­tantly, safe while re­spect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment they walk in. And by com­ing on our course the profit goes back into the hills!”

Lyle Brother­ton Lyle is one of the world’s lead­ing au­thor­i­ties on search and res­cue and is Trail‘s nav­i­ga­tion ex­pert.

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