The below questions were designed for pre-Covid NCS programmes, and as such, some of the Questions my no longer be relevant for the NCS course your child is doing. For example, Keep Doing Good and Autumn Activities do not have residential phases, so questions about residential phases and curfews etc won't be appropriate.

For information about the safety measures we have in place regarding Covid-19, please watch our informational video, check out a summary of our measures, or download our full risk assessment.

If you have any further questions about Covid-19, please call us on 0114 2999 210 and speak to a member of our time.

Where will young people sleep during the residential phases?

With Element NCS, accommodation usually consists of an outdoor activity centre/youth hostel in Week 1, and student accommodation in Week 2. Please check this information in your Welcome Pack.

The accommodation is maintained by a vetted outdoor activity centre, university campus or other accommodation provider and there are security features in place there to keep its residents as safe as possible. Male and female participants are separated into single-gender accommodation and are not allowed to enter each others’ rooms.

The accommodation comes with the necessary amenities such as access to showers and power sockets. Some accommodation, including bathrooms, may be shared with other young people but it will only be with participants of the same gender.

What happens at the Parent/Guardian Evening?

The Parent/Guadian Evening is an opportunity for participants and parents/guardians to gain more information about NCS and to ask any questions they may have about the programme. It is also an opportunity for them to meet other young people that will be participating in the same programme, and their parents or guardians.

We aim to send you an invite for the Parent/Guardian Evening 4 weeks in advance so you can plan it into your diaries. We run a number of evenings throughout the year, so if you can’t make the first one, please look out for the next available date. We recommend that you attend as previous participants have found it very useful and it gives you a chance to meet us!

How much does NCS cost?

‘Technically’ a place on NCS costs £1,500 but because we’re government funded, the most we’ll ask you to contribute is £50. We also have a bursary scheme available that’s 100% confidential. If you’re not sure you can afford it, just get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.

Will my child need extra money for weeks 1 and 2?

In short, no. Your £50 covers all your food, accommodation and activities in Stages 1 and 2. Some people bring a tenner along just in case, but you don’t need to. When they reach the Do Good stage, they’ll be back home, so they might need some change for the bus or money for your lunch.

Will my child be forced to do an activity?

No. They can absolutely sit out if they really don’t want to do something without feeling any pressure. No-one will ever force them to do anything, and that includes their mates!

Does NCS count towards UCAS points?

Not at the moment, but keep in mind UCAS look for more than just points. We’ve seen universities look very favourably on people who have graduated from NCS because it shows you have a wider range of skills and experience. And while we’re at it, employers are also looking for more than just grades – it’s you as a whole they’re interested in!

Is there a curfew?

There is a ‘lights out’ time, but only to make sure the young people feel totally refreshed and energised for each action-packed day, and can make the most of their experience.

My child has a disability, is this a problem?

We’re committed to making NCS open to everyone and will look to accommodate any young people with disabilities wherever possible. Our staff are trained to a high standard to be able to assess individual needs and help everyone enjoy the NCS experience.

Will some young people going on the programme have challenging behaviour?

Element Society aims to support those with challenging behaviour to allow them to take part and get the best out of NCS. As safety is our main concern, we review each young person’s application, particularly paying attention to the medical and support information provided.

If we are told that a young person has difficulty with following clear rules and boundaries, we will contact the parent or guardian to discuss this. In some cases, we will contact schools, professionals or other specialists for more information. We then come to a decision about the young person and how much support they may need on NCS. If needed, we will put extra staff support in place for the young person.

If a young person seriously or persistently breaks the code of conduct, staff will assess the situation and decide on the most suitable action. In some cases, we may ask the young person to leave the programme.

Who will be responsible for the young people on the ground?

The safety and well-being of participants are paramount. At Element, we are committed to ensuring the utmost effort is made to mitigate risks to health and safety on the programme. NCS staff are DBS checked (previously CRB) and suitably trained in order to work with young people and run fun, safe activities.

All the activities are comprehensively risk-assessed and overseen by carefully selected trained instructors and mentors and the programme is quality assured locally and nationally.

Will taking part in NCS interfere with my teen’s academic studies?

No. The NCS summer programme takes place in the summer holidays. Our shorter autumn programmes can take place at any point during the autumn term but usually designed with the school or college to reduce disruption to learning.

How do I get my teen involved?

There are 3 quick and easy ways to book a young person onto one of our programmes.

  1. You can get in contact with us anytime Monday to Friday 10 am – 5 pm by calling our office on 0114 2999 211.
  2. You can email us at [email protected] and one of our team will get back to you.
  3. You can go online at to fill in your details and book your place.

Once registration is complete, we will send you more details about the programme they have signed up for.