Policy, Organisation and Rules
This chapter applies to all activities carried out anywhere in the world.
A list of available guidance on activities is contained in the general activity guidance.
Further advice may be available from District and County Activity Advisers, details of which may be available from your Assistant County Commissioner (Activities). You may also contact UK Headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition to the factsheets stated, others may be available to provide guidance in activity areas.
9.1.1 Before an activity
220.127.116.11 Before any activity the Leader must ensure that:
- it is appropriate to the age and abilities of all participants
- any legal requirements for the activity have been complied with
- it complies to the general and specific activity rules set out in this chapter
- any other requirements of The Scout Association, including the Safeguarding Policy and Safety Policy, have been complied with
- if necessary, a member of the party holds a valid adventurous activity permit (see Rule 9.7)
- it is the leader holding the permit who is responsible for all decisions for the duration of the activity
- there is additional, responsible supervision as required, including for those in the locality of the activity but not actively involved, see Rules 4.4.1 to 4.4.5.
- a risk assessment (FS120000) is carried out, recorded and safety instructions are communicated to all supervising adults and participants
- suitable InTouch (FS120075) arrangements are in place
- POR Chapter 7 Emergency Procedures are in place
- all activities must have access to someone holding a relevant and current first aid qualification and access to suitable first aid materials, for adventurous activities this must be immediate access. The detail of the first aid skills required will be identified by the risk assessment, but the minimum qualifications (or equivalents) are:
- A full first aid certificate as defined at FS120052is required for all remote activities, where travelling time is 3 hours or more (in the method of travel being used) to a point of refuge including:
- a road which carries a normal road-going ambulance
- a building which is occupied (such as a farm or harbour)
- or another means of calling help (such as a telephone box)
- First Response is required for all other activities
- A full first aid certificate as defined at FS120052is required for all remote activities, where travelling time is 3 hours or more (in the method of travel being used) to a point of refuge including:
- each participant has received appropriate training
- all equipment is appropriate for the activity
- all supervising adults and participants are made aware of who is in charge
- It has been approved by the relevant District or County Commissioner (see Rule 9.1.2).
18.104.22.168 These activities are not permitted within The Scout Association:
- towing of inflatables behind powered watercraft, such as banana boating
- bungee jumping
- hitch hiking
- knife throwing
- archery tag and other combat style archery activities
22.214.171.124 Other activities
There are many opportunities for members to take part in activities which are not specifically covered in the activity rules. Where an activity is not covered by any other rules the Leader in Charge must:
- assess the risks involved, document and communicate this to all involved
- ensure all members’ physical and/or emotional well-being can meet the requirements of the activity
- ensure that all equipment used fits the participants and is suitable for the activity
- obtain the approval of the relevant District or County Commissioner, or their nominee.
9.1.2 Approval of an activity SV
126.96.36.199 The District Commissioner is responsible for approving all activities for Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. This will usually be by means of a system agreed between the District Commissioner and each Group Scout Leader or District Explorer Scout Commissioner. See Approving Activities – Guidance for Commissioners (FS120015).
188.8.131.52 For Scout Network, the relevant Commissioner is responsible for approving all activities for Scout Network members at that level: a District Commissioner for District Scout Network Activities and the County Commissioner for County Scout Network Activities. This will usually be by means of a system agreed between the District Scout Network Commissioner, Assistant County Commissioner Scout Network or County Commissioner.sv
184.108.40.206 The relevant District or County Commissioner is responsible for approving all activities for groups of adults, where each individual is aged 18 and over. This will usually be by means of a system agreed between the relevant Commissioner and the County Scout Network Commissioner for Scout Network, Scout Active Support Manager for Scout Active Support, or another person recognised by the relevant Commissioner.SV
220.127.116.11 Approval for special events and activities must be granted by a County, Regional or Chief Commissioner, as appropriate.
18.104.22.168 For safety reasons only, the District or County Commissioner, or their nominee, of the area where the activity takes place has an overriding authority, in consultation with the home Commissioner, to direct that any activity should be postponed, stopped or cancelled (see POR Rule 22.214.171.124).
126.96.36.199 There are additional requirements for the District and County Commissioner’s approval for those activities which fall within the scope of The Scout Association’s Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme (see POR rule 9.7).
188.8.131.52 When professional instructors or leaders from outside the movement are engaged, separate rules apply (see POR rule 9.6).
9.1.3 During an activity
184.108.40.206 Leaders must continue to assess risk (FS120000) throughout an activity.
220.127.116.11 An appropriate weather forecast is acted upon to choose where the activity takes place and each participant is suitably equipped to cope with predicted extremes.
18.104.22.168 All activities must be undertaken in accordance with The Scout Association’s Safety Policy (see POR Chapter 2) and must adhere to the relevant general and specific activity rules set out in this chapter (chapter 9).
9.2.1 Nights away
22.214.171.124 All camping and residential experiences within the United Kingdom are subject to Rule 9.2.
126.96.36.199 This includes all events where it is intended that young people will sleep overnight and arrangements are put in place for this purpose, such as sleepovers, camps, Pack Holidays and expeditions.
188.8.131.52 Nights away abroad are subject to Rule 9.3.
9.2.2 Nights away responsibilities
184.108.40.206 An adult leading a camp or residential experience involving young people under 18 years old must:
- hold a valid Nights Away Permit
- have the prior agreement of the young person’s Section Leader
- have parental consent in which parents are informed about the event, including which leaders are present
- as a minimum, attend the event during the time that provision is made for young people to be sleeping overnight. They remain responsible for the event at all times
- ensure the relevant notification is made, as per Rule 9.2.3.
220.127.116.11 The District Commissioner is responsible for:
- the issue of Nights Away Permits in accordance with the application, assessment and approval process and content of the appropriate factsheet. The Commissioner can only approve the issue of a Permit following the recommendation of a Nights Away Adviser (NAA) and cannot increase the level of the permit beyond that recommended without a further assessment by an NAA.
- suspension or withdrawal of Nights Away Permits as per Rule 9.2.4
- ensuring that all adult members who are present overnight at a nights away activity are in date for their safeguarding and safety training which must be recorded on Compass. This rule does not apply to Occasional Helpers and other non-members attending the event. This rule also does not apply to members of the Scout Network who are attending the event as a participant and are not supporting or delivering activities for members under the age of 18
- the standards of all camping and residential experiences taking place in the District and may cancel an event, if judged necessary
- appointing one or more Nights Away Advisers Advisers’ Guide (FS120804).
County Commissioners have these responsibilities for events and permits issued by the County.
18.104.22.168 For large scale events there needs to be a permit holder responsible for each residential group. There is no limit to the number of groups that a permit holder can be responsible for, but they remain responsible for the standard of the event for each group. In addition, the permit holder must ensure the home Commissioner is notified (Rule 22.214.171.124) and inform them of the total number of groups they are responsible for during the event.
126.96.36.199 All groups undertaking a nights away event must have immediate access to someone who has a current First Aid qualification, minimum First Response. The level of First Aid competence required for each event will be determined by the event risk assessment. However, a full first aid certificate, as defined in FS120052, is required for those operating in remote environments, where travelling time is 3 hours or more (in the method of travel being used) to a point of refuge, including:
- a road which carries a normal road-going ambulance
- a building which is occupied such as a farm or harbour
- or another means of calling help such as a telephone box.
188.8.131.52 The permit holder is not required to hold a first aid qualification.
184.108.40.206 The requirement to have completed a First Response course is waived for holders of a valid First Aid qualification, where the syllabus equals or exceeds that of a First Response course, including hypothermia and hyperthermia training.
9.2.3 Nights away permits
220.127.116.11 There are four categories of nights away permit:
- indoor – for staying in a building that has built in lighting and cooking facilities, toilets plumbed into a waste disposal system (i.e., a cess pit, storage tank or mains drains) and running drinking water
- campsite – for staying at a site that has toilets plumbed into a waste disposal system (such as, a cess pit, storage tank or mains drains) and access to running drinking water
- Green Field – for staying at any site where any of the above facilities do not exist – for example, a summer camp on a farmer’s field
- Lightweight Expedition – for staying at any site for not more than one night before moving on. The core activity is a form of expedition, not residential, and all the equipment is transported with the participants. For example King’s Scout Award or Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards hikes, expedition hikes, canoe expeditions.
18.104.22.168 Those holding a Green Field Permit may lead residential events in the other three categories.
22.214.171.124 Those holding a Campsite Permit may also run indoor residential events.
126.96.36.199 Those holding a Hillwalking Permit that includes lightweight camping in remote areas may also run Lightweight Expedition events.
188.8.131.52 Nights Away Permits are not section-specific and Districts and Counties must not operate a policy of issuing only section-specific permits.
184.108.40.206 A permit holder may operate with members from another District or County subject to the normal approval of the District/County Commissioner of the members concerned.
220.127.116.11 Permit holders proposing to work outside their usual section should obtain guidance from the Nights Away Adviser before the event takes place.
18.104.22.168 Permits can only be granted to members of The Scout Association.
22.214.171.124 There is no maximum age limit to gaining a Nights Away Permit.
126.96.36.199 Permits must be renewed at intervals of not more than five years.
188.8.131.52 Permits expire automatically if they are not renewed.
- An applicant will be assessed by a Nights Away Adviser appointed by the District or County Commissioner, who will recommend a level of permit to be granted
- Assessments will be carried out in accordance with the process and content of the Nights away permit scheme.
- The relevant home Commissioner, or their nominee, must be notified before any nights away event takes place. It is best practice for at least seven days’ notice to be given
- The notification must include all the information required in the Nights Away Notification Form (NAN)
- It is the responsibility of the Permit holder to ensure that appropriate notification is made for each group they are responsible for.
- Adult groups are required to notify their relevant Commissioner of night’s away events.
9.2.4 Renewal, restriction, suspension and withdrawal of nights away permits
184.108.40.206 Any Leader who is alleged to have broken these activity rules must have their permit(s) suspended immediately.
220.127.116.11 The relevant Commissioner will promptly enquire into the allegation and determine whether the permit(s) are to be reinstated, modified or cancelled.
18.104.22.168 The relevant Commissioner may at any time impose restrictions, suspend, withdraw or not renew a permit provided they have reasonable grounds to do so. Any amendment of a permit's status is only valid if the record on Compass is updated as appropriate.
22.214.171.124 A Permit automatically expires if a member leaves The Scout Association.
9.2.5 Nights away event passports
126.96.36.199 A Scout or Explorer who wishes to lead a camping or residential event can do so when issued with an event passport, this is only valid for use with members of their own section.
188.8.131.52 Each event passport is issued for one event only by a permit holder experienced in the category of camp or residential experience proposed.
184.108.40.206 Event passports cannot be given to anyone aged over 18 and cannot be used for joint Explorer/Scout Network events.
220.127.116.11 The permit holder has responsibility for notification (see Rule 18.104.22.168).
22.214.171.124 The permit holder must provide support during both the preparation and the event itself and be satisfied that the young person has the required abilities but is not required to attend the event.
126.96.36.199 Event passports guidance (FS120085) is available.
188.8.131.52 Event passports can be downloaded from the brand centre.
184.108.40.206 Those responsible for running Scout campsites or activity centres who hold a permit may issue site specific Event Passports for an extended period (up to a maximum of 12 months) covering multiple service events for those under 18 years working on projects on their site.
220.127.116.11 The home Commissioner must be informed of those under 18 years working on service team projects at Scout campsites and activity centres, but a separate NAN form for each occasion need not be completed if a range of dates is specified.
18.104.22.168 When leading a Scout Network residential event, a passport or permit is not required, but notification (Rule 22.214.171.124) is, and the event Leader must have first-hand experience of camping or residential events and be familiar with The Scout Association’s appropriate resource material.
126.96.36.199 As part of the planning process parents must be informed of no leaders being present and of the supervision arrangements for a residential event using an event passport and be satisfied with them prior to consenting to their child taking part.
188.8.131.52 For adult / Scout ratios on Nights Away activities, see Rule 4.4
9.2.6 Family nights away
184.108.40.206 The permit holder is responsible for the overall camp and must ensure that all The Scout Association’s rules are followed regardless of the presence of parents or other adults.
220.127.116.11 Further information is available about Family Nights Away (FS120083). Other guidance is given in the publication Nights Away.
9.2.7 Expeditions and events in adventurous country and onboard craft
18.104.22.168 All expeditions within the United Kingdom are covered by this Rule. Prior notification to relevant Commissioners of expeditions involving nights away must be given as described in Rule 22.214.171.124.
126.96.36.199 Some events will require the leader to hold an appropriate Adventurous Activity Permit: Terrain One and above or on-board watercraft. There is no additional requirement to gain a Nights Away Permit if the Activity Permit included an assessment of the skills needed to supervise camping or other residential experiences.
188.8.131.52 A Visit Abroad (VA) is defined as: Any visit outside the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man on a recognised and approved scouting activity or travelling in the name of the Scouts. This applies to youth and adult members, and non-members.
Youth and adult members, and non-members located within the British Scouting Overseas area and Northern Ireland are expected to follow the Visits Abroad Process when leaving the country where their group is registered. However, exceptionally, specific alternative arrangements may be approved and documented by a relevant Commissioner.
184.108.40.206 For Northern Ireland Scouts travelling to the Republic of Ireland it is not a requirement to take out additional travel insurance, providing the trip is for no longer than 48 hours. If it is felt that cover is required for emergency medical expenses, personal possession or cancellation then it is strongly advised that travel insurance is purchased.
220.127.116.11 All members should carry a valid UK EHIC or GHIC card for travelling within many European Countries including the Republic of Ireland. UK EHIC or GHIC cards are obtainable from the NHS website.
18.104.22.168 A camp or residential experience abroad which includes Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, or Explorers, must be led by an adult holding a relevant Nights Away Permit. For Scout Network visits abroad see Rule 9.2.5.
22.214.171.124 All visits abroad must follow the Visits Abroad (VA) Process and must be approved at planning stage by the relevant Commissioner to the designation of the trip:
- England and Northern Ireland:
District or County Commissioner and Assistant County Commissioner for International.
District or Regional Commissioner and Regional International Adviser.
District or Area Commissioner and Assistant Area Commissioner for International.
District Commissioner and Assistant Area Commissioner for International.
- Countries, UK Headquarters:
UK International Commissioner, Scottish HQ Commissioner (International), Deputy Commissioner Wales – Programme (International).
126.96.36.199 The trip must then gain final approval and sign off by the relevant Commissioner before the visit leaves the UK. A VA Form must be submitted to the Assistant County Commissioner (International) or International Adviser who supports such events on behalf of United Kingdom headquarters. As part of this process, the Assistant County Commissioner for International (or equivalent) must complete the online VA notification form, notifying UK Headquarters of the trip.
More details are available regarding VA Form and guidance on the process or through notifying your Assistant County Commissioner (International) of your planned visit.
188.8.131.52 The UK Leader in Charge of a visit abroad must ensure that adequate travel insurance has been arranged for all members of the party, and that suitable InTouch arrangements are in place (Rule 9.1.1)
184.108.40.206 The UK Leader in Charge of any adventurous activities abroad must apply the appropriate rules and hold the appropriate adventurous activity permits, classifying the hills/mountains or waters as defined in Rules 9.12.4, 9.12.7, 9.13.4, although the altitude criteria for hills/mountains may not apply in some areas. In case of doubt, the Assistant County Commissioner (Activities) or Adviser should be consulted.
220.127.116.11 When overseas, UK members may take part in activities being run by members of the host Scout organisation following the host organisation’s guidance and rules. In this context, Kandersteg International Scout Centre is deemed an independent Scout organisation. There must be a Leader from the UK present who is able to stop the activity if they have safety concerns at any point. Activities forbidden by The Scout Association remain forbidden even when overseas. If using external providers overseas see POR Rule 9.6 for further guidance.
18.104.22.168 UK members, including members of the British Scouting Overseas under the age of 18, may only take part in group based hosted hospitality experiences i.e., using group accommodation. They must not participate in home-based hospitality experiences, such as in private homes.
22.214.171.124 Invitations to Scouts, Guides and adult volunteers from abroad to visit or camp in the United Kingdom should not be confirmed until approval has been obtained from the District Commissioner. The Assistant County Commissioner (International) or the County International Adviser, if there is such a County appointment, should also be informed.
126.96.36.199 In the activity rules in this chapter, where reference is made to 'Members of the Scout and Guide movements' this is taken to mean members of an Association or Federation recognised by either the World Organization of the Scout Movement or the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
188.8.131.52 The Scout Association’s Personal Accident and Medical Expenses Insurance Policy does not cover adequately foreign Scouts and Guides visiting the United Kingdom (see Chapter 8).
184.108.40.206 Unity (Scout Insurance Services) should be informed of visiting parties or individuals and will advise whether additional cover is required.
220.127.116.11 It is advised that group-based hospitality. i.e., accommodating Scouts and/or Guides from abroad in group accommodation and not in private homes, is the means of providing hospitality experiences. All of the following conditions must be met for under 18s to participate in home-based hospitality within the UK (i.e., in private homes):
- they are Scouts and/or Guides from abroad i.e., this specifically excludes UK members including members of British Scouting Overseas
- a Hosting Agreement must be in place and signed by all parties i.e., UK Leader in Charge, leader of the Scouts and/or Guides from abroad, parents of Scouts and/or Guides from abroad and all adults who will be present overnight in the private home at the time of providing the experience
- all adults who will be present overnight in the private home at the time of providing the experience must have a valid criminal record check and sign a hosting agreement
- the UK Leader in Charge must confirm the suitability of a home-based hospitality experience being offered in the UK to Scouts and/or Guides from abroad, this must be done by undertaking a home visit to the host family’s home prior to the home hospitality experience taking place (the home visit can be delegated to another UK leader
- where the home hospitality experience is for two or more nights a visit from the UK Leader in Charge, or their nominee, and the leader of the Scouts and/or Guides from abroad, or their nominee, is required during the stay and every two nights thereafter for the duration of the stay
- Scouts and/or Guides from abroad must be accommodated in at least a pair in each private home
- the UK Leader in Charge must consider appropriate control measures and contingency plans, and
- the host District Commissioner, or their nominee, must approve the home-based hospitality experience.
18.104.22.168 Further information and support can be found in Home and Hosted Hospitality Guidance (FS120821).
9.5.1 Creative activities for public performance
22.214.171.124 Creative activity intended for public performance must be approved by the relevant Commissioner, or their nominee. Public performance is defined in the relevant Staged Performances (FS120164) toolkit or Musical Performances (FS120212)
126.96.36.199 Scout and Guide joint activities must be approved by both the relevant Scout and Girlguiding Commissioners.
188.8.131.52 Performances must be delivered following the guidance and assessment criteria as laid down in the relevant toolkit.
184.108.40.206 All staged and musical performances requiring assessment (as defined in the relevant toolkit) must undertake an assessment when any of the following apply:
- the agreed period has elapsed since their last assessment, or prior to their first public performance
- their key participants significantly change as determined by the relevant Commissioner, or their designate
- the relevant Commissioner or their designate has reason or concern to submit the performance for re-assessment.
220.127.116.11 High profile musical performances assessment is granted for a maximum of two years.
18.104.22.168 Staged performances assessment is granted for a maximum of six years.
22.214.171.124 External centres and instructors can be used to deliver activities following the rules below and any activity specific rules in this chapter.
126.96.36.199 When external providers are used for the delivery of activities for members of The Scout Association, the external provider must hold a relevant accreditation or qualification for the activity they are delivering such as, for example, AALA Licence, Adventure Mark Accredited Provider, Government Agency, National Governing Body qualifications, as well as adequate insurance cover. These criteria are subject to frequent change and up to date guidance on the above can be found in the directory of activities.
As the standards and criteria for the delivery of activities overseas are very varied, it is not possible to provide specific guidance for each country and activity. Leaders therefore need to check the suitability of providers themselves and this rule supports that process with additional guidance.
188.8.131.52 When using external providers overseas, the guidance for activities overseas must be followed. If the leader in charge feels that the activity is not safe, then the activity must be stopped immediately.
184.108.40.206 External activity providers must provide evidence of holding a public liability insurance policy which covers their activities to a minimum level of five million pounds.
220.127.116.11 When using external activity providers, members must follow all rules relevant to the activity as contained within Chapter 9, with the exception of any which explicitly relate to the delivery of Scout-led activities.
Adventurous activities are:
- climbing and abseiling, except:
- climbs using auto belay systems (systems that lower a climber to the ground without any human intervention)
- cycling in cycle environment one and two
- hillwalking in terrain one and two
- snowsports (except artificial slopes and nursery slopes)
- all water activities, except swimming, on class B1, B2, B3 or A waters
- all motorised water activities and SCUBA activities on class C waters.
Members of the Scouts wishing to run any adventurous activity must hold the appropriate activity permit where any member of the activity group is under the age of 18 or any adult with additional needs, disabilities or life-limiting conditions who have additional support to access scouting. For joint activities with under and over 18 members, the activity permit scheme applies. Where these activities are being run by non-members, see Rule 9.6 Use of External Centres and Instructors.
This rule also applies to staff and employees operating on behalf of The Scout Association or any Group, District, County or Country thereof.
A Commissioner issues a permit on the recommendation of an assessor and following the process and content of the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme – Commissioners’ Guide (FS120103).
18.104.22.168 [Previously Rule 9.7(d) in January 2023 POR]
Permits can be granted for personal, leadership and supervisory Details of which are available for each activity in the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme (FS120100). The remit of each permit can be found in the appropriate factsheet for the specific activity, although all permits can have additional restrictions placed on them based on the skills and experience of the permit holder. There is a list of all activities.
There is no minimum or maximum age to hold a leadership or supervisory permit except any imposed by outside agencies. There is no minimum age to hold a personal permit but the maximum age is up to, but not including, the holder’s 18th birthday.
22.214.171.124 Members 18 years and over must hold a full role allowing them to lead regulated activity in order to hold and adventurous activity permit.
County assessor or external assessor, meeting the assessor requirements outlined in Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme – Approved Assessors (FS120104), may make a recommendation for a permit.
A permit must expire within five years. When a permit expires the permit holder must apply for, be assessed for and be granted a new permit before they are able to run the activity again.
Where a leadership or supervisory permit holder is under 18 and the required safeguarding checks and adult training for an adult holding a permit have not been carried out, their permit expires on their 18th When they turn 18 they can be granted a new permit, once the required safeguarding checks and adult training have been carried out, without the need for another assessment, to expire within five years of their initial permit being granted.
All groups undertaking adventurous activities must have access to someone (this need not be the permit holder) holding a relevant and current first aid qualification and access to suitable first aid materials. For adventurous activities this must be immediate access. The detail of the first aid skills required will be identified by the risk assessment, but the minimum qualifications (or equivalents) (see 126.96.36.199).
Once holding a permit, an activity leader may operate with members from another District or County, subject to the normal approval of the District/County Commissioner of the members concerned.
When a permit holder leaves the Scouts, or no longer has a role which allows them to lead regulated activity, their permit(s) automatically expire on the date that they leave.
Where a permit holder is not following the activity rules or running the activity in an unsafe manner, their Commissioner must review and further restrict or cancel their permit.
Each County is required to carry out a self-moderation of their management of the adventurous activity permit scheme by the end of each January in accordance with the details in Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme – Moderation (FS120106).
The County Commissioner is responsible for:
- agreeing the County self-moderation as an accurate record
- ensuring action plans are in place where any minimum standards are not met
- ensuring any agreed action plans are carried out
Where a County is selected for national sampling of their self-moderation they need to send their completed County self-moderation form to the UK Headquarters Activities Team at Gilwell Park before the end of February.
Where an adventurous activity (as defined in the introduction to Rule 9.7) involves 100 or more people, the activity must be specially approved by the home District or County Commissioner(s) and advance notice in writing must be given to the host County Commissioner(s) at least two months before the event, together with the following details:
- the numbers and age ranges of those involved
- the names and addresses of the responsible Leaders
- the outline programme
- the proposed location(s)
- the proposed transport arrangements, including those to be used during the event
- the proposed method of liaison with local landowners
In all such cases involving the activities covered in this chapter, the organisers must:
- carry out a risk assessment
- consider and document the arrangement for the supervision of participants, including non-members and the procedures to be used in the event of an emergency
- submit a safety plan to the home District or County Commissioner(s) for approval
For large scale adventurous activities where alternative written safety procedures are in place the County Commissioner, in consultation with the relevant County Activity Adviser, may agree to an alternative system of supervision, checking and control of participating groups.
Members over the age of 18 participating in activities must follow the rules laid out in Chapter 9, with the exception of rules 9.7, 188.8.131.52-Safety, 184.108.40.206, 9.12.2, 9.12.9, 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168,.
Where any participant in the activity group is aged under 18 or any adult with additional needs, disabilities or life-limiting conditions who have additional support to access scouting, all rules in Chapter 9 apply, including Rule 9.7 Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme.
When members over the age of 18 undertake activities covered by rules 9.7, 22.214.171.124, 9.12.2, 9.12.4-Safety, 9.12.9, 126.96.36.199,188.8.131.52, members can choose an appropriate management system for these activities, members may choose to follow existing systems such as the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme or may put in place other controls.
Any activity that is banned applies to all age groups (see 184.108.40.206).
Each activity must have someone designated as leader in charge. This is not a role but a set of tasks someone must ensure are undertaken. There are full details on the leader in charge.
Each participant must understand and accept the risks involved in the activity and the control measure in place to manage these risks. This can be done through sharing of risk assessments and briefings, the leader in charge must be satisfied that everyone understands this before the activity can start.
Further guidance on the management of activities for groups over the age of 18 can be found in Adult Groups in Activities (FS120087)
A joint activity is one where youth members of both organisations are present.
220.127.116.11 Joint activities involving members of the Scouts with members of Girlguiding must be undertaken following the guidance in Joint Activites with Girlguiding (FS120007). Satisfaction in relation to Girlguiding policies and procedures will be monitored and maintained by Headquarters for the whole Association.
18.104.22.168 Joint activities involving members of the Scouts with members of other organisations (except Girlguiding) must be approved by the County Commissioner and following the guidance in Joint Activities with other organisations (FS120013). Satisfaction about policies and procedures of these other organisations is the responsibility of the County Commissioner or their representative.
22.214.171.124 Those responsible for accepting bookings from other youth organisations for use of Scout camp sites, activity centres or other Scout owned facilities must satisfy themselves that:
- the Safeguarding and Safety Polices of The Scout Association will be adhered to
- all adults in the party have been deemed suitable to work with young people by their own organisation
- they are aware of The Scout Association’s internal rules and good practice.
126.96.36.199 The above should be an integral part of any booking procedure.
188.8.131.52 Scout Counties, Districts and Groups are able to make their own decisions on the use of their facilities. Much will depend on the situation locally.
This rule applies to all forms of air experience flying and flying instruction undertaken by members of the movement, including hovercrafting.
Before any member of the movement proceeds on to any private, civil or Service airfield the permission of the controlling body of the airfield must be obtained.
Any individual or party must be briefed as detailed in Access to Airfields (FS120702).
The above rules do not apply when visits to civil airports are confined to the spectators' enclosure or to Service establishments and civil airfields on open days or at air shows when using public enclosures.
The pilot must comply with these, supplementing or replacing them for licensing, medical and class/type ratings:
- the Air Navigation Order
- Rules of the Air
- Joint Aviation Requirements – Operations
- any Civil Aviation Authority regulations
- any International Civil Aviation Organization regulations.
The aircraft must comply with these, supplementing or replacing them for registration and maintenance:
- the Air Navigation Order
- joint Aviation Requirements – Operations
- any Civil Aviation Authority regulations
- any International Civil Aviation Organization regulations
- requirements of the Light Aircraft Association, where they have delegated authority
- requirements of British Gliding Association, where they have delegated authority
- requirements of British Microlight Aircraft Association, where they have delegated authority.
The aircraft operator must hold insurance as per one of (a) or (b):
- an Aviation Liability Insurance policy with a Combined Single Limit in respect of Third Party and Passenger Liability complying with the requirements of The Civil Aviation (Insurance) Regulations 2005 or any amendment or replacement thereof,
- an Aviation Liability Insurance policy with a Split Liability complying with the requirements of The Civil Aviation (Insurance) Regulations 2005 or any amendment or replacement thereof in respect to Third Party Liability and having a minimum in respect of Passenger Liability of one million pounds.
In either case where the aircraft is a helicopter the Passenger Liability limit must be to a minimum Level of five million pounds.
Suggested Endorsement: “It is hereby noted that this policy includes the interest of The Scout Association as an additional insured in respect of flights involving members of the Scout movement.”
Where this endorsement is not in place an indemnity to Principal Clause should be contained within their policy documentation. Further support regarding this can be obtained from Unity Insurance.
All members undertaking Air Activities (including hovercrafting) are required to notify the Scout Information Centre using the Air Notifications form before or immediately after the activity.
Any member of the movement engaged in any flying activity must be given prior instruction in:
- the use of the aircraft safety harness and other safety equipment
- the purpose of the flight, the sensations likely to be experienced and the method of clearing the ears on ascent and descent
- the emergency evacuation procedures including the use of an emergency parachute where appropriate.
184.108.40.206 Where payment is involved, the flight must be under the provision of an Air Operators Certificate (Balloon) holder.
220.127.116.11 Where payment is not involved the pilot must hold a UK Private Pilot’s Licence (Balloons and Airships) and have at least 100 hours as pilot in charge of the type of balloon (hot air or gas) being used.
18.104.22.168 Hang gliding, paragliding and parascending training must only be undertaken under the supervision of a person holding a British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Senior Instructor Licence operating within a BHPA registered school.
22.214.171.124 Hang gliders, paragliders and parascending equipment purchased or used by members must comply with the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association airworthiness requirements as set down in their Technical Manual.
126.96.36.199 Hang gliding, paragliding and parascending must be undertaken only at British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association approved sites.
188.8.131.52 Members must only undertake dual/tandem flights on hang gliders, paragliders or wing ascending canopies (this specifically excludes round canopies) with a pilot holding the appropriate British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association dual licence.
Members are not permitted to undertake dual/tandem flights using round canopies.
184.108.40.206 When overseas, professional instructors/pilots must hold the relevant national qualification or equivalent.
220.127.116.11 The flying of powered hang gliders and powered paragliders must fully comply with the appropriate rules above.
Hovercrafting delivered as Scout-led activity falls within the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme, see rule 9.7.
18.104.22.168 A helmet must be worn by anyone taking part in an organised Scout hovercraft activity, unless:
- a Sikh wearing a Turban chooses not to wear a helmet, and they ensure there is no loose fabric that could be drawn into the fan. This does not apply to a Sikh wearing a Top Knot
- a medical or additional need causes challenges with wearing a conventional outdoor activity helmet, see Activity Helmets (FS120430) for guidance.
22.214.171.124 Buoyancy aids must be worn at all times when on board a hovercraft. This applies to activities both on land and water, even when water is not in sight.
126.96.36.199 A remote cut off device must be fitted to any craft being used for solo training.
188.8.131.52 Hovercrafting over water must only take place on inland waters of Class C, B1 or B2 waters (as defined in Rule 184.108.40.206).
220.127.116.11 The flight must be under the supervision of a British Gliding Association Flying Instructor at a British Gliding Association registered club. Age, weight and maturity of the Scout member under training must be considered by the Chief Flying Instructor (or their delegated representative) of the club.
18.104.22.168 For motor / self-launching glider requirements see Rule 22.214.171.124 Powered Aircraft Flying.
126.96.36.199 Members must only undertake parachute training when supervised by a person holding an instructor rating of the British Parachute Association.
188.8.131.52 Members may undertake parachuting or skydiving through a recognised British Parachuting Association centre.
184.108.40.206 Powered Flying involving payment (in accordance with the current Air Navigation Order):
a. the flight must be provided by an Air Operators Certificate holder
b. if the flight is of an instructive nature, it must be under the supervision of a flying instructor holding a valid JAR – FCL Flight Instructor Rating (or Part-FCL equivalent) or a Civil Aviation Authority registered training facility or International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) equivalent.
The age, weight and maturity of the Scout member under training must be considered by the Chief Flying Instructor (or their delegated representative) of the facility providing the instruction.
Any Scout members who are observers in passenger seats must not pay anything.
220.127.116.11 Powered Flying where no payment is involved.
The requirement for pilot experience level is at least 200 hours total of which 100 hours are as pilot in command of an aircraft including both of these conditions:
- at least 20 hours as pilot in command of an aircraft of the same type as that being used to carry Scout members of which at least 3 hours must have been within the preceding 90 days
- at least 3 take offs and 3 landings as the sole manipulator of the controls of an aeroplane of the same type as that being used to carry Scout members within the preceding 30 days.
Motor / Self launching glider flights must be under the supervision of a flying instructor holding a British Gliding Association Motor Gliding Instructor Rating or a Flight Instructor (SLMG) Rating at a British Gliding Association registered club. Age, weight and maturity of the Scout member under training must be considered by the Chief Flying Instructor (or their delegated representative) of the club.
Microlighting must be under the supervision of a holder of the National Private Pilot’s Licence (Microlight and Powered Parachute) or a UK PPL or JAR –FCL PPL with microlight class rating and following the guidance set out by the British Microlight Aircraft Association.
These are defined as aircraft without pilots on board and fall within two categories based on the way they are controlled:
UAVs are flown using a remote control and are limited by the range of the transmitter, this includes all remote-controlled aerial devices such as model aeroplanes and helicopters, including devices commonly referred to as drones but operating under remote control. These devices may be electric or petrol powered.
Drones are devices which are programmable and/or automated using an on-board computer system.
18.104.22.168 All activities involving UAVs must follow the regulations set out by the Civil Aviation Authority.
- Scout led use of drones is not permitted and is not insured by The Scout Association. Members must only take part in activities using automated drones if this activity is operated by an external provider with appropriate aviation insurance cover
- Members may use UAVs which are operated using a remote control
- When operating UAVs, members must ensure that the site chosen for this activity is appropriate, consideration must be made to proximity to airfields and other similar environments as well as overhead power lines, nature reserves and/or private property
- Permission must be granted from the owner of the land and/or property that will be under the planned flightpath of the UAV, especially where images are being captured.
22.214.171.124 If uncertain about the insurance requirements when operating using UAVs or drones, contact must be made with Unity (Scout Insurance Services).
Archery delivered as a Scout-led activity falls within the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme, see rule 9.7.
126.96.36.199 Archery must be run as specified in rule 9.7 or the externally led archery page of scouts.org.uk
188.8.131.52 Shooting at targets representing human beings or animals is not permitted as a part of any Scout activity, nor on property owned or leased by, or used in the name of, the Scout movement, including Archery Tag and other combat style archery activities as per POR 184.108.40.206.
220.127.116.11 The use of crossbows as a scouting activity is in 9.6.12 Shooting.
All fencing activities must be carried out using the standards and controls laid down by British Fencing.
18.104.22.168 Participants under 18 taking part in laser games must have parental permission.
22.214.171.124 Participants under 18 taking part in laser clay pigeon shooting must have parental permission
126.96.36.199 When taking part in paintballing members must:
- use external operators who are members of the UK Paintball Association (UKPBA), the UK Paintball Sports Federation (UKPSF) or an equivalent body
- have parental permission for all participants under 18s.
The term ‘shooting’ applies to shooting activities using firearms as defined in law (including air guns with energy greater than 1 Joule), and also to the use of crossbows with a draw weight of 1.4kg or greater, re-enactment guns.
The term ‘shooting’ does not apply to paintballing, the use of laser guns and the use of toy guns.
Shooting at targets representing human beings or animals is not permitted as a part of any Scout activity, nor on property owned or leased by, or used in the name of, the Scout movement.
Before planning shooting as an activity, Leaders should take account of local feelings on shooting.
The parent/guardian should be supplied with detailed information on the nature of the activity when permission is sought. An example form is available on the shooting pages of the website. Where other forms are used, they should at least include this information.
When taking part in shooting activities members must have parental permission for all under 18’s taking part.
No firearms, may be bought, owned or used by any Scout unit or campsite unless the relevant line manager has made arrangements to ensure that possession and use complies with all statutory requirements and any applicable bylaws.
Firearms must only be taken on to Scout premises if permission has been obtained from the owner or their representative and the person responsible for the activity (that is, site warden or manager, or District Commissioner).
Members operating firearms as defined in the law must do so in line with the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) and other relevant legislation.
Members operating air guns and firearms in Northern Ireland must adhere to the Firearms (Northern Ireland) Order 2004.
Members operating in Scotland must hold a ‘target shooting club’s approval’ issued by Police Scotland. The storage and operation of air guns must be accordance with the Air Weapon and Licencing Scotland Act 2015.
Members running events involving air gun activities in Scotland must hold an Event Permit issued by Police Scotland and operate air guns in accordance with the Air Weapon and Licencing (Scotland) Act 2015.
Members travelling to Scotland from elsewhere in the UK and transporting their airguns in order to provide shooting activities require a Visitor Permit issued by Police Scotland. This must be acquired prior to the visit for either an individual or a group. Members must ensure that all shooting activities are carried out in line with the Air Weapon and Licencing (Scotland) Act 2015.
Wherever practical, shooting ranges should be out of bounds, except during the specified times for shooting, where the range and surrounding areas must be managed appropriately.
In every case, shooting must be supervised by a competent and appropriately qualified Range Conducting Officer who must have a knowledge of the correct use of the firearms being used and shall be responsible for ensuring compliance by all persons in the range with the relevant range safety and other rules.
Members may use firearms for historical re-enactment purposes as a member or guest of a club affiliated to the National Association of Re-enactment Societies and operating in accordance with their standards and codes of practice. Members using firearms under this rule remain subject to Rule 188.8.131.52 (which forbids shooting at targets representing human beings or animals).
The person in charge of crossbow activities where the crossbow has a draw weight in excess of 1.4kg must hold a minimum of YPS Tutor Sport Crossbow qualification from the National Small-Bore Rifle Association (NSRA). Where members taking part in the activity are under the age of 18, the Range Officer or another person supervising participants in the activity must be aged not less than 21.
Members may practise shooting with firearms, whether requiring a Firearms Certificate or not, as a member or guest of a club approved for this purpose by the relevant Government Department
Members may practise shooting with firearms, whether requiring a Firearms Certificate or not, on Service premises under the supervision of an authorised member of the armed forces
Members may practise shooting with firearms, whether requiring a Firearms Certificate or not, if the firearms are shotguns, clay pigeon shooting under the standards and controls of the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA).
Members may practise shooting with air guns which do not require a Firearms Certificate [except that in Northern Ireland a Firearms Certificate is always required] as follows:
- the ranges must have been properly constructed to comply with guidelines issued by the NSRA or the National Rifle Association (NRA) and with any bye laws relevant to the location of the range
- the guns used must not be of an automatic nature
- the pellets used must be ‘diabolo shaped’ and of soft deformable metal such as lead
- the Range Conducting Officer must hold one of the qualifications listed in the current issue of the factsheet and, if any of those shooting is under the age of 14, the Range Conducting Officer or another person supervising participants in the activity must be aged not less than 21
- for a temporary range, the Range Officer shall prescribe appropriate range safety and other rules, taking account of the particular circumstances of the range
- where the air guns being used are of greater than .177inch (4.5mm) calibre, shooting must take place outdoors on a range with a minimum distance to target of 12m.
184.108.40.206 Further guidance is available to support all of the above on the shooting pages of scouts.org.uk.
220.127.116.11 The throwing of tomahawks and small hawks must follow the guidance in Tomahawk Throwing (FS120011).
18.104.22.168 Throwing at targets representing human beings or animals is not permitted as a part of any Scout activity, nor on property owned or leased by, or used in the name of, the Scout movement.
22.214.171.124 Throwing knives is not permitted within The Scout Association (see rule 126.96.36.199 Banned Activities).
188.8.131.52 Aerial runways must only be constructed under the personal supervision of an experienced and responsible adult, who must also supervise its use and operation.
184.108.40.206 Aerial runways must be constructed and maintained in accordance with the Aerial Runway Code (FS120006).
220.127.116.11 The responsible adult must ensure that:
- all equipment is checked before use
- the entire structure is checked regularly during the activity for safety.
18.104.22.168 The only persons who may use an aerial runway constructed by members of the Scout movement are members of the Scout and Guide movements.
Caving and mine exploration delivered as Scout-led activity falls within the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme, see rule 9.7.
22.214.171.124 These rules apply to:
- all caving systems (excluding show caves)
- all mine exploration (excluding working show mines)
126.96.36.199 The leader holding the permit must ensure that before the party sets out it must:
- have received adequate instruction in equipment and safety procedures
- be carrying the appropriate equipment.
188.8.131.52 The leader holding the permit must have:
- taken advice on local knowledge, weather conditions and party size
- considered the use of local or professional guides.
184.108.40.206 No underground activity must not be undertaken by a party of fewer than four.
220.127.116.11 A detailed plan must always be left on the surface with a responsible person in the host area. Route plans produced locally must contain at least the same information as the UK Headquarters template (FS120451).
18.104.22.168 The plan should be cancelled or collected when the activity is completed.
22.214.171.124 All mines used for mine exploration must have a current inspection report covering the sections used that must be accessible to, and have been read by, the permit holder.
Climbing and abseiling delivered as Scout-led activity falls within the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme, see rule 9.7.
126.96.36.199 When climbing or abseiling on natural features, a climbing helmet must always be worn, unless:
- a Sikh wearing a Turban chooses not to wear a helmet. This does not apply to a Sikh wearing a Top Knot
- a medical or additional need causes challenges with wearing a conventional climbing helmet, see Activity Helmets (FS120430) for guidance
188.8.131.52 When climbing or abseiling on artificial walls using an auto belay system, the activity risk assessment must determine the use of helmets.
184.108.40.206 All climbing equipment should be used following the manufacturer’s guidelines. Where it is not possible to follow manufacturer’s guidelines a backup / redundancy must be built into this element of the setup.
220.127.116.11 The storing, maintenance and replacement of all climbing equipment should follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
18.104.22.168 Automatic belay systems (systems that lower a climber down to the ground when they let go of the climbing wall without any human intervention) can be led by either:
- A climbing permit holder (within the remit of their permit), or
- Following a written operating manual which must be agreed by a County Climbing Assessor
22.214.171.124 Further information about the automatic belay systems and mobile climbing walls can be found in Climbing – auto belays and mobile walls (FS120427).
126.96.36.199 Abseiling and climbing activities can be run for non-members, when carried out following these rules.
NOTE: Rule 9.12.4 is now for implementation by Counties by 31 August 2024. During this time, where the revised processes have not yet been implemented locally, reference should be made to Rule 9.7, 9.26, 9.27, 9.28, 9.29, 9.32 and 9.71 October 2022 version of POR.
Off-road cycling in Environments one and two (as defined in rules 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206) delivered as Scout-led activity falls within the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme, see rule 9.7.
220.127.116.11 A cycle safety helmet must be worn by anyone taking part in an organised Scout cycling activity, unless:
- a Sikh wearing a Turban chooses not to wear a helmet. This does not apply to a Sikh wearing a Top Knot
- a medical or additional need causes challenges with wearing a conventional cycle safety helmet, see Activity Helmets (FS120430) for guidance
18.104.22.168 There must be a responsible person not taking part in the activity. They must:
- know the details of the journey
- be informed when the activity is completed
- be informed if the participants have returned safely
22.214.171.124 Emergency cards must be carried by the party. Any emergency cards produced locally must contain:
- what to do in an emergency
- party name
- base location and contact point if available
- party leader name
- InTouch system details
126.96.36.199 Cycling activity in cycle environment zero must follow the guidance in Cycling (FS120422).
188.8.131.52 Cycling activity in any cycle environment one or two must be under the direct control of, or supervised by, a person holding the appropriate permit (see Rule 9.7).
184.108.40.206 Cycle environment zero
- cycle environment zero must not meet any of the criteria for cycle environment one or two.
- cycle environment zero must be no more than 2.5km, or 30 minutes walking distance, from access for an emergency vehicle, and one of:
- a flat space constructed of a solid surface such as concrete or flat grassed areas
- a private or public road
- a marked cycle path or cycle route
- a bridleway
- a family designated cycle route
- all cycling manoeuvres within cycle environment zero must be possible to perform:
- at a low speed, such as walking speed
- while remaining seated
- with both wheels of the bicycle on the ground
220.127.116.11 Cycle environment one
- cycle environment one must not meet any of the criteria for cycle environment two.
- cycle environment one must be no more than 2.5km or 30 minutes walking distance from access for an emergency vehicle, and one of:
- a blue cycle run at trail centres
- a route defined as rollable, with drop offs no higher than hub height
- a route with an obvious line choice
18.104.22.168 Cycle environment two
- cycle environment two meets any of the following criteria:
- red and black cycle runs at trail centres
- drop offs greater than hub height
- there is not always an obvious line choice
- is over 2.5km or 30 minutes walking distance from access for an emergency vehicle
22.214.171.124 See Cycling (FS120422) for help to define the environment.
- A high ropes activity is any off-ground activity, not covered by the adventurous activity permit scheme that should use a belay or similar safety system such as cow’s tails or a trolley system. Examples of what activities are included within this can be found in High ropes (FS120423).
- A temporary high rope structure is a high ropes construction erected for a single event or no longer than a week, whichever is longer.
- A permanent high rope structure is a high ropes construction not classed as temporary.
126.96.36.199 Temporary high ropes activities
- Construction of temporary high ropes activities must follow the guidelines contained in High ropes (FS120423).
- A temporary high ropes activity must be constructed and operated by one of:
- the holder of a climbing permit, which includes selecting anchors and setting up belay systems, operating within the limits of their permit for group size, supervision levels and so on
- the holder of a caving or mine exploration permit, which includes vertical pitches, operating within the limits of their permit for group size, supervision levels and so on
- using a setup, with a written operating manual and constructed by a competent person, which is all agreed by a County Climbing Assessor or a European Ropes Course Association (ERCA) instructor qualified to rescue (or equivalent or higher)
Further details of what should be included within the operating manual and how to find and check an ERCA instructor can be found in High ropes (FS120423).
188.8.131.52 Permanent high ropes activities
- construction and maintenance of a permanent high ropes structure must follow the guidelines in AAIAC (Adventure Activities Industry Advisory Committee) – The UK Ropes Course Guide. This can be found in High ropes (FS120423).
- a permanent high ropes structure must have a written operating manual which needs to be approved by a Technical Adviser. The minimum qualification of a Technical Adviser is Mountain Instructor Award (MIA) or a European Ropes Course Association (ERCA) qualified high ropes instructor qualified to rescue (or equivalent or higher).
Further details of what should be included within the operating manual and how to find a Technical Adviser can be found in High ropes (FS120423).
For activities in Terrain One and Two as defined in Rule 9.12.7:
184.108.40.206 Parties must consist of no more than eight, but no less than four people, except as provided for in Rule 220.127.116.11 below.
18.104.22.168 Each party must have a leader holding a permit or a designated party leader.
22.214.171.124 If more than one group is formed the parties must use different routes or, if using the same route, leave a clear time and distance interval between them – so that they do not become mixed.
126.96.36.199 When walking directly to, and off the hills after, a multi pitch climb the party size may be less than four.
188.8.131.52 No leader with a permit to supervise the activity must not do so with more than three parties, including their own.
184.108.40.206 When leaders holding permits are checking on the safety of Scout parties or their routes, the party size may be less than four. All the members of such a reduced party must each have the skills and experience required to travel safely in the hills in such circumstances, must follow rules regarding route plans and should plan to spend the minimum of time on their own.
Terrain Zero describes terrain which meets one of criteria (a) or (b):
a. is below 500 metres above sea level, AND
is within 30 minutes travelling time from a road which can take an ordinary road-going ambulance or a building which is occupied (such as a farm) or another means of summoning help (such as a telephone box) AND
has no steep slopes or rocky terrain, where a slip may result in a fall.
(Routes or areas where the average person would need to regularly use their hands at least for balance if not for actual progress. This does not stop people from using their hands as an aid to confidence.)
b. terrain which is a road, or path adjacent to a road, on which you would expect to see traffic.
Activities undertaken in Terrain Zero must follow the guidance in Terrain Zero Activities (FS120426).
Terrain One describes terrain which meets all of criteria (a) and (b) and (c) and (d):
- is below 800 metres but more than 500 metres above sea level OR is more than 30 minutes but less than three hours travelling time from a road which can take an ordinary road-going ambulance or a building which is occupied (such as a farm) or another means of calling help (such as a telephone box).
- has no steep slopes or rocky terrain, where a slip may result in a fall (routes or areas where the average person would need to regularly use their hands at least for balance if not for actual progress. This does not stop people from using their hands as an aid to confidence.)
- is not a road, or path adjacent to a road, on which you would expect to see traffic.
- is not Terrain Two.
Terrain Two describes terrain which meets both of criteria (a) and (b):
a. is over 800 metres above sea level,
OR lies more than three hours travelling time from a road which can take an ordinary road-going ambulance or a building which is occupied, such as a farm, or another means of calling help, such as a telephone box,
OR has steep slopes or rocky terrain, where a slip may result in a fall including routes or areas where the average person would need to regularly use their hands at least for balance if not for actual progress. This excludes the planned use of ropes, but ropes may be used to give confidence, or in an emergency situation. This also excludes climbing activities.
b. is not a road, or path adjacent to a road, on which you would expect to see traffic.
When in terrain or using skills that have not been assessed for a Terrain Two hillwalking or a climbing permit, such as glaciers, scrambling and via ferrata, then specific approval is required for the activity from the responsible Commissioner based on advice from someone with knowledge and experience of the activity. Specific approval must only be granted a holder of a Terrain Two hillwalking or climbing permit.
220.127.116.11 All activities in Terrain One or Two must be under the direct control of, or supervised by, a person holding the appropriate permit (see Rule 9.7).
18.104.22.168 All activities in Terrain Zero must be approved by the relevant Commissioner (see Rule 9.1.2).
For activities in Terrain One and Two as defined in Rules 9.29 & 9.30:
22.214.171.124 A detailed route plan must always be left with a responsible person not taking part in the activity.
126.96.36.199 Any route planning forms produced locally must contain at least the same information as sought in the Headquarters form.
188.8.131.52 The route plan should be cancelled or collected when the activity is completed.
184.108.40.206 Emergency cards must be carried by the party.
220.127.116.11 Any emergency cards produced locally must contain the same information as sought in the Headquarters form.
18.104.22.168 When members take part in non-Scout events, the above rules may be varied at the discretion of their County Commissioner.
22.214.171.124 Activities involving horse riding or pony trekking must be carried out using a British equestrian Federation member body approved centre or club.
126.96.36.199 A horse riding safety helmet must be worn by anyone taking part in an organised Scout riding activity, unless:
- a Sikh wearing a Turban chooses not to wear a helmet. This does not apply to a Sikh wearing a Top Knot
- a medical or additional need causes challenges with wearing a conventional horse riding safety helmet, see Activity Helmets (FS120430) for guidance.
188.8.131.52 All martial arts must be carried out using the standards and controls laid down by the appropriate Sports Council recognised National Governing Body.
184.108.40.206 Motorised activities away from public roads may be undertaken when: Participants must wear appropriate safety equipment for the activity being undertaken, this includes helmets for all off road and racing activities.
220.127.116.11 Safety briefings must be given to all participants and marshals.
18.104.22.168 The activity must take place in an area with clear separation and boundary between participants and spectators/ the public.
22.214.171.124 The maximum speed must be considered based on the age and ability of the participant, the vehicle, the supervision, the terrain and any additional factors including legal restrictions on age such as quad biking.
Snowsports (except artificial slopes and nursery slopes) delivered as Scout-led activity falls within the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme, see rule 9.7.
126.96.36.199 Snowsports environment definitions:
- Off Piste – Outside of marked and patrolled snowsports areas
- On Piste – Within the marked and patrolled snowsports areas, including snowparks, except for those defined as nursery slopes
- Nursery slopes – on piste runs designated for beginners by the body responsible for the snowsports area
- Artificial slopes – either an indoor slope or an outdoor dry ski slope; except snowparks.
188.8.131.52 Short term personal permit exemptions can be granted by appropriately qualified people, as described in snowsports (FS120457)
184.108.40.206 For off piste snowsports, the relevant Terrain 1 or Terrain 2 Hillwalking Winter permit is also required.
220.127.116.11 A safety helmet must be worn by anyone taking part in Scout snowsports activities, unless:
- Cross country skiing or ski touring when in walking mode.
- a medical or additional need causes challenges with wearing a conventional snowsports helmet, see Activity Helmets (FS120430) for guidance.
18.104.22.168 More information regarding these rules can be found in Winter Sports (FS120424)
All water activities, except non-motorised and SCUBA on class C waters, delivered as Scout-led activity falls within the Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme, see rule 9.7.
Members taking part in any water activity, i.e. those which take place on or in the water, must be able to demonstrate to a suitable person their ability to swim 50 metres in clothing and equipment appropriate to the activity (where a buoyancy aid or life jacket is worn for the activity this may be used for the demonstration) and keep afloat for five minutes. Anyone unable to meet these requirements is classified as a non-swimmer and must follow Rule 22.214.171.124.
A non-swimmer may take part in water activities, at the discretion of the person in charge, only if certain precautions are taken:
- any non-swimmer must wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid of approved design and be in the charge of an adult. This does not apply for swimming, paddling or activities near water
- there must be no more than one non-swimmer in any craft, unless a one-to-one ratio is maintained i.e. one competent adult to one non-swimmer
- in the case of single-handed craft this should only be on C or B1 Waters (see Rule 9.13.4) with supervision on a one-to-one basis i.e. one competent adult to one non-swimmer.
- where non-swimmers are taking part in swimming activities (as defined in Rule 9.13.10), they must be under the direct supervision of an adult in the water. This must not exceed two non-swimmers to one adult.
The above conditions do not apply when below decks, protected in larger vessels or when using recognised forms of public transport.
126.96.36.199 All members taking part in water activities, excluding scuba diving, snorkelling, surfing, swimming and paddling (as defined in rule 9.13.9) must wear an EC approved buoyancy aid or lifejacket appropriate to the activity, weather conditions, size of the participant. This does not apply when below decks. Further guidance can be found in FS120603 Water Safety (incorporating Lifejackets and Buoyancy Aids).
188.8.131.52 The person in charge of any water activity must ensure that the lifejackets and buoyancy aids being used are fit for purpose and suitable for the activity on each occasion that it is used.
184.108.40.206 All waters used for scouting activities must be classified as C, B1, B2, B3 or A.
Safe inland waters which are less than 100m wide where flow causes little effect (including swimming pools).
Sheltered inland waters and other sheltered waters where currents and tides create no real danger.
The sea up to one mile from the shore but excluding more dangerous waters close inshore; more sheltered parts of estuaries; large inland lakes and lochs; inland waters British Canoeing Grade 2.
The sea up to three miles from the shore but excluding more dangerous waters close inshore; busy commercial ports, exposed parts of estuaries; inland waters British Canoeing Grade 3.
Open sea more than three miles from the shore, and other dangerous waters close inshore; inland waters British Canoeing Grade 4 and above.
The National Directory of Waters is available online at scouts.org.uk/waterways.
220.127.116.11 All water activities on class C waters (excluding swimming – see Rules 9.13.8-9.13.10, SCUBA and motorised activities) must be approved by the relevant Commissioner and delivered to the standards contained in Class C Waters (FS120623)
18.104.22.168 All boats owned by or on long term loan to the movement must have a unique identifier clearly marked on the craft.
22.214.171.124 When members take part in scouting activities on waters controlled by the Canal and River Trust the members or group must be identifiable as part of The Scout Association to gain access to the waters within the TSA bulk license agreement.
126.96.36.199 All boats must have adequate marine insurance cover. Third party Public Liability cover is a minimum requirement.
Note: Craft which are foot or hand propelled, sailing craft or other craft not exceeding 5m in length are automatically covered for Public Liability under The Scout Association’s main policy. Any other craft over 5m in length or motorised vessels etc, or those wishing to insure against damage to the Scout boat will require additional marine cover. Further guidance is available from Unity.
188.8.131.52 The person in charge of any water activity must ensure that the craft and associated equipment are fit for purpose and suitable for the activity on each occasion that it is used.
184.108.40.206 When vessels are hired or chartered, the activity rules of the The Scout Association apply.
220.127.116.11 Before entering into a hire agreement which includes an indemnity clause i.e., where it is assumed that the hirer will be responsible for damage, injury or loss, the agreement must be referred to Unity (email@example.com).
18.104.22.168 Where the vessel is chartered to be under the command of professional staff, the rules relating to permits do not apply.
22.214.171.124 When taking members as passengers on hired sailing or powered craft, the leader responsible must:
- have reasonable grounds to believe the person in charge of the craft, who must be either the owner or authorised by the owner, has the necessary knowledge, skill and experience
- ensure that the party understands the discipline necessary for safety including any local regulations or bye laws which may apply.
126.96.36.199 When in water that is, for the individual taking part, below waist height (or knee height in moving water) when standing, leaders must:
- conduct a risk assessment of the activity
- provide appropriate individual(s) as safety cover and equipment as identified by the risk assessment
- ensure any safety cover is in an appropriate position to provide effective cover
- ensure the participants are clearly visible above the water level at all times
188.8.131.52 ALL swimming
When in water that is, for the individual taking part, above waist height (or knee height in moving water) when standing, leaders must follow the rules on swimming except where:
- taking part in scuba diving or snorkelling
- it is a river crossing during hillwalking under the leadership of someone holding a hillwalking permit
- it is underground during caving or mine exploration under the leadership of someone holding a caving or mine exploration permit
184.108.40.206 When members of the movement take part in swimming in Class C waters including swimming pools:
- there must be one responsible person in overall control who must meet the requirements of any written operating procedures
- this person must carry out a risk assessment for the location and activity
- If there are written operating procedures, this person must meet their requirements
220.127.116.11 If there are no written operating procedures, this person must ensure that there are enough people to provide the safety cover identified in the risk assessment and that the safety cover meets the requirements in Swimming (FS120620).
18.104.22.168 When members take part in swimming in open waters of Class B1 or higher, there must be one responsible person in overall control who must:
- meet the requirements of any written operating procedure
- carry out a risk assessment for the location and activity
- follow the direction of the lifeguard on duty
- ensure appropriate safety cover is present where no attendant lifeguard is provided.
The safety cover provided when there is no attendant lifeguard must conform to one of these two conditions:
- Hold the relevant elements of the RLSS National Water Safety Management Programme (NWSMP) see Swimming (FS120620), (or an equivalent or higher qualification), and work within the remit of their award:
- Sea (beaches etc): NWSMP level 1, level 2 (beach) and level 3.
- Flat inland water (lakes, lochs etc): NWSMP level 1, level 2 (flat water) and level 3
- Moving inland water (rivers etc): NWSMP level 1, level 2 (river) and level 3
- Hold a water activity permit (leadership or supervisory), operate within the remit of their permit (class of waters, group size etc) and meet the requirements for providing safety cover for swimming activities within Swimming (FS120620).
22.214.171.124 Management Committees of Scout property with a swimming pool must operate the facility in accordance with the HSE guidance contained within Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools (HSG179).