Risk Benefit and Management Information

Following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have been reviewing our Risk Benefit and Management process in order to deliver expeditions that are as Covid secure as practicable. The following documents explain how we intend to manage the risk – Please note that these are under constant review and will be amended as Government guidelines continue to be reviewed:

01. Risk Benefit Analysis (Risk Assessment)                      Revised 12/2019



4th Dimension is an Approved Activity Provider (AAP) for all levels of the Expedition elements, both on foot or on the water; and for the Gold Residential Section. In addition, 4th Dimension hold a current Adventure Activities Licensing Authority/Service (AALA/S) Licence (No: R0193) and a Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge. 4th Dimension is fully insured as an activity provider through the Activities Industry Mutual (AIM). Our policies and procedures are inspected annually by these industry governing bodies and we pride ourselves on providing safe, professional and educational courses to our clients.

Benefits and Aims of the Award Scheme

  • Participants learn and develop a wide range of skills in a potentially demanding environment;
  • Participants learn to understand the importance of planning, reviewing, team work, individual and group safety, camp craft, safe use and carrying of cooking equipment, stoves, fuel and food;
  • Understanding food cooking requirements along with dietary and medical conditions / factors;
  • Understanding environmental and weather conditions, selection of appropriate clothing and equipment and understanding the need for the right level of personal fitness and achieving it;
  • Increased knowledge of basic first aid, emergency procedures and the dangers of walking / crossing roads, railways and other dangers such as streams and rivers.

Session Guidelines and Planning

  • Training sessions run by instructors will cover all the syllabus areas in a flexible way, emphasising the need for contribution by the participants. Assessment planning is carried out by the group and reviewed by the assessor: Escape routes and instructor supervision plans are vital.

Activity Risks and Hazards

  • Remote and possibly uneven terrain;
  • Streams, rivers and other areas with large amounts of water;
  • Road / Rail crossings;
  • Navigation planning and decisions making;
  • Camp craft and Use of Stoves / fuel.

How We Manage the Risks

  • All instructors hold current National Governing Body qualifications relevant to the environment in which they are working, whether that be at Bronze, Silver or Gold –  On foot or water based expeditions;
  • Supervisors and Assessors will have attended the DofE Expedition Supervisors Training Course (ESTC) and Expedition Assessors Accreditation Scheme (EAAS) courses;
  • All instructors hold a current Rescue Emergency Care (REC) / Activity First Aid (AFA) certificate;
  • All instructors hold a current Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate and are kept up to date with company policy on Safeguarding and Child Protection, plus any other relevant policy information;
  • Assistant instructors may be used in local and familiar areas under supervision. They will have attended a training course for one of the NGB walking awards relevant to the environment in which they are working and hold the appropriate First Aid and DBS requirements noted above.

Daily Guidance and Visiting Supervisors

  • Weather and environment conditions will be assessed daily by the Course Director;
  • Visiting supervisors / teaching staff will be briefed as to their responsibilities at the start of the training / expedition.


COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called Coronavirus.

The main symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

Message from the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (Current: 24MAY20)

“We know that some young people will want to continue with their programme and do their expedition when it is safe and possible to do so. We would absolutely encourage this – the expedition is a hugely valuable experience that develops vital skills and character”. 

Read the full page here: https://www.dofe.org/dofewithadifference/achievement-for-all

How We Propose to Manage the Risk and Make our Facilities ‘Covid Secure’:

We are of the view that encouraging young people to continue with their expeditions when it has been deemed safe to do so is very important to help promote mental and physical wellbeing. The combination of fresh air and sunshine has been stated by the Prime Minister to be ‘bad for the virus’ making the outdoor environment ‘safer for everyone’.

With this is mind, we will be implementing a series of changes to our expedition process based from our site at Blackland Farm. The following has been put in place to ensure the safety of both our clients and staff and will take effect when we are given the authority to resume expeditions:

Pre-Planning and Prior to Arrival:

  • Participants will be encouraged to travel to our site in cars rather than by minibus or coach.
  • Guidance will be provided on where to park and wait on arrival.
  • Teams will be given a specific arrival time and participants may be asked to remain in their vehicles should they arrive early. Team start times may be staggered to maintain social distancing where possible.
  • Teams will be briefed individually by their Supervisor / Assessor adhering to social distancing guidelines rather than being briefed as an entire course.
  • Under normal DofE conditions, team sizes should consist of between 4 and 7 participants. Until further notice, we will be asking for teams to organise themselves in groups of either 4 or 6.

On Arrival:

  • Participants / Teams will be directed by our Course Director straight to their Supervisor / Assessor who will be their Point of Contact while on their expedition. They will be briefed while maintaining the appropriate social distancing. 
  • Each participant will be required to complete a basic Medical Questionnaire which will consist of a series of questions relating to the signs and symptoms of Coronavirus. This information will be attached to their Medical Declaration Forms previously provided and be kept in accordance with our Data Protection Policy and GDPR. Facilities will be available for ‘temperature testing’ should we feel this be required and results will be recorded on the Medical Questionnaire.

During the Expedition:

  • Participants will be asked to work in pairs and adopt a ‘buddy’ system. This will remain in place for the duration of the expedition and cover areas such as navigation, erecting tents, sleeping arrangements and cooking of meals.
  • There will be a maximum of two participants per tent and they will be asked to sleep ‘top and toe’ (head to foot) while keeping their bags and other equipment between them. 4th Dimension can provide 3 person tents with ample room to make this feasible. All of our tents will be cleaned appropriately prior to use by participants. Tents will be spaced a minimum of 2 metres apart.
  • Individual tents can be provided, if requested, by prior arrangement should parents / carers feel this more appropriate. The participants will not be required to carry these in addition to the requirements based on two sharing and these will be issued at the campsite.
  • Participants will be encouraged to respect social distancing in their pairs while engaging in the walking aspect of their expedition. Participants will be encouraged to maintain a 2 metre (6 foot) distance between their pairs.
  • Each team will be provided with a ‘Hygiene Management Pack’ and a full briefing will be given by our Supervisors / Assessors on its use during the initial briefing. The Hygiene Management Pack will include items such as Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel, Antiseptic Wipes, Gloves, Tissues and Disposal Bags which the participants will be encouraged to deploy when opening gates, crossing styles and before and after eating lunch and snacks.
  • Cooking – Participants / Teams will be asked to provide ‘boil in the bag’ and dried foods until further notice to avoid additional cleaning of stoves. Cooking equipment will be used for the boiling of water only. Any stoves and any cooking utensils issued by 4th Dimension will be sterilised before and after every expedition.
  • Cooking and erecting of tents will be conducted in pairs while maintaining the appropriate levels of social distancing. Each participant will cook their own individual ‘boil in the bag’ meal then step away from the stove by 2 metres before their buddy takes over to cook their own meal.
  • Hygiene and Hand Washing Stations will be provided in addition to those available in toilet blocks. Participants will be required to wash and dry their hands before and after cooking their meals. This will be supervised by our staff. Paper towels will be provided for hand drying and these will be disposed of appropriately. Social distancing measures will be put in place at Hygiene and Hand Washing Stations.
  • Toilet and Shower Blocks – There will be a maximum of 3 participants allowed entry to the toilet / shower blocks at any one time. This will be monitored by a member of our staff. Each block comprises of 3 separate toilet cubicles. Showers will be available to participants at no extra fee should they decide to utilise this option. Hand wash and paper hand towels will be provided and disposed of appropriately. 
  • Participants will be provided with an emergency contact number should they feel that a member of the team is showing signs of Coronavirus / Covid-19. This is in addition to the risk benefit and current safety measures in place. An emergency team will be ‘on call’ to meet the participant displaying signs / symptoms and remove them from the team as soon as practicable.  Should this situation arise, the participant will be collected and removed from the expedition by our team wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They will be transported to our on-sight isolation facilities pending further medical advice.
  • All members of our team will be required to undergo a further induction on the additional measures put in place to protect our clients in relation to Coronavirus  / COVID-19.

On Departure:

  • A similar system to arrival will be put in place to allow for staggered departures. Parents / Carers will be provided with a collection time which we would ask them to accommodate as best possible.

Alternative Accommodation Options:

  • Non-Tented Accommodation – We also have the ability to accommodate our participants in on-site marquees. There are two large permanent marquees on site with hard flooring. Should our clients prefer this as an alternative option, we are in a position to mark out 2 metre squared sleeping areas in order to maintain social distancing with separate entry and exits to avoid contact as little as possible. A hand washing and hygiene station will be available on entry which will be controlled and monitored by a member or our team. Both marquees have power supplies and ample room in the grounds outside.

On-Site Isolation Facilities:

  • In our efforts to become ‘Covid Secure’, we have introduced a permanent on-site isolation facility. This is a separate room which has bed space so that any individual displaying symptoms can rest. If we suspect signs of Coronavirus / Covid-19, this option will become immediately available. A member of our team will escort the individual(s) to the area wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where they will be able to relax. At this point, we will contact the parent / carer and ask for the individual(s) to be collected by a member of the same household as soon as possible where practical. Facilities will be available for temperature testing at all times for anyone we feel this may be appropriate. 




Coronavirus (COVID-19) Decision Making and Client Information

Coronavirus is a threat to us all, no matter where we go or what we do. However, SAGE evidence suggests that outdoor activities may present a lower risk of virus transmission. 4th Dimension Ltd will base its activities on the following principals:

We will ensure we meet the requirements of our Insurers, Activities Industry Mutual (AIM), and follow advice from our Professional Associations.

Activities will require a pragmatic and mutually agreed approach between 4th Dimension Ltd and our clients. Some objectives may not be feasible. The dynamic nature of being in the outdoors means that there may be occasions when ideal Covid Secure practice (in, for example, social distancing) cannot be maintained e.g. to deal with an immediate safety concern that takes priority.

Clients are asked to agree to the below:

  • To follow relevant home nation Government guidance on Coronavirus, specifically that you will not travel to nor attend a course with 4th Dimension Ltd if you should be self-isolating according to national guidelines. Guidance on the specific symptoms and self-isolation measures are clearly available on the gov.uk website:  https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
  • To be asked to answer the following questions from our Medical Questionnaire (Covid-19 MQ)  with the word ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ immediately prior to your course:

If we are forced to cancel your activity at short notice for Coronavirus (Covid-19) related reasons, please refer to our booking terms and conditions.

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