Updates to our adventurous activities policy and procedure

Changes volunteers need to know about

05 April 2023

In October we held a consultation on our adventurous activities policy and procedure.

As always, a big thank you to over 100 of our volunteers who responded to this consultation to let us know their thoughts.  

We've taken this feedback on board when revising the policy and procedure.  

When it comes to the policy, a number of you reported being confused about when its okay to use a Scouts adventurous activities permit. We’ve changed the policy to clarify that it’s only appropriate when it’s a joint activity taking place with the Scouts. 

An important change is that volunteers now must contact the outdoor adviser for their country or region or email the adventure team before taking part in activity that isn’t listed on our adventure for girls activity pages, and the activity must never go ahead until it’s been confirmed that it’s appropriate to do so.  

We’ve also clarified that Girlguiding insurance doesn’t cover international trips. This includes British Guiding Overseas (BGO) units doing activities outside of their home country, but it does cover BGO units doing activities within their home country. We’ve also clarified when to check with the adventure team about international qualifications. 

We always try to remove the “jargon” in our policies and procedures. As such, we’ve removed the reference to “recognised activities”, and added a definition for “prohibited activities”. This means that now there’s only two types of activities, those that are allowed (activities) and those that aren’t allowed (prohibited activities). Our insurance doesn’t cover prohibited activities, so it’s really important you’re familiar with them.  

Finally, we added an expectations section, which we hope will help you understand your responsibilities when it comes to following this policy: be safe, be vigilant, never be afraid to change or stop an activity if the risk increases, be covered, and be accountable. 

We’ve made changes to the procedure as well. The first thing you’ll notice is how different it looks – there’s a list of what’s included in the procedure near the top of the page. When you click on one of these links, it’ll take you to the relevant section on the same page. We hope this’ll make it easier to find the information you’re looking for. 

The main change we’ve made to the procedure is around instructor qualifications. If you’re using an external activity provider or a freelance instructor you need to get written confirmation that the instructor has the right qualifications, or the provider has a relevant license or accreditation to run the activity. Don’t worry, this doesn’t need to be a formal letter, an email is fine. The key point to remember is that we don’t expect you to check individual certificates or permits anymore.