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Activity and Safety updates

Quick links

Following reviews of activities in 2022 and 2023 we have made updates to a number of activities. Follow the links to access the updated rules or guidance, all linked content will be updated by 5pm on Tuesday 17th October and will be communicated to members in the 7th Nov all member email. 

 Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme: 

Further work is underway reviewing the wider resources relating to the adventurous activity permit scheme.    

Creative and performance activities: 

  • POR 9.5 Creative Activities - Updated to reflect some revisions to types of performance requiring assessment and the timeframes for assessment.   

  • FS120164 Staged Performance Toolkit – Updated to reflect changes to assessment process and timescales and to reflect volunteer experience transformation changes to volunteer. Assessment request form and criteria and assessment forms updated.  

  • FS120212 Musical Performance Toolkit – Updated to reflect changes to assessment process and timescales and to reflect volunteer experience transformation changes to volunteer. Assessment request form and criteria and assessment forms updated. 

  • Removal of FS120269 Staged performances – commissioners guidance and FS120162 Performances: legal licensing requirements as content has been moved into the relevant performance toolkits.  

Externally led activities: 

  • FS120086 Externally Led Activities – Updated to provide additional support to members planning activities delivered by an external provider or where Scouts volunteers are also external providers.  

Horse riding: 

  • Horse Riding FAQs – Updated to provide support for members with questions about suitable clothing and details on what to do if waivers are required by providers.  

International: 

Further work is underway reviewing the wider resources relating to international activities and visits abroad.    

Martial arts: 

  • Martial arts FAQs – Updated to provide support for members with questions about adult participation and purpose of activity. 

  • Update to the recognised bodies list for external providers. 

Motor sports: 

  • FS120413 Motor Sports - Update to clarify the management of motor sports involving electric vehicles. Update stating environmental impact of the activity should be carefully considered and minimised. 

  • Clarification for helmet wearing amended to clarify helmet use for driving lessons. 

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Following feedback from members and challenges with access for training for County Assessors the transition period for SUP  permits has been extended to 31 March 2024. 

The following guidance has been updated to reflect this transition period:

FS120670 Stand Up Paddleboarding

FS120651 Canoeing

FS120654 Kayaking

FS120666 Wind surfing

 

Updated example risk assessments

  • Fireworks and bonfire events
  • Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)
  • Online meetings

POR Chapter 9 

POR Chapter 9 has been updated to align with the new format and style of POR. This means that rule numbers and locations have changed, but no meaning has been changed within this chapter update. Links and references to POR chapter 9 are being updated throughout the website and the following documents have been updated:

  • Form NAN
  • Visits Abroad Form
  • Home Hosted Hospitality - host agreement

Where references have not yet been updated please use the chapter 9 translation table below:

January 2023 rule number

April 2023 rule number

9.1

9.1.1 / 9.1.2

9.2

9.1.1

9.3

9.1.1

9.4

9.1.3

9.5

9.1.1

9.6

9.7.15, 16, 17

9.7

9.7

9.8

9.8

9.9

9.6

9.10

9.10

9.11

9.10.1

9.12

9.10.2

9.13

9.10.3

9.14

9.10.10

9.15

n/a

9.16

9.10.9

9.17

9.10.7

9.18

9.10.4

9.19

9.10.8

9.20

9.10.5

9.21

9.10.6

9.22

9.5

9.23

n/a

9.24

n/a

9.25

n/a

9.26

9.12.8

9.27

9.12.9

9.28

9.12.7

9.29

9.12.7

9.30

9.12.7

9.31

9.12.7

9.32

9.12.6

9.33

9.12.13

9.34

9.12.3

9.35

9.12.2

9.36

9.11.1

9.37

9.11.5

9.38

9.11.6

9.39

9.11.4

9.40

9.11.3

9.41

9.12.1

9.42

9.13.1

9.43

9.13.2

9.44

9.13.3

9.45

9.13.4

9.46

9.13.5

9.47

9.13.6

9.48

9.13.7

9.49

9.13.8

9.50

9.13.9.1

9.51

9.13.9.2

9.52

9.13.9.4

9.53

n/a

9.54

9.13.10

9.55

9.2.1

9.56

9.2.2

9.57

9.2.3

9.58

9.2.4

9.59

n/a

9.60

n/a

9.61

9.2.5

9.62

9.2.6

9.63

9.2.7

9.64

9.3

9.65

9.4

9.66

n/a

9.67

9.1.1.2

9.68

n/a

9.69

9.12.11

9.70

9.12.10

9.71

9.12.4

9.72

9.12.12

9.73

n/a

9.74

n/a

9.75

n/a

9.76

9.9

9.77

9.1.1.3

9.78

9.12.5.1

9.79

9.12.5.3

9.80

9.12.5.2

9.81

9.11.2

Updated guidance

New guidance

Updated example risk assessments

  • Active games
  • Activities outside the meeting place
  • Axes, saws and knives
  • Cooking
  • Externally led activities
  • Fire building and campfires
  • Free time
  • Hikes (leader led)
  • Nights away - indoor
  • Nights away - campsite
  • Nights away - peer led lightweight expedition
  • Nights away - greenfield
  • Parades
  • Pioneering
  • Section meeting overview
  • Table top activities (craft etc) 
  • Visits to play parks
  • Waterslides

New example risk assessment

  • Nights Away with younger sections 

 

  • In the January 2023 activity updates transition periods relating to cycling and climbing were omitted.
    • Cycling – there is a transition period till 31st August 2024 allowing for members to get the correct permits in place to operate under the new environmental definitions, until then members can choose to continue to operate using rules 9.7, 9.26, 9.27, 9.28, 9.29, 9.32 and 9.71 in the October 2022 version of POR. POR will be updated to reflect the cycling transition in the next edition.
    • Climbing – there is a transition period till 31st August 2024 relating to members holding lead climbing assessor roles, this transition gives a period in which to gain the new qualification required for this role.

Following reviews of activities in 2022 we have made updates to a number of activities. Follow the links to access the updated rules or guidance, all linked content will be updated by 5pm on Tuesday 31st January and will be communicated to members in the 7th Feb all member email.

Air activities:

Climbing:

Cycling:

Emergency procedures:

Helmets:

Responding to feedback from members rules relating to the wearing of helmets during activities have been updated to provide reasonable adjustment for members with additional needs. This has been reflected in the following rules and new guidance to support members with this is available and linked to from associated activity guidance pages:

Nights away:

Following the introduction of Squirrel Scouts and a pilot nights away project, Squirrels are now allowed to take part in nights away activities. The following rules and guidance have been updated to reflect this:

Form NAN has also been updated further to reinforce the approval required for nights away activities and that contingency plans need to be shared as part of the process.

Risk Assessment:

The risk assessment guidance (FS120000) and form template have been updated to assist members with understanding the risk assessment process. Some content has been reordered within the guidance, some additional support relating to how risk assessments relate to safeguarding and individual needs and a reinforcement of how contingency planning fits within the risk assessment process, is now included.

Sailing:

  • Yachting (FS120657) – Updated to provide signposting to those who operate coded vessels to the additional requirements which apply.

Technology:

General resources updates:

  • Permit list – Updated to change from mountain biking to off-road cycling.
  • County Assessor qualifications table – Updated to change from mountain biking to off-road cycling and updates to the qualification titles for climbing.
  • External Assessor qualifications table – Updated to change from mountain biking to off-road cycling and updates to the qualification titles for climbing.
  • Where resources have been reviewed as part of a review with no updates made the publishing details on the page will refer to the last review date.

 

New example risk assessments

  • Firework and bonfire activities
  • Waterslides

The incident report covering letter has been updated.

Update to the near miss reporting system.

Updates to first aid training recording and delivery.

New guidance to support the prevention and management of illnesses.

Update to YHA accommodation discounts for Scouts.

Closure of the getting back together safely guidance.

Example risk assessment for Jamboree On The Air (JOTA)

The following safety resources relating to camping and practical skills have been updated:

The following safety resources have been introduced to support camping and practical skills:

Risk assessment examples:

Underwater activities

As part of the ongoing review of activities we have completed and closed the following reviews with no updates made, resources have been updated to reflect this recent review.

Oar activities

As part of the ongoing review of activities we have completed and closed the following reviews with no updates made, resources have been updated to reflect this recent review.

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Correction to Stand Up Paddleboarding guidance. Following the activity updates published in January 2022, we’ve made a correction to the information about how Stand Up Paddleboarding will be managed within Scouts.

  • Stand up paddleboarding (FS120670) – Update to equivalent qualifications, activity ratios / group sizes and removal of surf category.
  • Assessment checklist for stand up paddleboarding (AC120954) - Update to equivalent qualifications and removal of surf category.
  • County Assessor qualifications table – Updated to qualifications listed for stand up paddleboarding assessors.
  • External Assessor qualifications table – Updated to qualifications listed for stand up paddleboarding assessors.
  • Permit list – removal of surf category, this is covered within sea permits.
  • Compass – removal of surf category for stand up paddleboarding within the assessor roles and permit options.

Risk assessment

Following reviews of activities in 2021 we have made updates to a number of activities. Follow the links to access the updated rules or guidance, all linked content will be updated by 5pm on Monday 31st January and will be communicated to members in the 1st Feb all member email.

Boats and waters:

Climbing insurance:

General rules and guidance relating to activities:

Hillwalking:

Paddlesports:

Bell boating

  • Bell boating (FS120650) – Updated to add a note to remind members to stay within the people / weight limits set out by the manufacturers.

Canoeing

Kayaking

Rafting (traditional)

Stand Up Paddleboarding

  • Stand up paddleboarding (FS120670)New resource - assessment checklist to support stand up paddleboarding within the permit scheme.
  • Assessment checklist for stand up paddleboarding (AC120954) - New resource - fact sheet to support stand up paddleboarding within the permit scheme.
  • Permit list – SUP permits added
  • Compass – updated to add stand up paddleboarding within the assessor roles and permit options.

White water rafting

  • White water rafting (FS120665) – Updated to add a limit to the max number of people, 8 people (plus the permit holder) or lower as determined by risk assessment.

Windsurfing

General resources

  • Joint Scout and British Canoeing paddlesports infographic – Updates to reflect the changes in branding and inclusion of the paddlesports instructor.
  • British Canoeing Delivery Partner – The Scouts have changed their membership of British Canoeing, now being a Gold Delivery Partner. This means that Groups, Districts, Counties and activity centres or activity SASUs can register within this partnership. Registering will create you a Go Paddling page and access benefits within the partnership such as conferences, training and the ability to check BC qualifications quickly and efficiently.

Snowsports:

  • Snowsports (FS120457) - Updated to include guidance on off-piste snowsports and the use of local guides.

Tomahawk throwing:

Underground:

General resources updates:

  • County Assessor qualifications table – Updated to include stand up paddleboarding assessors, updated qualification titles for cave and mine exploration and updated NGB title for Mountain Training and associated qualification titles.
  • External Assessor qualifications table – Updated to include stand up paddleboarding assessors and updated NGB title for Mountain Training and associated qualification titles.
  • Where resources have been reviewed as part of a review with no updates made the publishing details on the page will refer to the last review date.

FS120503 Private mobile radio (PMR) - Update to correct an error in frequencies

Risk assessment examples - updated to include nights away examples, bring the COVID examples onto this page as well as examples for externally run activities, visits to playgrounds and operating alone (lone adults).

Safety checklist for Managers - updated to directly relate to the responsibilities held my Commissioners and how these are practically managed locally.

Safety checklist for Executive Committee Members - updated to directly relate to the responsibilities held my Executive Committee members and how these are practically managed locally.

Safety checklist for leaders - updated based on member feedback.

FS120352 Managing Asbestos - updated to include information on what to do in an emergency

FS120338 Talking to young people and parents about safety - new guidance to support these important discussions with ideas and tips on how to do this.

Safety Policy

Updated Safety Policy live, with clearer identification of responsibilities for different roles.

Joint activities with Girlguiding

Following feedback from members and work to increase accessibility and local collaboration the guidance for joint activities with Girlguiding (FS120007) has been updated.

Safety guidance updates

Updates have been made to a number of pieces of guidance relating to the safe management of events:

Safe Scouting Premises Audit Tool

A new resource to support premises owners and managers check they have all the relevant safety and safeguarding systems in place. The tool is available here and a supporting video coming soon.

Following reviews of activities in 2020 we have made updates to a number of activities. Along with the changes listed below all activities / adventure content has been migrated to scouts.org.uk.

Externally Led Activities:

Adult groups:

Terrain definitions:

Water skiing:

Kite surfing:

Other Activities:

Along with the changes listed below all safety resources and webpages have been migrated to Staying safe and safeguarding.

Updated resource:


New resources:

New resource:

  • Managing Water Risks of Legionella (FS120351) - this is a new set of guidance to support the management of water within Scout premises, specifically focused on the management of Legionella. A sample legionella management plan is available for download to be adapted locally.

Updated resources:

  • Managing a Safe scout premises (FS320010) - updated to new brand, separate example risk assessment and compliance checklist, removal of duplicated information, improved signposting to other resources.

  • Falls from height (FS320009) - Changed to web content and updated to include links to relevant sources of support information.

  •  Managing contractors working on a scout premises (FS320011) - changed to web content and links to a sample contractor code of practice for adapting locally.

  • Managing Asbestos (FS120352) - this guidance has been updated in line with current industry practice, re-branded, and assigned a factsheet number. A sample asbestos management plan has been provided as a download to be adapted locally.

  • Managing fire safety (FS320007) - updated to make web content, removal of duplicated information and updating of links. A sample fire risk assessment, action summary and sample fire hazard check sheet have been provided as downloads to be adapted locally.

  • Chainsaws (FS120350) - reviewed but no content updates. New factsheet number assigned. 

  • Tree Safety Guidelines (FS320008) - changed to web content with sample inspection form as download, updated information regarding responsibilities.

  • Private Mobile Radios (PMR) (FS120503) - update to the frequencies listed in line with changes from Ofcom.

  • Form NAN - updates to detail regarding sharing of risk assessments in response to member feedback on April 2020 version.
    The nights away notification form (Form NAN) can also be attached to emails, or printed out and completed by hand. (It's recommended that you download and install the Scouts font beforehand)

Updated resources:

Deleted resources:

New resource:

Updated resources:

  • InTouch (FS120075) - updated guidance including maintaining contact with groups of young people whilst apart from leaders for parts of adult led activities.

  • Terrain Zero Activities (FS120426) - updated guidance regarding the approval and supervision of these activities.

  • Form NAN - updated requirements regarding the approval of the event and the documentation required by the Commissioner (or their designate) to inform this. The nights away notification form (Form NAN) can also be attached to emails, or printed out and completed by hand. (It's recommended that you download and install the Scouts font beforehand)

Safety updates

Updates have been made to some safety resources:

Surfing

The National Governing Body (NGB) for surfing has been updated from Surfing GB to Surfing England. The relevant external qualification has also been updated on the surfing externally led pages of scouts.org.uk/a-z.

These changes are effective from Tuesday 8th January 2019, resources may not be available until this date, when resources are available hyperlinks will be added below.

Aerial Runways

Since the last revision for the aerial runway code work has been progressing to find a suitable affordable alternative to some of the equipment referenced in the document. This work has been completed and more flexibility has been applied to the equipment required for the safe operation of aerial runways.

Updated Resources:

Archery

Feedback received as part of the target sports start-up survey in autumn 2017 members identified some challenges with archery activities. These were all considered as part of the review which included consultation with the UK Technical Adviser for Archery and Archery GB. Following this research updates have been made to confirm the current situation of archery tag (and similar battle archery activities) not being permitted for members.

Updated Resources:

  • Rule 9.36 Archery This rule is being updated to clarify that the activity of battle archery/ archery tag is not permitted for members to take part in due to it being shooting at other humans and with no external regulation. 
  • Rule 9.67 Banned Activities – This rule is being updated to clarify that the activity of battle archery/ archery tag is not permitted for members to take part in due to it being shooting at other humans and with no external regulation. 
  • Archery (FS120406) – Updates to add clarity to the existing definitions.  
  • Assessment Checklist for Archery (AC120953) These updates are to update the branding, add data protection information and minor amendments to the criteria to better reflect the skills required to lead the activity. 
  • Archery FAQ's – Updates based on feedback from pre-launch checks phase.
  • Archery Logbook – Updated to reflect the new brand.

Fencing

Over the past three years the Scouts have been working in partnership with British Fencing and in doing so have been promoting fencing more widely in Scouting. In addition British Fencing have been providing more training for leaders at accessible costs to help get more young people experiencing this activity. This work has highlighted that members wanted clearer direction on what was required when providing fencing activities.

New Resources:

  • Rule 9.81 Fencing This rule is being introduced to ensure that members are using the standards of British Fencing when delivering these activities.
  • Fencing FAQ's – Being introduced to support members. Through a partnership with British Fencing opportunities for leaders to gain training and qualifications to lead fencing will be highlighted.

First Aid

A review of first aid provision within Scouting has been undertaken which has resulted in a task and finish group being established consisting of members with a variety of roles and backgrounds. This group has been working through a set of recommendations which are intended to improve the first aid provision within the Scouts. The first phase of outcomes from this work relates to the requirements for first aid in remote environments, and also the duration between members undertaking first aid training.

Updated Resources:

New Resources:

  • First Aid FAQs – This is a new resource, developed following feedback from members during the project and the pre-launch checks phase.

A transition till 31 December 2020 has been provided to ensure that members have time to adapt to the new requirements. Work is ongoing to review the existing content of the First Response course and associated materials.

High Ropes

Following a series of incidents relating to a variety of high ropes activities it has been highlighted that more support is required for those approving the operating manuals for these activities.

New Resources:

  • High Ropes operating manual (FS120429) – This new resource provides guidance for those developing and approving operating manuals for high ropes activities. This is not a template but some areas to consider when developing the document.

Home and Hosted Hospitality

During the summer of 2018 work was undertaken to review the processes relating to members travelling abroad following enquiries and feedback received from members, this specifically referred to the suitability and management of home and group hosted hospitality. A working group have reviewed existing processes against POR and have developed proposals which were agreed by the Operations Committee at their December meeting.

Updated Resources:

  • Rule 9.64 Visits Abroad Due to significant challenges with undertaking appropriate vetting processes, in order to align this activity with our vetting and child protection policies, for host families in other countries it is agreed that POR be updated to clarify that UK members under the age of 18 must not participate in home hospitality experiences. Hosted hospitality, which takes place in group facilities rather than private homes, is allowed and encouraged to continue to provide members with more cultural experiences when visiting other countries.
  • Rule 9.65 Visits to the United Kingdom – Detailed work has been undertaken to find a suitable process and management system for continuing to offer Home Hospitality within the UK for International Scouts. Additionally, Hosted Hospitality is encouraged within the UK. In planning to host Home Hospitality within the UK, clear requirements have been developed to help leaders with providing as safe an experience as possible. The details of the requirements can be found in POR rule 9.65 Visits to the United Kingdom.
  • Explorer Belt Resources – the Reach out and Explore and Helping them Reach out and Explore resource documents have both been updated to reflect the changes relating to home hospitality.

New Resources:

Horse Riding

Feedback from members over the past few years suggested some improvements to support members in undertaking horse riding activities, mainly surrounding how to find a suitable provider. In addition it was noted that there was a need to align to the industry standard regarding helmets.

Updated Resources:

  • Rule 9.70 Horse Riding and Pony Trekking –This rule is being updated to reflect the current industry standards for the safe delivery of horse riding activities to members. In addition a requirement to wear helmets whilst riding is being introduced.

New Resources:

Laser games

As part of the review of shooting some minor amendments were made to the wording of the Laser Games rule in order to be more consistent with other rules. This has no operational change for members.

Updated Resources:

New Resources:

Nights Away

Following consultation with members through a start-up survey which went out in autumn 2017 feedback highlighted the use of Nights Away Event Passports as the area where members needed most support, guidance has been developed. In addition updates have been highlighted following some incidents, this includes updates to the Assessment Checklist for a Nights Away Permit to be clear about the knowledge required of a permit holder relating to risks such as fire and carbon monoxide, also updates to branding and data protection, and also to rules relating to parents understanding of supervision requirements.

Updated Resources:

  • To be clearer about the responsibilities a Nights Away Permit holder has for ensuring that parents are made aware of the supervision arrangements for a nights away event.
  • Rule 9.61 Nights Away Event Passports This rule is being updated to be clearer about the responsibilities a Nights Away Permit holder has for ensuring that parents are made aware of the supervision arrangements for a nights away event. In addition wording is being clarified to confirm that an Event Passport cannot be used when adults are present, including Scout Network Members on joint activities.
  • Assessment Checklist for a Nights Away Permit (AC120990) to be clearer about the knowledge required relating to Carbon Monoxide. Also update to the new brand and to include data protection statements.
  • Nights Away Permit Application Form – Updates to branding and the addition of data protection information.

New Resources:

Paddlesports

Following the introduction of a new range of qualifications by British Canoeing a review of the paddlesports permit scheme documentation and how this relates to the new BC qualifications was undertaken. This was done in partnership with the Coaching Team at British Canoeing.

Updated Resources:

is an activity not endorsed by British Canoeing and in consultation with those who hold Canoe Surf permits this is not an activity undertaken within Scouting. Kayak Surf remains. Compass has also been updated to reflect this.

New Resources:

  • Paddlesports infographic – British Canoeing have developed an infographic to demonstrate the links between Scout permits and their coaching scheme.

Paintballing

Feedback from the target sports review identified a few additional FAQs required to support paintballing activities.

Updated Resources:

Shooting

The key feedback from members regarding shooting related to the complexity of the existing rules and guidance, with requests to simplify the information and also include more content relating to regional laws. Based on this the rules have been re-written to help with understanding, grouping them into categories and also including the regional law variations. In support of this the guidance has also been updated. 

Updated Resources:

  • Rule 9.37 ShootingThis rule has been restructured to add clarity; making it easier to understand which rules apply to which types of activity. In addition updates have been made to reference the regional laws relating the use, transportation and storage of air guns.
  • Shooting (FS120004) – Updates referring to types of shooting and qualifications, additional guidance relating to crossbow activities.
  • Shooting permission formUpdated to reflect the new brand and include data protection information. 
  • Shooting FAQ's – updated based on feedback from members as part of this review.

Tomahawk Throwing

A call for feedback from members relating to target sports prior to the start of this review identified that although axe throwing was embedding as an activity within Scouting there were some challenges with the language used and some of the guidance. Based on this the name of this activity has been changed to Tomahawk Throwing and updates have been made to the guidance which supports the activity.

Updated Resources:

  • Rule 9.38 Tomahawk Throwing This rule is being updated to clarify the terminology used to describe this activity, with the name changing from axe throwing to tomahawk throwing and angels to small hawks. This update has no operational change to the activity. 
  • Tomahawk Throwing (FS120011) – This has been updated to reflect some changes to the terminology used and also to remove the reference to what type of clothing is required and reference this back to the activity risk assessment. Updates are also relating to the suggested range layout and training requirements.
  • Tomahawk Throwing FAQ's – Updates based on questions asked as part of the review process.

Trampoline Parks

Following the introduction of a British Standard for trampoline parks work has been undertaken with the International Association of Trampoline Parks. This resulted in a proposal for the introduction of a rule which would have confirmed which parks members could operate at. Following feedback from members during the pre-launch checks phase of this review further research was undertaken which resulted in the proposal rule being revoked and more robust guidance put in place.

Updated Resources:

  • Trampolining (FS120425) – This guidance has been updated to reflect some more current advice on how to find a suitable trampoline park and how to safely manage this activity.  

Visits Abroad

A review of processes at UK Headquarters has resulted in a change to the way in which Visits Abroad information is shared with UK HQ. The new system requires the ACC International (or equivalent) to add the key information from the VA Form onto an online form which is accessible to UK HQ. In addition the Visits Abroad Form has been updated to include new branding and data protection information.

Updated Resources:

  • Rule 9.64 Visits Abroad – This rule is being updated to provide a digital solution to the HQ notification element of the Visits Abroad process. Updates have been made to some terminology.
  • Visits Abroad Form Updates to reflect the revised process for HQ notification, updated branding and inclusion of data protection information. Find out more in the Visits Abroad process.

Rebranded/data protection updates to forms

All other activity forms and assessment checklists have been updated to present in the new brand and provide data protection information.

POR numbering

The numbering system in POR chapter 9 was updated in April 2023. A table has been provided in the April 2023 dropdown to the left for reference.