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(Published January 2019 replacing version March 2016)


This page looks to give the facts a person would need to know to run archery for a group of young people.

What is Archery?

Archery is an activity in which participants (archers) shoot at targets using bows and arrows. It includes archery with compound bows, and archery in ranges indoors and outdoors.

An archery permit is required for all archery activities taking place; except when using children’s toys or soft archery equipment specifically designed to be led by activity leaders without any formal qualification.

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 ).


Compound bows: A compound bow is a mechanically aided bow that will have cables and cams (pulleys) to draw and release the bowstring.

Toys: A toy will likely have a manufacturer’s warning label informing the user that it is a toy, whilst archery equipment might have a manufacturer’s warning label to warn that it is not a toy. If the user is unsure they should consult their local Archery Adviser for a definite answer.

Soft archery: Uses equipment specifically designed to be led by activity leaders without any formal qualification, consisting of low poundage bows and rubber/sucker tip arrows. This does not include steel tip arrows.

What is an Archery Permit?

The adventurous activity permit scheme is designed to ensure that only people with the relevant skills and experience lead adventurous activities for young people. Therefore all activities classed as adventurous can only be led by someone holding the appropriate permit.

Levels of Permit

There are two levels of permit available for archery. These are:

  • Archery - without compound bows
  • Archery - with compound bows
Additionally, each of these permits can be further restricted (such as specific locations or reduced amount of archers) to end up with an individual permit to the level of the competence and requirements of any person.

Types of Permit

There are two types of permit available for archery. These are:

Leadership – Allows the permit holder to lead archery for six archers.

Supervisory – Allows the permit holder to supervise more than one archery group.

Permit Limitations

A permit to lead archery will allow you to take a group of no more than six archers at the shooting line (this includes archers at the shooting line preparing to shoot). You must remain with the group at all times and remain responsible for everyone within that group.

If you hold a permit to supervise archery then you can supervise up to three groups at a time. You should remain in a position to be able to effectively supervise and assist all archers. You remain responsible for all the groups you are supervising, but must designate someone with the appropriate skills to be the leader of each group.


When supervising archery, the holder of a supervisory archery permit needs to designate a leader for each group. This designation lasts only for the current activity while the permit holder is supervising.

People designated as leaders must hold the relevant skills; including an understanding of safe archery techniques and the equipment being used, and be responsible enough to lead the group on the range that has been set up. There is no problem with making young people leaders if they are up to the role, and it can be used as a useful development tool to encourage people to work towards gaining permits.