Risk Management

Many Scouting activities, by their nature, contain an element of risk. It is important that this risk is properly identified, assessed and managed to reduce the likelihood of an accident or emergency occurring, and to limit the impact if an accident or emergency does occur.

All adults in Scouting are required to ensure that appropriate safeguards and plans are put in place to provide a safe environment for members, visitors and members of the public. Those who carry out a “management” or team lead role have a particular responsibility in this regard.

Assessing and planning for risk

Any person who takes charge of activities or events in your Scout Group should be encouraged and, if necessary supported, in completing a risk assessment.

A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm to participants during the activity or event (including any setup beforehand and dismantling afterwards) as well as a plan of practical risk control measures that the person in charge will put in place to minimise the risk of harm occurring, so that it is reduced to an acceptable level.

A risk assessment is particularly important when members of the Scout Group are taking part in activities which present a heightened level of danger such as mountaineering, remote hillwalking, climbing, water activities involving sail or power, etc.

You should also regularly review the place(s) where member of the Scout Group meet, regardless of its ownership, to identify risks relating to the use of the meeting place and to plan actions to negate or resolve those risks. You should keep a record of such reviews and actions for reference later on.

Supporting Documents

SID-124-15 Risk Management Policy introduces the Risk Management Framework

SID-124a-15 Risk Management Framework declares how Risk Management should be approached, although it needs updating dur to organisational changes since October 2018

BOD-RM01 Risk Management established a Risk Management Advisory Team and a Risk Management Assessment Advisory Panel, although it is unclear if this still applies as the document doesn’t seem to have been updated since March 2017

SID-125-15 Audit and Risk Management Committee Terms of Reference sets out the terms of reference of the current Board subcommittee responsible for overseeing Risk Management

Incidents & Accidents

Despite your best laid plans it is possible that harm may occur to someone on an activity that the Scout Group organises or attends or on premises controlled by or in use by the Scout Group, this must be reported.

In particular this is appropriate where:

  • A person is seriously or fatally injured whilst on Scout premises or on a Scout activity
  • A large group of Scouts and Scouters fall into harm’s way, for example they become lost in the mountains or involved in a coach accident.

You should contact a senior member of the organisation immediately in the event of such a serious matter. For regular Scout Group activities the appropriate person to contact would be your Group Leader and/or County Commissioner, who should in turn inform National Office.

All accidents or incidents should be reported to National Office within 7 days of the accident or incident using SIF 10.05 – Accident / Incident Report Form.  When you submit an accident / incident report form, you should expect to be contacted by a member of the professional staff for some follow-up. It is also recommended that you keep a copy of the completed forms for your Scout Group records and that you inform your Group Leader and County Commissioner as soon as any such accident or incident takes place.