Safety policy

The Scouts sets out to deliver everyday adventure and develop skills for life in a growing movement of adult volunteers and young people aged 5-25, in the UK and internationally. 

The Scouts recognises that life is not risk-free, and in its turn Scouting is not risk-free.  As Scouts, we believe that our members benefit most from our activities when we manage these risks to wellbeing to be as low as is reasonably practicable.  Identifying and proportionately managing risk is a skill for life that we wish to kindle, develop and enhance in all of our members. 

All those involved in scouting must, so far as is reasonably practicable and to the extent of their role, ability and understanding;

  • Properly assess the risk of every activity undertaken in scouting.  This assessment should be suitable and sufficient for the activity being undertaken, and follows that activities with higher risk should require more in-depth assessment. 

  • Provide and receive clear instructions and information, and adequate training, to ensure members are competent to undertake their task

  • Prevent accidents and cases of ill health by managing the health and safety risks in scouting

  • Maintain safe and healthy conditions, provide and maintain plant, equipment and machinery, and ensure safe storage/use of substances

  • Review risk assessments as often as necessary when circumstances and conditions change.

  • Never be afraid to change or stop an activity if risk increases.

Responsibilities within the safety policy

All those involved in Scouting must, so far as is reasonably practicable and to the extent of their role, ability and understanding;

a. Stop any activity if they have concerns over its safety, and must be reminded of this frequently.

b. The person responsible for ensuring that these requirements are met for every activity being undertaken is the agreed leader-in-charge, working closely with the team leading the activity or event.

c. The person responsible for assuring that this policy is being implemented in their area of responsibility is the holder of a management appointment. The authority to undertake the requirements outlined above, or tasks required to support the requirements, can be delegated as necessary.  The responsibility for making sure that the policy is followed can never be delegated.

d. Every Executive Committee in Scouting is to satisfy itself through appropriate assurance and monitoring activities that this policy is being put into effective use and to engage and consult with members on day-to-day health and safety conditions and ensure it is on the agenda at all meetings.

e. The responsible body for making sure that these requirements are met for every premises or location operated by a Scouting concern, and therefore deemed to be the Managing Controller of the premises, is the relevant executive committee.

f. Communicate these assessments the most effective way for those involved and, where practical, in writing.  These assessments should be reviewed before every activity, and as often as necessary proportionate to changing circumstances and conditions. Ensure that those involved, including parents/carers, have a reasonable understanding of the risk nature of activities being run and communicate this in an appropriate manner.

g. Everyone in Scouting has a responsibility for sharing good practice about how to apply this policy, and making sure that failures to apply this policy are brought to the attention of those involved.

h. Implement emergency procedures – evacuation in case of fire or other significant incident. Report incidents that cause injuries, or incidents that had the potential to cause injuries, at their earliest opportunity through the appropriate channels.  When reported, managers must make arrangements to complete a proportionate investigation, and learn and share lessons from incidents. (in accordance with Chapter 7).




Risk assessments

Everything we do involves an element of risk, so we have to have plans in place to manage this. Click here to read the scout association's guidance which will help you to do that both before and during an activity or event.