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Risk assessments

Everything we do involves an element of risk, so we have to have plans in place to manage this. This guidance will help you to do that both before and during an activity or event.

(FS120000) (Published August 2020 replacing Feb 2019)

Introduction

We all do risk assessments or safety checks everyday, for example, when we cross the road. We choose an appropriate place to cross, look both ways and make a decision about whether it’s safe to cross.

We know that children and young people learn by doing. Activities encourage the development of young people and they can feel a huge sense of achievement in completing them. We want to provide EXCITEMENT but not DANGER; ADVENTURE but not HAZARD.

Risk Assessment starts in the early stages of activity planning and goes on throughout the activity until all participants go home at the end of the activity. There are five simple steps. If you’ve done risk assessments elsewhere, these should look familiar.

A diagram to show the five steps of risk assessment (August 2020)
The five steps to risk assessment.

Responsibilities

Summary 

Remember, it is important that you conduct the assessment and modify your plans accordingly, to minimise any risk, keeping Scouting as safe as we can for all those who participate. Don’t be put off by risk assessment and don’t feel on your own with it either, there is lots of support to help guide you on your way. Make sure you’ve done the mandatory safety training which covers risk assessment and if you want some more training, further support is available within Running Safe Activities (17) and Safety for Managers. Whatever method you choose for documenting your risk assessments, make sure you’ve recorded and shared it with others, helping both other adults and young people understand the risks and how they can help to reduce risk.

Additional Information & Support

Example Risk Assessments

Read some example risk assessments

Safety checklist for Leaders

Read the checklist

Need more support?

In the below video we look at the changes we've made to risk assessments, what they mean to you and offer you support and advice to make the transition to the new processes.