Risk management for activities and events
How to plan activities and events so that they're both safe and fun
Run your activities safely
The best place to start with making sure all your unit activities, and some outside of the meeting place, are safe is our Being Prepared guidance. It will help you to plan:
- games in the meeting place
- cooking activities
- adventure days
- tasks that help your local community.
It also has guidance for spotting hazards and preventing them.
Forms you will need
Activities away from the meeting place
If you're planning an activity that won't take place in your normal meeting place, such as a visit to the local park, sports field, theatre or ice rink, there are several things to consider.
- Whether the activity is appropriate to the age and ability of the girls participating.
- How to take into account all the needs of all participants – medical, dietary, faith and cultural.
- Whether the location, conditions and time of day are appropriate.
- Whether all the participants are wearing clothing appropriate for the activity and weather.
- How to minimise impact on the environment.
- What might cause the activity to be cancelled and what the consequences of cancellation will mean.
- The possibility of adult volunteers being suddenly unable to attend an event or activity which might result in cancellation.
A Leader must inform her District Commissioner of any activity that takes place outside the normal meeting place or time.
Parents or carers of Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and members of The Senior Section under 16, as well as the local Commissioner, should be informed of the unit's plans.
On the day
The most important thing is that you have enough adults with you. Girlguiding's suggested adult to child ratios become mandatory when taking a unit out of the normal meeting place.
On the day, you must have:
- a basic first aid kit
- parental permission for all participants, if relevant
- your District Commissioner's phone number and parental contact numbers.
If appropriate you should also take these phone numbers:
- home contact
- emergency services in the area where the activity is taking place
- County or Country/Region Public Relations Adviser (PRA)
- Girlguiding HQ, Girlguiding Scotland or Girlguiding Ulster.
External activity providers
If the activity is not being organised within guiding but is being provided by an outside organisation, whether on a commercial or a voluntary basis, some basic precautions should be taken before any contract or other agreement is signed. Check that the activity provider:
- is a member of the appropriate activity organisation
- has given evidence of insurance cover
- has carried out appropriate recruitment procedures for child protection and has a child protection policy
- if the provider isn't already known to local guiding, you can contact your Outdoor Activities Adviser with any questions.
Risk assessments for adventurous activities
Leaders need only risk assess the elements of the activity that the Leadership Team is responsible for, such as travelling to and from the venue.
The instructor is responsible for carrying out a risk assessment specific to the activity. You may wish to request a copy of this for your records too.
For more guidance on specific activities, check our Activity finder which has information on safety and what you need to plan. You can also contact your Commissioner or Outdoor Activities Adviser who will be able to support you. Or for further advice contact [email protected]
Risk assessment tips
- If you do an activity more than once, you don't need to write a whole new risk assessment. You just need to see if anything has changed from the previous occasion.
- You don't need to over risk assess. All controls put in place should be proportional to the size of the risk. For example, a control for a wet floor could simply be a mop, with no need to cordon off the area or put out slippery floor signs.
- Some risks cannot be foreseen and, therefore, you may not be able to control them fully. Please don't worry about this!
- The best way to manage risks is to have enough adult supervision - refer back to the Adult to child ratio for the activity to do this.
Our Being Prepared guidance explains how to plan activities so they're as safe as possible - from games and cooking in the meeting place to adventure days and trips to help your local community
Use the Activity Finder
To choose an exciting activity to do with your unit