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Staying Safe

Safety checklist for Leaders

Staying Safe

(Published August 2021, replacing August 2020)

This is aimed to help all adults working with young people to fulfil their role and responsibilities in managing and supporting safety in Scouts.

It's the responsibility of all those involved in Scouts to seek, so far as is reasonably practicable, to make sure that all activities are conducted in a safe manner without risk to the health of participants.

The safety of both young people and adults is important. A large part of this is about being organised, asking the right questions and doing things that will help safety without taking away a sense of adventure appropriate to the age group. This is a straight-forward checklist of common hazards that will help you assess the risks for your activity and put suitable controls in place. Additional support can be found on the Safety and Safeguarding section of our website, alternatively, speak to your line manager or others locally.


Organise your programme

  • Check POR rules
  • Check activity guidance and processes for delivery of Scout Activities
  • Check whether further insurance is required
  • Check whether HQ needs notifying  
  • Make sure an InTouch process is in place
  • Make sure all activities are approved in accordance with POR

Leader in charge

Make sure all meetings, events or activities have an identified leader in charge that oversees the activity and all adults and young people. This includes responsibility for registers, headcounts, allocation of roles to specific adults and checking they are aware of their specific responsibilities (find out more on our Leader in Charge page). The best way of doing this is for all adults who will be involved in the activity to agree which one of them will take on this role.

Note: the agreed leader in charge does not have to do all of this themselves, but they are responsible for ensuring that others undertake these tasks.

Putting Safety on the agenda

  • Make sure you understand how and when to record and report incidents and accidents. Information is contained within the Purple Card.
  • Discuss safety at events, activities, camp planning meetings and reviews.
  • Give young people and adults appropriate training, guidance or rules.
  • Support others in section leadership team to gain training and improve knowledge of safety.

Risk assessment

Use the Five Steps of Risk Assessment and see the diagram below:

  1. Look for the hazards, ie what could cause harm.
  2. Consider who might be injured and how.
  3. Decide how the risk is controlled and what further action needs to be taken.
  4. Record and effectively communicate your findings so that others are aware of the precautions to be taken (for more guidance see the risk assessment page).
  5. Remember to review and revise them (dynamically if conditions or circumstance change mid-activity), especially when you consider they are no longer effective.
The 5 steps of Risk Assessment


The following quick checklists are a helpful starting point when planning and at the start of an activity. Add any additional hazards as appropriate to your location. They are not intended as a substitute for doing and documenting a risk
assessment. Make sure your risk assessment is clear; communicate it to other adults and share relevant parts with young people.

Staying Safe - Leaders

The Staying Safe - Safety Checklist for Leaders is a pocket sized checklist aimed to help all adults working with young people to fulfill their role and responsibilities in managing and supporting safety in Scouting.

Order a free copy of the Safety Checklist