Risk Assessments

We know that children and young people learn by doing. Activities encourage the development of young people and they can feel a huge sense of achievement in completing them. We want to provide EXCITEMENT but not DANGERADVENTURE but not HAZARD.

Risk assessments are a process intended to help you consider and record what risks may be involved in leading an activity, and what reasonable precautions (control measures) a leader should take to minimise those risks. A risk assessment should not normally stop you doing an activity, it should help you to do it safely.

It was announced in August 2020 that all Scouting activities are required to be accompanied by the undertaking and documenting of risk assessments. The process was required to be in place from 1 January 2021. Here’s the Scout HQ video about it:

 

Section Leaders have probably been doing these risk assessments in their head as the Section meeting develops – all you have to now do is to write it down in advance – and if your program changes during your session, carry on with dynamic assessment and write it up after the meeting.

Not every game needs a new risk assessment prepared – for example, running around and ball games indoors will likely only require one risk assessment to be prepared! Don’t over-think all possible hazards!

The background to the requirement for written risk assessments can be found here and resources around preparing written risk assessments for activities can be found here.

Don’t forget that risks associated with Covid need not be specifically addressed – but should be included as a part of your risk assessment for general health well being of members  – such as taking necessary precautions – hand washing, fresh air – and ensuring that anyone symptomatic of illnesses do not attend Scouting activities.

There are many examples of different risk assessments already available on-line – search “scout activity risk assessments” in Google (other search engines are available).  You may wish to sign up to the following service: https://www.scoutsram.co.uk This has a library of templates for common risk assessments as well as lots of YouTube videos as well. But beware of copying and pasting these as your own, as your circumstances, venue etc are likely to be different and they need to a appropriately adapted.

Venues such as Scout Activity Centres should already have risk assessments prepared for each of their activities and their facilities.

 

 

Nature and the outdoors are languages that can be learned. Once you identify a beech tree, tie a clove hitch or cook a simple meal over a fire that you’ve built yourself, you’ll never forget it.'
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls