LOtC Site Provider Award

Since the launch of the LOtC Quality Badge in February 2009, there have been a great number of enquiries from organisations who welcome educational visits to their site, but don’t provide any direct educational services. These organisations cannot meet the criteria for the LOtC Quality Badge; however they provide such a vital tool for teachers to facilitate frequent, continuous and progressive learning outside the classroom for their pupils that CLOtC has developed a national award scheme to recognise this. 

The LOtC Site Provider Award is intended to accredit all organisations that support and facilitate schools’ self-led visits to their site or sites. The award of the LOtC Site Provider Award indicates that an organisation:
  • Maintains their site or sites to an acceptable standard and manages and communicates any risks associated with the use of their site or sites appropriately
  • Offers clear and up to date guidance and/or materials to support schools conducting self-led visits at their site or sites

In order to achieve the LOtC Site Provider Award providers must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom that they meet all of the quality indicators (see below). 

They must also meet the following eligibility criteria:
  1. Applicants must not provide any teaching or guided tours as part of their offer to schools. Any element of contact with the users in this way will mean the provider will be eligible for the LOtC Quality Badge, and must apply for that award instead.

  2. Any promotion of or communication about the site or sites to schools must be education based. Applicants must be offering their site or sites as a resource for supporting the delivery of the curriculum, as opposed to a venue for a reward day or similar.
  3. Applicants offering the use of equipment requiring specialist risk assessment are not eligible for the LOtC Site Provider Award. Examples include (but are not limited to) equipment that might typically be used in activities such as rock climbing or caving such as karabiners, belay devices or similar items. Another example would be any activities where the whole of a participant's body will be 2 metres or higher above the ground at any time. This is because CLOtC cannot assess the competence of visiting school staff to manage these risks, and therefore we cannot assure schools that risk is managed appropriately. 

  4. The experience offered must comply with all relevant UK & EU legislation.

For sites offering day visits only, the application and assessment involves submitting a self-evaluation form which then undergoes a desktop audit. A percentage of those sites passing this stage will be selected for an on-site quality assurance visit. Providers will also be required to sign a Code of Practice declaration. A registration fee of £150 per site will be payable on application (a discount will be available for those organisations with 10 or more sites). This payment will cover the administration and assessment costs incurred by CLOtC, a registered charity.

Where an organisation offers residential provision, a longer self-evaluation form will be required followed by an on-site inspection to ensure that the risks involved are appropriately managed.  The registration fee for a residential LOtC Site Provider Award application is £400 per site (a discount will be available for those organisations with multiple sites), covering CLOtC's increased administration and assessment costs for this type of application. 

The award, once made, is valid for a period of two years.

Please note: if any direct education or instruction, or guided tours, are offered at your setting you are not eligible for the LOtC Site Provider Award. 

If this is the case please go to the LOtC Quality Badge pages to begin an application.

To obtain the appropriate LOtC Site Award application package, please email us at awards@lotc.org.uk with a brief description of your offer to schools. 

The criteria and sub-criteria which LOtC Site Provider Award applicants will be expected to meet are as follows:
  1. The provider provides accurate information about its site. Therefore:

    a)    ensures that any promotional materials provide an accurate description of amenities, facilities and services provided and contact details 

    b)    ensures that all charges are clearly, honestly and accurately displayed on any promotional materials and on site

    c)    has a full accessibility statement, with maps where appropriate

    d)    where donations are requested, a full and accurate account of their purpose is given

  2. The provider has a process in place to help users to plan the learning experience effectively. Therefore:

    a)    encourages teachers to make a pre-visit to the site

    b)    where relevant, offers guidance and/or resources to assist with preparation and follow-up activities

  3. The provider meets the needs of users. Therefore:

    a)    communicates effectively with users

    b)    essential written policies and procedures are reviewed, maintained and updated. This should be undertaken on a regular basis and cover all sites and materials

    c)    takes into account any equality, diversity and inclusion issues and legislation and makes attempts to improve accessibility where this doesn’t affect the character of the site

    d)    clearly communicates accessibility issues in advance, using onsite signage and indicators where appropriate

    e)    understands sustainability issues and the impact of activities at the site, and shares this with users

  4. The provider ensures that the site can be used for LOtC to meet learner needs. Therefore:

    a)    actively welcomes educational visits

    b)    ensures that features and points of interest are clearly labelled or signposted

    c)    offers accurate on-site interpretive materials which are regularly maintained and updated

    d)    where resources to facilitate self-guided tours are provided, ensures that these are appropriate to the age and ability of the learners and are regularly reviewed and updated

    e)    provides information enabling users to explore cross-curricular/cross-sector topics in relation to the site 

    f)    takes into account any equality, diversity and inclusion issues when developing interpretive or educational materials

  5. The provider reviews the experience and acts upon feedback. Therefore:

    a)    evaluates its own services

    b)    gathers feedback on the site and the learning experience from users (teachers and learners)

    c)    has a process in place to change practice as a result of review, evaluation and feedback

    d)    has a process in place to monitor the overall quality of its site or sites and make changes where necessary

  6. The provider has safety management processes in place to manage risk effectively. Therefore:

    a)    has safety management procedures in place so that risks are identified and appropriately managed

    b)    communicates potential hazards clearly using appropriate and well maintained methods

    c)    provides physical barriers or railings where appropriate

    d)    has procedures in place to ensure the regular maintenance of the fabric of the site

    e)    complies with all external regulation relating to it

    f)    has appropriate public liability insurance cover

Support and guidance is available from the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom on 07545 696881 or at awards@lotc.org.uk