Walking for Health accreditation

Walking for Health

Our new accreditation process for Walking for Health has now launched. With a robust set of criteria, it is designed to give people added confidence in their local schemes. It acts as a quality assurance mark, promoting a common standard, strengthening our profile and inspiring the support of funders, partners, volunteers and walkers, helping schemes to thrive and grow.

Walking for Health schemes can apply up until 20th December 2014.

To help you pass accreditation first time we have put together a  two   page  summary that explains what the minimum requirements are and how schemes can meet them.

Before  applying look at our How To Pass accreditation and read our 'Did you know?' factsheets.

>> Click here to apply for accreditation

What are the new accreditation criteria?

More detailed information is below, but if you’re short on time, download this brief fact sheet on accreditation.

Our schemes told us that they would appreciate clear guidance about what they should be doing and how they should be doing it.

The 8 new criteria provide this and deliver a guarantee to our walkers and volunteers that they are part of a high quality local experience with national recognition: 

  • All walks meet the definition of a Walking for Health walk, including at least one walk between 10-30 minutes per month, which can be a standalone walk or part of a longer walk.
  • The walker registration form (Outdoor Health Questionnaire) or an approved version of a form is used and completed by all new walkers or walkers who have experienced changes to their health.
  • Schemes have up to date risk assessments in place which are reviewed on a regular basis and are updated as and when new risks appear. Ideally, they should be no more than six months old.
  • Schemes use the Walking for Health database or supply the information needed by the Walking for Health team to demonstrate impact and progress on a quarterly basis from July 2014.
  • Schemes are recognisably part of Walking for Health, using the brand in materials in accordance with our guidelines.  
  • Schemes keep their pages on the Walking for Health website up to date.  
  • Schemes take part in the annual scheme audit 
  • Schemes use a volunteering policy that ensures good standards of volunteer management. 

Detailed guidance on the new accreditation process and answers to key questions can be found below. We’ve also developed advice on managing walks that are longer or more challenging than a Walking for Health walk – termed ‘out of scope’. . 

>>Download the accreditation guidance for schemes (386KB, PDF)

>>Download our FAQs on accreditation (394KB, PDF)

>>Managing out of scope walks (333KB, PDF)

Some schemes will find this a natural time to move on from Walking for Health. In order to help make the transition smooth, we have developed some additional support.

>>Advice on civil liability insurance (226KB, PDF)

>>Becoming a constituted group (387KB, PDF)


Accreditation dates for your diary

Applications open - 1st March 2014

Final deadline for applications - 20th December 2014

Applications processed - 1st March 2014 - 1st March 2015

Unaccredited schemes no longer recognised as part of Walking for Health - From March 2015

All schemes that received accreditation from Natural England will be recognised as accredited until 1st March 2015, or until their accreditation is renewed by Walking for Health.

If you have any questions about accreditation please do get in touch.