- How can I sign up?
Secure your place on NCS by completing our online sign up form and we will send you an information pack explaining the rest.
- Who is eligible to participate in NCS?
Our standard age eligibility requirements are as follows:
February half term or Easter programmes in 2017 – participants must have turned 16 or 17 on or before 31 August 2016 and must be under 18 during the residential part of the programme
Summer programmes in 2017 – participants must turn 16 or 17 on or before 31 August 2017. This means 15 year olds can attend summer programmes if they turn 16 on or before 31 August that year. Participants must also be under 18 during all the residential parts of the programme.
October half term programmes in 2017 – participants must have turned 16 or 17 on or before 31 August 2017 and must be under 18 during the residential part of the programme.
Additionally, young people with Special Educational Needs who are older than the age criteria may still be considered eligible to take part if suitable.
If you are unsure about your eligibility or need further guidance, please contact us on 0117 930 3030 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be very happy to advise you.
- Who can take part in NCS?
NCS is for everyone – it doesn’t matter if you’re sporty and outgoing, or quiet and shy. NCS is an opportunity for all 15-17 year olds throughout the country. This is equivalent to Year 11 and Year 12 but Year 11 must have been completed before you take part in NCS. Those not in education are equally encouraged to get involved.
- What is National Citizen Service (NCS)?
NCS supports 15-17 year olds to learn new skills, gain exciting new experiences and contribute to their local communities. It is run locally by highly experienced organisations who have been carefully selected for the outstanding work they do with young people.
- When does it take place?
NCS usually takes place outside of term time. Young people can choose to do the four week programme that runs throughout the summer, or one of the shorter, condensed programmes during their spring or autumn half term.
- I have a holiday booked, can I still take part?
There are several different start dates for the summer programme so there should be one that fits in with your other commitments, otherwise, there are always the spring and autumn programmes.
- What does it involve?
There are three main phases of NCS:
1. Young people spend a maximum of five days at an outdoor activity centre taking part in activities designed to boost their confidence and develop teamwork and leadership skills.
2. They then build skills for their future such as cooking and budgeting. They’ll also spend time with a variety of businesses and charities to learn more about issues facing their local area.
3. Working in teams of 15, young people design and deliver a community project that they’re passionate about. They’re given the tools and guidance to help them make their mark and create a positive difference in the community.
- What will your child get out of it?
NCS is a fantastic opportunity for your son/daughter to take advantage of significant government investment and use it to get ahead in work and life.
• Increases confidence
• Supports job applications; NCS is widely respected by employers, including Virgin CEO Sir Richard Branson
• Enhances university applications as it is officially listed by UCAS
• Encourages independence
• Will help them new friendships
• Provides unique volunteering and work experience opportunities through the Graduate Programme
- How much does it cost?
Costs are capped at just £50, young people on free school meals may be eligible for a bursary. Bursaries are available on a case-by-case basis.
This contribution will cover your child’s food, equipment, accommodation and travel (from a central pick-up point) during the residential phases of NCS.
NCS offers parents great value for money because the government invests more than £1,200 per place to enable as many young people as possible to take part.
- What if my child has a disability or additional needs?
NCS is for every person of eligible age and young people with disabilities and/or additional needs are encouraged to take part.
Your child will be in the care of highly experienced staff who will do everything possible to accommodate his/her needs and keep you informed of their welfare during the programme.
Please ensure that you give your NCS provider as many details as possible relating to your child’s requirements.
- What supervision will be available?
The young people will be grouped into teams of 8 – 15; each team will be allocated an adult mentor, who is responsible for the supervision of their team. Some mentors are employees of the organisations delivering NCS and others will have been recruited and trained specifically for the programme. The recruitment of mentors will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service Check (previously CRB) and all appointed mentors will have received a comprehensive training programme.
- What health and safety provisions will be in place?
All organisations delivering NCS have public liability insurance for NCS and individual venues have relevant insurance for their activities. Failure of a young person to follow all instructions and act responsibly may invalidate insurance, in this case, young people may be asked to leave the programme. Risk Assessments have been carried out to identify hazards and action taken to mitigate the risk. Whilst the organisations will take every reasonable step to ensure the safety of young people, it is also imperative that the young people act sensibly and follow all rules set by the organisers.
- How do I get to the locations of NCS?
For most of the phases of NCS, transport will be provided to and from the venue. There will be several regional pick up points in each area that the young people will be responsible for getting to. For the latter phases of the programme, activities are based in a centralised local area so no transport will be required. For those who cannot get to a venue, support may be available, just ask a member of the team.
- My friend is taking part in NCS, will we be in the same group?
Group allocation will be based on where you live, if you request to be in the same group as a friend, and providing you live close to each other, we will try to make sure that you are in the same group, however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Please email email@example.com with your friend’s name to request to be in the same group.
- I have done NCS before, can I take part again?
Once a young person has completed NCS and graduated, they cannot do the programme again. However, there are opportunities open to them to continue with NCS. Each graduate automatically joins an NCS Graduate Network after graduation and has the chance to be elected on to a regional youth board. Graduates also have the option of becoming a volunteer or leader for subsequent NCS programmes.