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Qualifying Journeys

For the qualifying Adventurous Journey, the group is required to be self-sufficient and independent.

“All Adventurous Journeys (Practice and Qualifying) must be supervised by a suitably qualified and/or experienced adult (the Adventurous Journey Supervisor). The Supervisor is responsible for the group’s safety while on the journey, needs to be familiar with the Award and must be satisfied that the participants are properly trained and equipped to undertake the journey.

The Supervisor and instructor may be the same person. . On the practice journeys, the Supervisor should provide feedback on the team’s strengths and weaknesses and what areas

of concern need to be addressed.”


The International Handbook requires the Supervisor or Assessor to make contact with the group at least once each day. However, in New Zealand, our environment and terrain is particularly rugged,

In New Zealand, we use an additional interpretation in line with current outdoor regulations and best practice.

“The supervisors are there to ensure the safety of the group in all circumstances and, in the case of Practice Journeys, they need to observe the group in action to determine whether any additional training is necessary either during or after the Practice Journey.

The Shadow Party must walk close enough to the group to be able to interpret and circumvent any dangerous or potentially dangerous actions or behavior, and to be able to determine the functionality of the group and its competence during the journey.

The actual distance will vary according to the weather and terrain but, as a guideline, you should be able to hail the group if (for example) they are about to attempt to cross a swollen river or similar hazard and you want them to stop. In practice, this may vary between one and 75 metres – on the understanding that the maximum distance is not determined by The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award to be safe for any given set of conditions.

As with all Safety Management Issues it is imperative that you understand your organisation’s Safety Management Systems around group control and safety and do not supersede your own processes with our advice if they are more stringent than what is outlined above.

Remember, the main priority of the Shadow Party is to ensure that they all return safely, this should come before any Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award requirements or processes.

Shadow Parties

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