Welcome to Learn Outdoors

Specialists in DofE Expeditions, bushcraft and outdoor training.

DofE Terms and Conditions (School & Group Bookings)

Please read these Terms and Conditions when booking a DofE programme with us.

Definitions

We’ and ‘us’ and ‘Learn Outdoors’ refers to Learn Outdoors Ltd.

You’ and ‘school’ refers to the party booking a DofE programme, and entering into a contract, with Learn Outdoors Ltd.

School’ is to be used generically to refer to schools, colleges, universities and other youth based organisations we enter into a contract with.

Participant’ refers to an individual young person who will be signed up with their school to attend a DofE programme with us.

Programme’ refers to all aspects of DofE expeditions booked with us including training days, route planning days, practice expeditions and qualifying expeditions.

Contract

The contract will be between the school and Learn Outdoors Ltd.  The school agrees to pay the programme costs for all the participants signed up.  The school may in turn recover some or all of the money by directly charging the participants.

A booking taken verbally, by email or in writing constitutes a legally binding contract.

Deposit and Cancellations

The first £70+VAT due, per participant, for any Bronze or Silver DofE expedition programme and the first £100+VAT due, per participant, for any Gold DofE expedition programme is considered a non-refundable deposit.

Once a deposit has been taken into account any reduction in participant numbers or cancellation of a programme, or part of a programme (e.g. training & route planning days, practice expedition, qualifying expedition), will be refunded on the following basis:

  • At least 12 weeks’ notice – full refund of remaining money
  • 8 to 12 weeks’ notice – 50% refund of remaining money
  • Sorry, but no refund can be provided if less than 8 weeks’ notice is given

Please note that we need to make preparations well in advance of any training/route planning days and expeditions and you acknowledge that the above penalties are reasonable to cover the costs incurred.  Schools and participants may wish to consider taking out their own insurance to cover against losses incurred through cancellation.

In the unlikely event that we need to cancel any part of a programme (e.g. due to severe weather conditions) alternative dates will be agreed with you. If the alternative dates are not suitable you will be given a full refund. Please note that courses and expeditions will run in all but the most severe weather conditions. No refunds can be guaranteed once a course or expedition has begun.

No refund can be given, or responsibility accepted, for any accommodation, transport or other services booked with a third party.

We reserve the right to refuse to accept a booking.  Should this situation arise no contract is deemed to have been made and any payment made will be returned.

DofE Rules and Requirements

By entering into a contract you understand that expedition programmes are governed by a series of rules, requirements and guidance laid down by DofE.  These can be found on the DofE website, in the Handbook for DofE Leaders and in the DofE Expedition Guide.  Once initial training has been provided expeditions must be by the participants’ own physical effort, unaccompanied and self-sufficient.  DofE expeditions are challenging and by their very nature may well take place in physically demanding terrain in poor weather conditions.

We will provide access to high quality instruction, guidance and supervision.  It is essential however that each participant attends, and contributes fully, to all aspects of the programme and abides by the relevant rules and regulations.  Each participant should also ensure that they are sufficiently fit and healthy before attending an expedition. We cannot therefore guarantee the success of a participant at any stage in the programme but where success is not achieved guidance and assistance will be offered to help them improve.  No responsibility can be accepted for any additional costs incurred as a result of not successfully completing training, practice or qualifying expeditions.

Schools and participants should be aware of the clothing and equipment that will be required on expeditions, such as hiking boots, waterproof clothing, rucksacks etc.  To this end we will provide an ‘Equipment List’ and appropriate guidance.  Unless we specifically agree to provide items of clothing or equipment it will be the school’s and participants’ responsibility to do so and we will not be liable for any costs incurred in hiring or purchasing such clothing and equipment.

Alterations and Risk

DofE programmes are subject to variable factors which cannot necessarily be anticipated well in advance (e.g. extreme weather events, land access closure etc). You accept this is the case and that we may when deemed appropriate make alterations to the course programme, sometimes at short notice or spontaneously, to deal with the circumstances.  We are not liable for any loss of course content or additional cost incurred as a result.  We also reserve the right to make alterations to a course programme in other situations where it is felt the school’s and participants’ interests are best served by doing so. 

All outdoor activities carry some level of inherent risk.  It is not realistic to eliminate all risk from an activity but we will make every effort to see that risks are assessed and managed in a way that reduces their level to an acceptable minimum, and we will instruct and advise schools and participants accordingly.  Schools and participants take part on programmes at their own risk and we are not responsible for accidents or injuries save for injuries arising where we have been found to be negligent.  A copy of our ‘Risk Assessments, Operating Procedures and Policies’ is available to view on request. 

We are not responsible for loss or damage of personal items unless through our negligence.

School Presence on Expeditions and Responsible Adult

We require that clients provide at least one responsible adult on an expedition who will operate in conjunction with our staff and will be available for the likes of pastoral care, communication with parents and other school staff, taking participants to hospital, arranging for an early departure from an expedition etc.  At least one adult should be available to call on at any time of the day or night.  They will need to have a vehicle available for the transporting of a participant or participants in such circumstances and be fit to drive this at any time.  They do not need to have any technical qualifications or previous expedition experience, although this can be beneficial.

Property Loss and Damage

Where our property or equipment is lost or damaged by school staff or participants, whether wilfully or negligently, we reserve the right to charge you for the repair or replacement cost.

Conduct

Participants are required to behave with suitable conduct and adhere to the instructions/advice and leadership provided by our staff.  No responsibility can be taken by us for accidents or incidents where a participant or school representative chooses to ignore the instructions/advice given. When in charge of participants you must keep those in your charge under proper control at all times and our staff may instruct you on the expected proper conduct from time to time if deemed necessary.

We reserve the right to remove from a programme any participant failing to behave with proper conduct.  Reasons may include (but are not restricted to) intoxication; abusive, racist and inappropriate language and behaviour; failure to adhere to instructions; illness. Learn Outdoors also reserves the right to exclude any participant if it is believed their personal equipment, expedition skills, health or fitness are insufficient to allow them to participate safely.  In such circumstances Learn Outdoors is not at liberty to provide a refund or partial refund.