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Incident reporting and recording

Incident reporting and recording

This guidance is to help you understand the appropriate way to record any incident information and when you may need to further report this to UK headquarters.


You should make sure that you have a method of recording incidents, this may be an Accident Book in your first aid kit or another means of documenting an incident, whatever you choose make sure that all leaders are aware of it. Any accident that occurs during a Scouts activity, or where medical treatment is given, as well as details of the treatment given, should be recorded.

Trustee Boards and leaders should review the incident reports as part of their regular meeting agenda (under Safety Items).

This helps them to both identify any common accident trends that you may need to address, and potential safety issues within your meeting place, as well as keeping a clear account of any incident should you need to refer back to it.

An example incident form is available to download.


Requirements are described in POR, Rule 7.4.

More Serious Incidents

In the event of more serious accidents, refer to your Safe Scouting and what to do in an emergency (Purple Card). This will act as a short guide through the process.  Make sure you are familiar with it and that all leaders have a copy to carry with them.

Data Protection

It is important to note that under the regulations of the GDPR, you must ensure that any personal or medical information regarding your members is not available for others to view. It is suggested therefore that you use a book with detachable pages. In practice, this means that entries can be recorded as usual, but that after an incident the page is removed from the book and then stored securely by, for example, the Trustee Board.

Use of this system ensures that records will still be available where necessary but that the information will only be accessed by the relevant adults.  This information may also be helpful in the event of any insurance claim made.

Near Misses

Reporting potential incidents:

If we see something that looks potentially unsafe then we all have a responsibility to do something about it.  The initial step should be to ensure that the potential danger is removed, whether this is something physical or by changing the way that the activity is run or the conditions present.

This will generally be through talking to those responsible for the activity or the premises. If this doesn’t produce a result then it should be escalated to their line manager.

Reporting near misses:

If you experience a near miss (an accident or unplanned event that didn’t result in a normally reportable injury or damage, but had the potential to do so) then it is important that this is reported. This is to help ensure that this incident won’t happen again to someone else, leading to injury or damage. They may not be so lucky.  This will normally be to your Leader team, Group Scout Leader or relevant Trustee Board in order that a local issue is reviewed, adapted if necessary and an ongoing improvement made.

Reporting near misses will allow the Scouts to identify patterns of incidents and update best practice advice and guidance for Members to support future activities. This is particularly important when it relates to issues with specific equipment or procedures that may have a wider impact.

The reporting of near misses is not to place any blame on those involved, but an important part of safeguarding others from harm in similar incidents in the future.

You can also report near misses to UK headquarters.

POR 7.4 Accident Reporting

Read more about accident reporting

The Purple Card

Safe Scouting and what to do in an emergency.

Read the Purple Card