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Commissioners' Guide


Published March 2016 replacing version Nov 2013, last reviewed with no updated 2018


This page provides a guide to Commissioners on their role within the adventurous activity permit scheme. More detailed information on the scheme, for applicants, assessors, and for each activity can be found on separate pages.

The permit scheme

The adventurous activity permit scheme is a way of ensuring that an Applicant has the skills and experience to lead an adventurous activity for a group of young people in Scouting. It is designed to be flexible, allowing each permit to be tailored based on the applicant’s skills, experience and requirements. Details of which activities are classed as adventurous can be found in POR.

The Commissioner’s role

It's your role as Commissioner to issue any adventurous activity permits. No other role; County Assessor, Adviser, Assistant Commissioner, can grant a permit, although they can all provide support to you. It's also not possible to grant or renew a permit without a recommendation from an assessor.

The activity permit scheme is a national scheme, so any permit you grant can be used with young people from other parts of the country, and anyone with a permit from elsewhere in the country can use it with young people from your County or District. Having a permit does not override the need for all activities to have the (usually informal) approval of Commissioner. However, only in exceptional circumstances will a Commissioner not approve an activity where a permit holder is working within the restrictions of their permit.

Please don't implement local rules in relation to the permit scheme. These are unneeded, provide extra barriers to young people being able to do activities and may lead to confusion and frustration.

Granting a permit

If someone wishes you to grant them a permit they should come to you with a recommendation from an assessor. When this happens there are a number of steps you need to take:

Permits for under 18 members

Members under the age of 18 are able to gain permits if they are deemed suitable by following the same process as outlined above. Youth data is not currently recorded within Compass and therefore local records must be kept of the permit issued.


If you're unsure of anything to do with the permit scheme then support is available to you. Your County will have a MAPS (Manager of the Activity Permit Scheme) who amongst their responsibilities is there to support you with your role within the activity permit scheme. In addition to this there is support available from the UK Adventure Team through the Scout Information Centre at UKHQ.


The activity permit scheme is moderated annually within each County. Your County MAPS will carry out this moderation, but County Commissioners have certain responsibilities. These are:

  • Ensure you have a MAPS appointed and recorded on the membership database.
  • Ensure your MAPS carries out the County moderation by 31 January each year.
  • Sign the moderation to agree that it is an accurate representation of the permit scheme in your County once completed.
  • Ensure that any agreed action plans are allocated and carried out.

Find out more about moderation.