Activity Risk Assessments – April 2021

Date: 12th Apr 2021 Author: Alan Henderson

In August 2020, the Scout Association amended its rules on activities and introduced the requirement for all risk assessments to be documented. There was a transition period, but the requirement came into full effect on 1st January 2021.

This includes all aspects of our Scouting programme and stretches from things such as opening ceremonies, refreshments, arrival and departure to hikes, pioneering, archery, tomahawk throwing and many, many more. For many of these you will only ever have to write once and when you plan your programme sessions you can revise and record your risk assessments at the same time.

On 31st March, Somerset Scouts hosted a webinar which addressed the requirements and how they can be followed and managed. Following this session, a presentation pack including copy slides, notes and key web links was circulated to all attendees. A copy of this pack is available to view by clicking this LINK

Here though are the 10 key points:

  1. Activity Risk Assessments are not new, we have been doing these as a matter of course for some time.
  2. Activity Risk Assessments now need to be documented.
  3. Activity Risk Assessments are the responsibility of the leader in charge of an activity but should be shared with all who are engaged so that all are aware of the risks and controls.
  4. Activity Risk Assessments do not need to be over elaborate so long as they contain all the key elements and are easy to understand.
  5. Activity Risk Assessments are required for on-line as well as face-to- face activities.
  6. Activity Risk Assessments should be reviewed before each use and changes made if appropriate.
  7. Activity Risk Assessments are personal to your Section, your Group, your District as circumstances will be different for each activity in different venues with different people.
  8. Activity Risk Assessments are not the same as a Covid-19 Risk Assessment or that required for Nights Away.
  9. Activity Risk Assessments should not be subject to any Local Rules.
  10. Activity Risk Assessments do not require sharing with or approval by GSL’s (for Sections), DC’s, DESC’s or CC’s.
Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls