Consultation on new voluntary scheme

The aim of the adventure activity accreditation scheme is for provider accreditation in adventurous activities where the management, operating systems and personnel are appropriate to the scale and nature of adventurous provision and its intended target population. The scheme aims to give reassurances that ‘good practice’ is being followed by those providers who are accredited.  

The requirements on the provider are drawn from existing adventure activity accreditation schemes within the UK (AALA1, Adventuremark2, LOtC Quality Badge Adventurous Activities3, AHOEC Gold Standard & BAPA4). The scheme provides assurance that a provider has been inspected and has demonstrated compliance with relevant health and safety legislation and quality standards. 

The scheme is aimed at anyone who provides ‘adventure activities within the UK, regardless of who they provide it to (young people, adults, family groups, voluntary sector etc.) and where it is provided (natural and manmade environments). It’s guiding principles take into account the provider’s offer, which may or may not include the full listing of criteria and sub-criteria below. 

Underpinning criteria 

The scheme has been created, considering a set of criteria outlined by the HSE against which any adventure activity accreditation scheme will be measured.

The criteria set by HSE are:  

  1. Be underpinned by the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work (HSW) Act 1974 and any other relevant health and safety regulations. 
  2. Meet the aspirations of stakeholders and have broad sector support.  
  3. Maintain current standards. 
  4. Provide sufficient levels of reassurance to service users. 
  5. Reduce the administrative burden on business. 
  6. Provide better value for money for the public purse; 
  7. Allow mutual recognition across other comparable existing organisation and national governing body (NGB) accreditation schemes. 
  8. Be recognised and branded as the sector standard. 
  9. Reach across UK borders, to include Northern Ireland. 

1 AALA is a statutory inspection scheme that considers the safety of U18s when inspecting ‘in scope’ adventure activities delivered by adventure activity sector providers;2 Adventuremark is a non-statutory scheme that considers the safety of all when inspecting adventure activity sector providers 3 LOtC Quality Badge provides both Direct Entry & Top-Up routes for adventure activity sector providers;   4 AHOEC & BAPA schemes consider safety and quality of provision and are only accessible to their respective memberships. 

Guiding Principles 

The scheme has been created to be representative of the following guiding principles: 

  • Proportionality – taking action appropriate to the risks. 
  • Consistency – taking a similar approach in similar circumstances to achieve similar ends.  
  • Targeting – making sure priorities for inspections focus on where the hazards are least well controlled and where there are the most serious risks.  
  • Transparency – making it easy for providers to understand what is expected of them and distinguish between what is advice and what is compulsory; helping the public to identify providers with good safety management practices. 

More Information 

For the detailed document outlining the structure and criteria around the scheme click here to download the document 

We’d really like your views to help us establish the viability of a new non statutory scheme. If you can spare the time please complete the survey here