FAQs for party leaders

Teacher Guide

  • FAQs

FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. If you have a query that isn't listed here, or would like more information on any of the topics mentioned, please call us on 0333 321 2116

Are your centres approved for use by schools like ours?

We are supported by local authorities throughout the country, and every year thousands of schools entrust PGL with the organisation and coordination of their curriculum-based adventure or adventure study courses.

The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP), which represents all advisers for school visits across every local authority area in England and Wales, and an increasing number of academy trusts, has stated that all authorities with OEAP membership recognise the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge accreditation.

All of our adventure centres have been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge.

Are your centres abroad licensed?

The Adventure Activity Licensing Regulations 1996 have no legal jurisdiction overseas, but we have adopted any relevant safety principles in the operation of our French centres, which we also subject to inspection by the British Activity Providers Association and the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.

Do you comply with DfE safety guidelines?

Our safety management systems are in accordance with the National Guidance provided by the Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel.

Can my PGL course be linked to the curriculum?

Each of our exciting activities or sessions, including adventure, Discover More, Maths and Field Studies, is linked to your curriculum and the QCA Schemes of Work through our Learnlink™ resource. Each Learnlink™ unit of study provides you with more detailed information about the particular unit, its aims, vocabulary, links to the curriculum and QCA Schemes of Work, and expectations upon completion of the unit.

For more information visit the Learnlink™ area of our website or call us on 0333 321 2116

Can I see the centre before I decide?

We encourage first-time travellers and teachers who are not familiar with the PGL experience to attend inspection visits and preview weekends at PGL centres. These events give you the opportunity to view the surroundings, accommodation and facilities, and question our centre teams regarding safety, PGL practices, or any other aspect of your trip. You will find our staff knowledgeable and eager to assist and reassure you.

Full board accommodation at the centre is provided free of charge and is available for up to two teachers per school.

Find out more about our FREE preview weekends >

Can PGL arrange travel for us?

Travel is not included in the basic cost of your chosen course, however, we can provide a quotation, and many groups choose to arrange their travel through us.

For groups travelling to the Isle of Wight, we can arrange for the group to take coaches, cars and mini buses across on the ferry if necessary, subject to availability.

Is my money safe with PGL?

Yes, we are a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) which means you benefit from ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct. Many of the travel products and services we sell are protected in case of the financial failure of the travel company. We are also ATOL holders for any booking made with PGL Air Travel Ltd. Please ask us about the protection that applies to your booking

Do you accept childcare vouchers as payment for school trips?

As a company we are unable to accept childcare vouchers as payment for our school travel programme as we are not 'in loco parentis'; however as a school you may be able to accept them as payment. To find out if you can please contact your Local Authority.

What level of support can I expect from PGL staff?

PGL head office staff will assist you with your booking. At our head office in Ross-on-Wye our team is responsible for the smooth running and coordination of your course booking. From initial enquiry and planning through to completion, they will be on hand to give advice and support every step of the way.

For more information about how we support you throughout the entire process, please visit Support for Party Leaders.

Can you offer any help with organising and launching my trip?

Once you have made your no-obligation provisional booking you will be able to log in to MyPGL, our online resource for party leaders. This gives you access to a whole range of information including:

PGL Code of Practice - containing detailed information regarding health and safety and risk assessment systems and procedures. Specific risk assessments for each centre are also available and will save you a lot of precious time.

PGL publicity material - to help you advertise and promote your trip:

  • Posters to advertise your course in school.
  • Sample letters for parents.
  • PowerPoint presentations for a parents evening.
  • A link to our Parent Guide.
  • Virtual tours of some centres.
  • Video content for some courses, giving students and parents an insight into the excitement and adventure of a PGL course.

What about my family – can they come too?

In addition to the various early booking discounts, we also offer FREE places for Party Leaders and accompanying school staff, and concessionary places for their families.

How do I access the 'MyPGL' section of the site?

When you make a provisional booking we will send you an email containing a link - when you click on this link and register you can then access details of your booking at your convenience.

If you haven't received an email from us but would like to view your booking details online, call your reservations advisor/tour organiser and they will get the link sent to you.

Log into MyPGL >

What are your Activity Operating Procedures?

The procedures are documented in documents called Normal Operating Procedures (NOPs), which are supported by Approved Codes of Practice. NOPs describe hazards, risks and control measures and the ACOPs provide further detail for Instructors and Managers.

Each instructor is trained and assessed in the fulfilment of these to the required level. We clearly define the competencies required of staff undertaking different levels of responsibility within the programme. The operating procedures conform to NGB guidelines where these are relevant to the safe conduct of the activity at the level being undertaken.

Should all participants be able to swim?

 Lifejackets or buoyancy aids are always worn for watersports, except for bodyboarding, surfing and snorkelling sessions, where if participants are able to swim 50 metres or more, they are not required to wear them. For all water-based activities participants must be water-confident in a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. Water-confident is defined as:

  • ability to duck head underwater
  • confidently swim 15 metres in a lifejacket or buoyancy aid without signs of panic

Party Leaders are advised to check that the PGL Policy conforms to their Local Authority Guidelines. Alternative activities are available for non-water-confident participants at most centres.

What happens in the case of an accident or illness of one of my party?

On PGL centres, all participants are accompanied by, or have access to, at least one person with a current nationally recognised First Aid qualification. Each of our centres has a supervised sickbay and/or medical/first aid facility. We have established good relationships with local doctors, dentists and hospitals in proximity to all our centres. Our staff are aware of procedures to be followed in dealing with an accident or emergency, but they will liaise closely with you to ensure that we comply with your wishes. Records are kept of any accidents or incidents.

Do children need to take pocket money?

Children are welcome to bring pocket money with them. Most PGL centres have gift shops selling non-branded and branded goods, including stationery and confectionery.

PGL gift shop price list >

Lost property

It is very difficult, once a group has left centre, to match up lost property items. With this in mind please encourage guests to mark all property with their name.

Please contact the centre on your return if items have been left behind - centre contact details will be provided in your Final Information. If we are successful in locating the items they will be returned but postage will be charged to the group.

What specialist equipment is supplied by PGL?

All specialist equipment is supplied by PGL and is appropriate for the size of the participating students. All equipment meets BS or CEN standards. Equipment used in our programmes is carefully selected by experts in our Purchasing Department in consultation with our technical advisors. Equipment is tested regularly and maintenance reports are closely scrutinised to ensure that high standards are consistently maintained. Any suppliers of activities not run by PGL are contracted to provide equipment that meets CEN standards or the local relevant standard. Checks are carried out regularly by PGL to inspect suppliers’ equipment.

How are your centre staff recruited, approved and trained to work with young people?

This is the responsibility of a dedicated team at our UK Head Office. Our Recruitment Officers bring a wealth of experience between them including working in roles at PGL centres and as HR professionals. This extensive knowledge ensures they are ideally equipped to select the best possible staff for jobs with PGL.

The recruitment process is as follows:

  1. A detailed application form is received and vetted by a trained Recruitment Officer.
  2. The employee’s reference is verified.
  3. Original qualification certificates and the applicant’s identity are verified.
  4. Applicants will be asked to disclose if they have ever been disqualified under the 2006 act and 2009 regulations.
  5. The Disclosure and Barring Service* (DBS) ‘Barred List’ is checked and an ‘Enhanced’ check is applied for.
  6. New applicants for Instructional and Group Leading roles are required to pass a 6-day residential selection and training course.
  7. Employment commences. If the enhanced DBS check results have not been received by this time, a safeguarding assessment is undertaken and employees are restricted to supervised duties only.
  8. Employees undergo a compulsory probationary period lasting a minimum of 4 weeks.
  9. Their contract is confirmed upon receipt of the satisfactory DBS check and successfully passing the probationary period.
  10. Ongoing support, development training and monitoring is undertaken by Senior Staff.

*Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme in Scotland

It is not possible to check applicants from overseas via the DBS so we require an Overseas Police check from their home nation. Over 50% of staff return each year. For those eligible, we undertake a new Barred List check annually.