Answers to your questions about the John Muir Award.

If you do not see an answer to your question listed please refer to the John Muir Award Information Handbook as this is a comprehensive guide to delivering the Award.

Hikers - Benjamin Statham

General Award FAQs

The Award looks great – What do I need to do to take part?

Have a look at our Get Involved page to see if your group is suitable. Plan your activities, fill in a Proposal Form and email it to info@johnmuiraward.org. One of our team will get back to you to discuss your Proposal Form, this can take up to 10 working days.

Is there an age limit for the John Muir Award?

The John Muir Award is ideally suited for those participants working at later stage of Primary Education and beyond (year 4 and above in England and Wales and Second Level in Scotland). We have created a Family Award that welcomes involvement by people of all ages and abilities, including younger children, as part of a family group. We encourage adults to get involved too. There is no upper age limit.

If you are under 18 you can also get involved with the John Muir Award in a self-guided, individual capacity but please get your parent or carer to send in your Proposal Form on your behalf.

How do I request certificates?

When you have completed your activity, please fill out a Certificate Request Form and email it to info@johnmuiraward.org. A member of our team will be in touch to discuss and confirm this with you. Please allow up to 10 working days for your certificates to arrive.

What are the specific time commitments for each level?

  • Discovery Award - 4 days (or 25+ hours equivalent) minimum time commitment.
  • Explorer Award - 8 days (50+ hours equivalent) minimum time commitment.
  • Conserver Award - 20 days (or 125+ equivalent) minimum time commitment, over at least 6 months.

The Four Challenges - Discover, Explore, Conserve, Share - are met for each level, with increasing responsibility and ownership.

How much does it cost to take part in a John Muir Award?

It’s free of charge, including the certificates. To support the Award and help us keep it free please consider giving something back by:

Do I need to have completed any training to start using the John Muir Award?

You do not need to have attended any training to start using the John Muir Award. Everything you need to know can be found on our website. We do offer a variety of courses which are popular ways of finding out more about the ethos of the John Muir Award and the practicalities of delivering it. More information and dates for upcoming training dates can be found here.

What counts as a wild place?

John Muir Award Activity can take place in a range of wild places, from what is right on your doorstep, in school grounds and back gardens, to remote and rural landscapes, and urban environments.

I forgot to submit my proposal form and our group have already begun our Award, what should I do?

Please contact info@johnmuiraward.org and a member of our team will be able to discuss that with you.

Which Award level is most suitable for my group?

There are three Levels of the John Muir Award: Discovery, Explorer and Conserver. These differ in terms of time commitment and responsibility. Progressing through to the higher levels of the Award isn’t simply doing the same activities for longer. For further information see our guidance on 'Considering ways to progress through John Muir Award levels'.

You are welcome to repeat the same Award Level – maybe with a different organisation or in different places or with different people – as this provides opportunities for new and valuable experiences.

Is there a syllabus to follow or certain activities we need to complete?

The John Muir Award doesn’t have a set programme or syllabus to follow, but does have a simple Criteria. The Award is based around Four Challenges – Discover, Explore, Conserve, Share – and the activities you do to engage with the Four Challenges are up to you.

Let us know what you are planning for your Award by sending us a Proposal Form, we will discuss this with you, share ideas and once it has been agreed and registered you are ready to get started!

I’ve delivered the Award before. Do I need to submit another Proposal?

Yes you will need to submit a new Proposal Form for each group participating in the Award.

I’m a group/individual/family based outside of the UK, can I take part in the John Muir Award?

Unfortunately not, the John Muir Award is increasing in its popularity and we are currently inundated with inspiring proposal forms. However, so we can continue to provide a high quality service we are currently focusing on Award activity within the UK countries only and won’t be able to accept any more international proposals at this time. We hope you are not too disappointed and please check back later this year in case our situation changes. Many thanks for your understanding.

Covid-19 Award FAQs:

My John Muir Award activities have been put on hold due to the coronavirus, can I start activities again once this is over?

The John Muir Award Team are still here to support your Award activity during this unprecedented time so if you/your group are no longer able to start or continue your Award as expected, that is absolutely fine, just begin activities if and when you are able. There may be activities that Award participants can safely do at home or in their garden but any activity must be carried out within current Government Coronavirus guidance.

We will be sharing activity ideas and suggestions over the coming weeks, keep an eye on the John Muir Trust social media (@JohnMuirTrust  and #JohnMuirAward), and our e-bulletin and newsletters (if you don’t already receive these you can sign up here). The John Muir Trust has also created a new e-newsletter called Wild Inside. The weekly newsletter will bring a little joy and wildness closer to home. Sign up here.

I have to change some aspects of my Award due to the coronavirus disruption, do I need to get in touch with you about this?

The Four Challenges of the Award are very flexible, so you’re welcome to adapt your plans or extend your proposed finish date as necessary. The Award Team are still here to support your Award during this time so it would be a great idea to contact your Award Manager to inform them about the changes you are making to ensure that you will still meet the criteria required to achieve your Award. You do not need to contact your Award Manager to let them know that your proposed finish date will be delayed. 

I will be unable to complete my Award due to the lockdown, what should I do?

You are welcome to adapt your Award activity plans or extended your proposed finish date as necessary, this includes continuing Award activity into a new school term and completing the remaining Award activity after the school summer holidays.

If your group will be unable to complete their Award as planned (e.g. because they are will be leaving school) please get in touch with us to arrange a discussion with your Award Manager. There may be activities that Award participants can safely continue in their own garden or local green space (as per current government advice).

If there is no option to extend the finish date or safely continue the Award we may still be able to arrange certificates depending on the number of Award hours completed and participant’s progress against the Award criteria. Your Award manager will be happy to discuss this with you to decide to best way forward.

I would like to request Certificates, Record Books or other hard copy resources, is this still possible?

Please feel free to request certificates using the Certificate Request Form as usual, however please note that our offices are closed, so we are unable to send out any hard copy resources until we have been advised that it is safe to return to our offices. We have developed an e-Certificate option for those that are interested. Your key Award contact will discuss  this with you after you send in your Certificate Request Form.

Please note that we also have a free digital Record eBook available to help participants capture and share John Muir Award experiences. See what others are sharing here. Contact your Award Manager if you would like to request an account, or you can download a hard copy to print yourself available in the Key Documents section of our website. 

I was booked onto one of your Leader Training courses but it has been postponed or cancelled, what should I do?

Our Leader Training courses are currently suspended in order to restrict the spread of coronavirus, you should have received emails from both ourselves and our booking platform Billetto about this. If you haven't received any emails please contact info@johnmuiraward.org