Martin Elliot, Regional Lead VolunteerYou will all no doubt have read about the Great Orme Inquest and the tragedy that led to it in the media and seen the Scouts response to it.

We will rightly be looking at anything more that can be done to keep our members safe from harm, but these events and the Coroner’s report highlight however strong our systems, rules and procedures are, they are only good if they are followed and adhered to. 

I hope that in South East Scotland Region we are all following all requirements, but not wishing to be complacent I reiterate the following (with no apologies for preaching to the converted):


All activities must adhere to The Scouts’ policies as detailed in POR 9.1.

  • There must be a written risk assessment.
  • A dynamic risk assessment should be adopted when required.
  • The District Lead Volunteer is responsible for approving all activities for Squirrels, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. (POR 9.1.2)
  • The leadership team should discuss plans together in advance.
  • Leaders should have a participation list and contact numbers.
  • Any hikes should have a route plan.
  • Young people should be provided with a briefing before activities.
  • It should be clear who the leader in charge is.
  • First Aid Kits should be readily accessible.
  • Nights Away Permits must be properly issued (POR 9.2).
  • NAN’s must be provided in good time.
    • No over 18’s should be in attendance if not listed.
  • Training compliance;
    • Completion of introductory training within 5 months;
    • Proper Appointment to roles – both pre provisional, provisional, and full appointment;
    • Safety, Safeguarding and First Aid Training to be kept up to date.
Martin Elliot
Lead Volunteer, South East Scotland Scouts 

Michael Treanor

The Scouts aim to provide opportunities for young people and adult volunteers to develop and appreciate what risk is and how it is managed. This vital skill for life is developed by providing opportunities to learn and experience activities that are adventurous but where risk is controlled and managed as far as is reasonably practicable.  

As we move to the lighter nights and warmer days, Scouting increasingly takes place outdoors and at camps. All those involved in the Scouts are accountable for and must demonstrate an ability and understanding of the following, so far as is reasonably practicable and to the extent of their role:

  1. Ensure they are competent to undertake their task, through attending appropriate training, checking their understanding of instructions and information, and remaining current in these competencies.  
  2. Properly assess the risk of every scouting activity undertaken.  This assessment should be suitable and sufficient for the activity being undertaken, and it follows that activities with higher risk should require more in-depth assessment. 
  3. Provide clear instructions and information to anyone who requires this, be it adult volunteer or young person, in order to ensure any activity is conducted with safety and wellbeing in mind.
  4. Prevent accidents and cases of ill health by managing the health and safety risks in the Scouts!
  5. Ensure that the environment they are working in, or using for the Scouts activities, is maintained safely and there are no risks to health. That any equipment or substances used are safe and stored safely. 
  6. Review risk assessments as often as necessary when circumstances, environment or conditions change.
  7. Feel and be empowered to never be afraid to change or stop an activity if risk increases.

This Safety Checklist is a useful tool aimed at helping all adults working with young people to fulfil their role and responsibilities in managing and supporting safety in Scouts.

Mike Treanor
Volunteer Development Lead, South East Scotland Scouts