We have been asked to provide a reminder of the requirements for undertaking Risk Assessments, both as part of restarting scouting and also as part of general Scouting activities.

  1. General Activities

A reminder that the changes to how we approach Risk Assessments, launched on 18 August 2020, are currently in the transition period through to 1 January 2021.

You’ll find helpful resources on the risk assessment pages of the website, including guidance documents, FAQs, template risk assessment forms and a bank of examples risk assessments.

There’s always been a requirement to undertake risk assessments for all activities within the Scouts, whether in your normal meeting place, on nights away or out on adventurous activities with the encouragement to document them. These changes now require the documenting of the risk assessment. To help with this change we’ve provided lots of methods you can use.

The guidance also reinforces the need to communicate the hazards, risks and control measures to those involved, including young people. In doing this effectively it will help others to develop the ability to identify and manage risk, building another vital skill for life. Remember too that repetitive elements, e.g. your opening and closing ceremonies only need to be written once and dynamically checked in subsequent weeks, or reviewed if you meet in a different place, e.g. in a park on a summer evening.

The normal risk assessments for activities do not require the approval of someone from your District or the Region (with the exception of Nights Away activities and Visits Abroad). It’s about the leadership team working together to undertake, document, communicate and review their risk assessments. Making sure that in doing so we are providing Scouts in as safe a way as possible to, and with, all our members.

2. Restarting Scouting 

It’s also important to remind you this is separate from the restart approval process, which requires a documented risk assessment to be submitted for approval ahead of moving between readiness levels in the restart of face-to-face scouting.

There are lots of really helpful resources available here including:

  • Videos on the approval process and how to write risk assessments
  • Risk Assessment Templates and Examples
  • Checklists for risk assessment submitters and approvers –these are very helpful in keeping you right in terms of what needs to be included and the level of detail

This link provides details of the Requestor approval process.

To date, nearly half of the Sections in the Region have had a Risk Assessment (either Yellow and/or Amber) approved to allow them to re-start face to face Scouting which is great news!

A reminder though that there is no pressure to return to face to face Scouting. You know your young people, you know the limitations of your meeting place, the ability of your leaders to be able to return and what your parents are willing to sign back up to.

If you need any specific support with Risk Assessments please contact your line manager in the first instance. In addition, Mike Treanor, Scouting Support Officer would be happy to provide advice and support (michael.treanor@sesscouts.org.uk)