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Update | 20 October 2020

Supporting you to document your risk assessments for your usual activities


In August 2020, we changed the risk assessment guidance, to make it compulsory for all members to document their risk assessments for their usual activities. In this update, we’ll explain the number of support materials we’ve made to help you hit that looming January 2021 transition deadline.

Risks are all around us and usually we’re quite good at spotting these risks and working out how best we can avoid them. Scouting is no different and we know that leaders are the best at spotting risks and stopping them from happening. But we also know that many leaders would like a little extra support from us to help them put the risk assessments in their head down onto the paper.

We’ve created a number of resources already, which’ll make the process much easier for you.

What do we mean by ‘documented risk assessments?’

We’ve edited step four of the risk assessments page, to make it much clearer for you to understand what is meant by a documented risk assessment.

Put simply, a documented risk assessment is about you recording your risk assessment either on paper or on a digital device. This makes it easier for you to share your risk assessment and make sure it’s communicated with anyone who needs to see it. By documenting the risk assessment it also gets you into the process of thinking through each of the risks and how you can avoid them. It also makes it much easier to review any future risk assessments if you’re completing a similar activity.

Also within this section we’ve added detail about the things you need to consider when writing your risk assessments, the scenarios you may need complete a risk assessment for, how you can document your risk assessments and the best ways to communicate them with everyone who needs to know.

You can view the updated guidance here.

Examples, Examples and more examples

We wouldn’t expect you to complete this task by yourself, and we know that lots of leaders have asked for example risk assessments to help give them that little push to make a start.

We already developed over ten example risk assessments for nearly every activity you can think of. Whether it be an indoor game, fire building, free time or an online meeting, we’ve an example risk assessment for it. By clicking on the activity you want to assess, you’ll be able to download a word template of the risk assessment which you can then edit to suit your own Group’s needs.

However, if you’re not a fan of completing your risk assessments on Word, we’ve also added additional examples for you to complete your risk assessment on OSM, on a mobile phone and on paper. All you need to do is use the images for inspiration (copy if you need to) and then you’re away.

Check out all the various examples here.

The videos to make it all a piece of cake

Our final piece of support is in the form of video guidance. Already, you’ll find a video which looks at the changes we made to the risk assessments process in August, what risk assessments mean to you and the support and advice to help you make the transition to the new processes. We’ve also made additional videos on each of the five steps of a risk assessment: Look for the hazards, who might be harmed and how, how are the risks controlled, record and communicate and review and revise plans were needed. You’ll can these short videos on the left hand-side of the page or on our Vimeo showcase.

Watch the support videos here.

We’re aware that for some the process of now having to document your risk assessments might seem quite alien, but we’re hoping with this suite of support that you can make those first steps in documenting your first risk assessments before the January 2021 deadline. We’ll continue to look at new ways we can offer support to you and will update you if new support becomes available, but for now if you have any suggestions on how we can help you, you can submit your feedback using this form.


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