Quality Day Walk PROCEDURES

Updated 07-11-2023

Themes and criteria

1. The LQT-BE, Day Walk consist of 8 themes.

Dream tour
Cultural experience
Nature delight
Family pleasure
Discover tour
Comfortable hikes
Winter bliss
Urban walks

2. The criteria are according to this document.

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Certification process

3. Organisations (tourism organisation, nature reserve, cultural, environmental, or walking organisation, municipality, etc.) interested in obtaining the certificate “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe, Day Walk” contact the European Ramblers Association (hereafter: ERA) to start the process. According to the ERA procedures, ERA kindly asks the interested organisation(s) to inform the ERA member organisation in its country about its/their intentions to prepare one or more LQT-BE Day Walk.
Contact details: https://www.era-ewv-ferp.org/era-community/members/

4. ERA offers regional standard European training courses to national organisations and people*. The local trail scouts can gather the necessary data for the trail inventory after a course. The local interest groups involved in walking (walking, cultural or environmental organisations/associations, nature reserves, tourism, forestry, etc.) can nominate up to a minimum of 8 maximum of 12 suitable and competent people for the training to become a local trail scout. The cost of providing the standard European training course is on this page. The training of local experts and the following process are managed and accounted for by the national experts.

5. The trained local trail scouts gather the necessary data for the accreditation (inventory analysis) and prepare a provisional assessment of the day walk/trail. This will show up unsuitable sections e.g., long stretches of sealed surface, or where the route of the trail is not varied/interesting enough. Thus, areas not meeting the required standard can easily be identified.

6. When the trail meets the criteria of “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe, Day Walk”, an application for certification must be made to ERA. The data recorded during the inventory – as specified at the training course – are submitted with the application.

7. Following the principles of sustainability the organisation applying declares that the trail complies with all environmental protection guidelines (especially in sensitive areas like nature reserves, biotopes, etc.) and assures that the trail is maintained and waymarked for the period of certification.

8. ERA verifies and independently processes and analyses (strengths/weakness analysis) the locally collected data.

9. Following this, the trail is inspected by a qualified ERA inspector.
The Inspector will contact the national experts and trail scouts to coordinate the inspection. The data collected by ERA is compared with the data submitted by the applicant.
When the ERA Inspector has verified the trail as LQT-BE, Day Walk, a trail assessment report is made by ERA and ERA certifies the trail as LQT-BE, Day Walk for 3 years.

If the Inspector has not verified the trail as LQT-BE, Day Walk – e.g., because some criteria are not fulfilled – the applicant will – pending situation – improve the trail together with the trail scouts and prove the needed improvements to the inspector.

10. The LQT-BE, Day Walk label can be used for marketing purposes in printed and electronic media. 


Recertification

12. To keep the certificate the LQT-BE, Day Walk must be recertified every 3 years.

13. Recertification takes place:

  • By local trail scouts, who collect and assess the data.
  • By ERA inspectors, that inspect the trail.

    Latest criteria are used for inspection on location. In addition, the information board, and other signs on the trail as well as the markings on the trail are checked. Finally, the website and possibly folders are checked and updated if necessary.
    The new registration form is completed by the national expert and sent to ERA for approval.

14. When everything is in order, the trail is recertified for a further 3 years by ERA.

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* Training courses

Besides the European two-day standard training course, ERA offers additional training courses. The specification of courses:

Standard two-day European training course = 8-10 (max. 12) people are trained to become a local trail scout. The course focuses on the theoretical part (quality criteria, waymarking guidelines, certification process) and the practical part (data collection in the field and data transfer for the certification) for LQT-BE Day Walks. The local trail scouts can gather the necessary data for the trail inventory after a course. The knowledge of trail scouts for LQT-BE Day Walks should be refreshed every 5 years.
Check the program

Combined three-day European training course = 8-10 (max. 12) people are trained to become a local trail scout. The training splits into the knowledge of LQT-BE Day Walks and of LQT-BE Long Distance with a focus on the common part (quality criteria, waymarking guidelines, certification process) and the separated practical parts (data collection in the field and data transfer for the certification). The training is led by two experts, one from the European Ramblers’ Association (for LQT-BE Day walks) and one of Deutscher Wanderverband Service (for LQT-BE Long distance). The local trail scouts can gather the necessary data for the trail inventory after a course. The knowledge of trail scouts for LQT-BE Day Walks and LQT-BE Long distance should be refreshed every 5 years.
Check the program

Light one-day European training course = the target are two possible groups:
1. 8-10 (max. 12) people get a refreshing training course for LQT-BE Day walks after 5 years of the last training. The training is mainly focused on updates in the certification process and quality criteria and a practical part (data collection in the field and data transfer for the certification). Only trained trail scouts with a certificate from the previous European training course can apply for admission.
2. 8-10 (max. 12) people trained as LQT-BE Long distance trail scouts get an additional training course for LQT-BE Day walks. The training focuses on the theoretical part (quality criteria, waymarking guidelines, certification process) and the practical part (data collection in the field and data transfer for the certification) for the LQT-BE Day Walks. Only trained trail scouts with the certificate of the European training course for LQT-BE Long distance, issued within the previous 12 months by Deutscher Wanderverband Service, can apply for admission.