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Session 4: Permits and specifics

Session 4: Permits and specifics

Key objective

Describe the Nights Away Permit scheme, including where to locate support and further information whilst planning a residential experience.

This session looks at the rules, regulations, and specific requirements that participants should be aware of if they are involved in residential experiences.

It's to be delivered in the form of a quiz, which is available in Worksheet 3. This gives participants the chance to find the answers for themselves by using resources, and then have a feedback session for answers and clarification from the trainer. This makes it more interactive and fun for the participants. The quiz could be done as an ‘exam paper’ or you can use a PowerPoint presentation and complete as a group activity, if the group already has some knowledge of the subject.

Alternatively it can be done as a group research task. Split into two groups and get one to research and feedback on Nights Away Permit Scheme, and the other to research and feedback on family camps, international and other requirements Give 10 minutes for research (provide the right documents, and they will find it quite easy), and 15 minutes for feedback.

This session can also be delivered in a plenary style, with trainer input, depending on the experience of the participants, if this is felt to be more relevant. Use the structure of the feedback session to form the basis for the session plan.


Explain that this session looks at the rules, regulations, and specific requirements that participants should be aware of if they are involved in residential experiences.

This session will take the form of a quiz, and participants will need to find the answers for themselves by using resources available.

Using Handout 3, go through the answers to the quiz the participants have just undertaken (if you are running this as a plenary session then the content below are the topics you need to cover). The task is designed to give an introduction to the permit scheme, and so it will be useful to allow time for any questions that participants have on the subject. It may be useful to have your Local Nights Away Adviser available to answer any specific questions.

The Nights Away Permit Scheme

The aim of the scheme is to promote safe, quality residential and camping experiences within Scouting. All those leading residential experiences for young people need to have the skills, experience and suitability to take young people away safely. Everyone who leads a residential event for young people within Scouting is required to hold a Nights Away Permit for the event they are running. This is a national scheme, but is administered locally, so once gained, a permit will allow you to run a night’s away event in any District or County.

  • Indoor
  • Campsite
  • Green field
  • Lightweight Expedition.

All leaders may hold any permit and can lead camps in other sections e.g. a Green Field permit holder can run indoor and campsite experiences.

Permits last for up to five years.

Permits are nationally recognised. Explain where further guidance on the Nights Away Permit Scheme can be found.

Family Nights Away

All sections can attend. Family nights away are events arranged by a Group or District for youth Members accompanied by parents/carers and siblings. They aim to introduce parents to the Methods of Scouting and strengthen the links between the constituent sections of the Group.

All adults must be checked via appropriate vetting organisation as per POR. Members of the Movement are covered by The Scout Association’s general insurance policies. Non‐members, such as supporters, parents and carers, need to be covered by additional insurance, which the County may already have purchased (the trainer should check this information beforehand).

International travel

  • International events (for example World Scout Jamborees) organised by HQ
  • Organised by a travel company
  • Organised by someone holding a relevant Nights Away Permit

There are two principle ways to learn about international and global Scouting. The first is to read through our International information. The second is to contact their local International Representative. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland this is the ACC or AAC International. In Scotland contact the Regional Adviser for International.

Nights Away Event Passports

Event Passports are for young people who wish to go on a Nights Away event that involves young people only, for example, an Explorer expedition. Event Passports are for use with peer led activities only, therefore a young leader cannot use an event passport to take younger members on a residential activity

Any Nights Away Permit Holder can grant a Nights Away Passport equivalent to the Permit they hold (so if the Permit Holder holds a Lightweight Permit, they can issue Passports for Lightweight Expeditions). The principle of the Passport is that it is a young people only (under 18) event. The Permit Holder remains responsible for the event, but they do not attend. The Nights Away Passport can only be used by under 18s, but they can only be used for a single event. Each event will require a new Passport.


For this session you require the following resources:

  • Copies of Worksheet 3
  • Copy of Handout 3
  • Copy of PowerPoint quiz if using
  • Pens
  • Paper