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Advisers' Guide


Published Jan 2015 replacing Sept 2007, last reviewed with no updated 2018


This page provides a guide to those wishing to become Nights Away Advisers (NAAs). It should be read in conjunction with Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR) of The Scout Association. Find out more information about the scheme for applicants and for Commissioners.

The Nights Away Permit Scheme

The Nights Away Permit Scheme promotes quality residential and camping experiences. It allows adults who have demonstrated their skill and knowledge to take young people away on nights away events. It also supports and encourages adults to acquire and improve the skills required to provide residential experiences.

The Role Of The Nights Away Adviser

There're two key functions of the Nights Away Adviser (NAA), which are promoting nights away events and assessing applicants for Nights Away Permits.

Nights away events are a key part in providing an adventurous programme for young people, so it is important to ensure we are delivering this. The Nights Away Adviser (NAA) has a key role in working with Leaders, Commissioners and campsites and activity centres to ensure that nights away events are taking place and every young person is getting the opportunity to experience such an event. The exact methods of promoting nights away events will vary from District to District depending on local circumstances.

The Nights Away Adviser (NAA) has a key role in ensuring the quality of nights away events by assessing applicants’ technical abilities before they are granted a Nights Away Permit. This is done by assessing the eight core skill areas covered in the Assessment Checklist for a Nights Away Permit and passing a recommendation on to the applicant’s Commissioner. Find out more about the assessment process.

How To Become A Nights Away Adviser

Nights Away Advisers (NAAs) are appointed by Districts, and occasionally Counties, through the same process as any other adult appointment. To be considered as a NAA, or for renewal of a role as NAA, you need to fulfil the following criteria:

Hold a Nights Away Permit. The level of the permit held determines the level of permit that you can assess for.

Validate the NAA’s version of module 25 (Assessing Learning) of The Scout Association’s Adult Training Scheme.

Have attended the equivalent of at least one day of NAA forums or workshops in the last five years.

Technical Knowledge

To ensure that they all have the technical knowledge required to carry out the role, all Nights Away Advisers (NAA) are required to hold a Nights Away Permit. The level of Nights Away Permit that the NAA holds also determines the level of permit they can assess for, so a NAA holding; an indoor permit can only assess for indoor permits, a campsite permit can assess for campsite and indoor permits, a greenfield permit can assess for any permits, a lightweight expedition permit can only assess for lightweight expedition permits.

Assessment Skills

As well as having the required technical knowledge, Nights Away Advisers (NAA) also require the skills to be able to assess. This training and validation is provided through NAA’s version of Module 25 Assessing Learning of The Scout Association’s adult training scheme. Due to the modular format of the training scheme this will involve no unnecessary training courses for those who already have these skills, as validation of can be done through carrying out an assessment with the support of a Training Adviser (who will quite possibly be an experienced NAA).

Remain Up To Date

It's important that Nights Away Advisers (NAA) remain up to date and active within their role. To ensure that they are, all NAAs are required to have been on at least a day (7 hours) of NAA workshops or forums within the last five years. This figure should be seen as the minimum rather than the target. These workshops could be run by Districts, Counties, Regions, Nationally or a combination of the above.