Skip to main content

Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Activity Permits FAQ's

Any permit can be restricted to personalise it to the level an applicant is at, or wishes their permit to be limited to. This allows an applicant to lead their activity within certain parameters.

They can then gain further experience, which could lead to a less restrictive permit in future, should they wish to get one. This is rather than not allowing them any permit, and thus not giving them any opportunity to gain experience leading groups until they have the skills to gain an unrestricted permit.

The permit scheme is solely for those operating in Scouting, and permits can be issued to restrict the activity to certain areas. NGB Awards, typically, apply across the UK.

Conversely, the possession of an NGB Award does not mean that a person is suitable to work with young people, hence the checks that need to be made by the responsible commissioner – including the fact that we have certain activity-specific rules. We do, however, suggest that the training schemes offered by those accredited by NGBs are good places to learn skills.

Details of all funding available from headquarters to support activities can be found in the activities funding pages.

The actual need is to have accessible first aid cover for the activity, rather than attaching that requirement to the permit holder. So, for example, that cover could be provided by a second adult in a walking group, or be shore-based for water activities.

For young people working remotely, for example on expeditions, it is the young people that need to be trained in first aid, rather than attaching that requirement to a supervisor who is not immediately to hand.

Yes, there is no minimum age to hold a permit, whether personal, leadership or supervisory. Perhaps the most typical example is where expeditions are being conducted. However, in these circumstances, the responsible commissioner may place restrictions on time, requiring perhaps that a responsible adult conducts daily visual checks on progress.

The adventurous activity permit scheme covers only those activities defined as adventurous. Shooting is not defined as an adventurous and therefore it does not come under the permit scheme. Shooting does however still have rules to ensure those leading it do so safely.

Module 25 is included to ensure all county assessors have the necessary soft skills, as well as technical skills, to be able to carry out effective assessments. It is specifically written to be appropriate to county activity assessors. Validation is done through carrying out two assessments, with a workbook available for those requiring support and learning opportunities beforehand. A training adviser (who might well be another county assessor) will be available to provide support and confirm validation.

Personal activity permits

Personal activity permits are a type of permit that recognises a young person’s ability to safely take part in an adventurous activity without the need for supervision from others.

A leadership or supervisory permit allows you to lead an activity for other people. A personal permit only allows you to carry out the activity for yourself, not to lead anyone else. So you can only take part in the activity with others holding personal activity permits.

Yes. The permit cards have tick boxes for ‘personal’, ‘leadership’ and ‘supervisory’ to easily show what type of permit it is for.

No. A nights away passport is given by a nights away permit holder to a young person for a single event. A personal activity permit can only be granted by a commissioner on the recommendation of an assessor (the same way as leadership and supervisory permits), and lasts for up to a maximum of five years.

There is no minimum age to gain a permit (as there isn’t for leadership and supervisory permits). It is based on the technical skills and personal suitability of the individual.

Personal permits have no use once someone is 18 as they then come under the rules of adult groups in adventurous activities.

Assessors will assess candidates in the same way that they would for leadership and supervisory permits. There are specific assessment checklists for them to use for personal permits.

The commissioner’s role is the same as when granting leadership or supervisory permits, with the exception that applicants don’t need checking for child protection (training, personal enquiry checks etc).

Some activities (eg white water rafting, dragon boating) require someone to be in charge of the craft and others on board. This naturally goes against the idea of a personal activity permit holder only being responsible for themselves, not for others, so it is not possible to get a personal permit for these activities.

The first aid requirement is the same as for all adventurous activities. So there is no requirement for the permit holder to hold a first aid qualification, but there does need to be first aid available at the appropriate level whenever the activity takes place.

The activities covered by the adventurous activity permit scheme remain the same. There is no need to get a personal activity permit for activities that you wouldn’t have needed a permit holder for before (eg class C waters, terrain 0, archery etc).

A personal activity permit allows you to take part in an activity with others holding a personal activity permit.

A personal activity permit doesn’t allow you to lead an activity for others or take part in an activity with others who don’t hold a personal activity permit.

No. The adult groups in adventurous activities rule (rule 9.8) does not apply when under 18's are present. The permit scheme (rule 9.7) must apply, and this does not allow the use of personal permits when adults are present. The group could be covered by a supervisory permit holder or a member of the group (under or over 18) holding the relevant leadership permit. Please note that over 18's holding a leadership permit must have a full adult role.

Activity Permit Scheme

Discover the scheme