This guidance is designed to help MAPS (Managers of the Activity Permit Scheme) and County / Area / Region (Scotland) (from now on referred to as County) Commissioners with the self moderation of the adventurous activity permit scheme within their County. It supports the County Self Moderation form that can be found at www.scouts.org.uk/activitiesmoderation.
The adventurous activity permit scheme is a national internal assessment scheme within Scouting to ensure that those leading adventurous activities have the skills and experience to do so safely. It is therefore key to ensure it is working effectively across Scouting in the UK. A system of moderation provides a local check of the robustness of the scheme allowing plans to be put into place to correct any weaknesses identified and to find areas for further improvement. It also allows The Scout Association to document the checks in place on the permit scheme to be able to prove its robustness to any interested parties. The Scout Association needs to be able to demonstrate that it is able to manage the provision of activities internally without the need for external legislation that could make it harder for volunteers to be able to run activities.
The moderation scheme has been designed to ensure that it is not bureaucratic, time consuming or expensive for volunteer MAPS to carry out, while remaining a meaningful and useful tool.
Each County is required to carry out a self moderation by the end of each January looking at the management and robustness of the permit scheme within their County. This will be done by the County’s MAPS and agreed by the County Commissioner.
There is a County Self Moderation form for each County to use to carry out their moderation. This lists each of the areas that need looking at and has the ability to record whether or not the area has been met. The areas are divided into ‘minimum standards’ and ‘good practice’. The minimum standards are the minimum levels required of every County to ensure that the permit scheme is running safely and effectively. The good practice areas are aspirational targets that Counties should be aiming towards, but if not reached should not negatively affect the safety of the permit scheme and the activities that it manages.
For any areas not met there is the ability to record an action plan to ensure the County does meet the requirement in the future. The County Self Moderation form has an area to record the action plan headlines next to each requirement that is not met and a larger area at the end of the document to record the full details of the action plan. Where a minimum standard isn’t met there is a requirement for the County to implement an action plan to ensure they do reach that standard as soon as possible. Where a good practice standard is not met Counties are encouraged to include an action plan to help meet the standard in future, but this is not a requirement.
When a County self moderation is complete it needs signing as an accurate record by both the MAPS and the County Commissioner. Any action points identified need to be assigned to someone who is able to carry them out / added to the County workplan, and there needs to be a check that all action points are completed.
Where Counties are not meeting one or more standards within the moderation, they can request support from the UK Activities Team. All requests for support should be made to the UK Activities Team.
Support will consist of helping the County put together an action plan that they can carry out to ensure they meet the identified standards. A member of the UK Activities team will work directly with the County to discuss possible remedies to any issues identified and help put the action plan together. They will also be available to the County to discuss and support them through any issues they encounter while implementing the action plan.
The UK Activities Team will check a sample of self moderations each year. This is not an extra check on how each County is doing, but a way of The Scout Association being able to identify any trends, and document how the permit scheme is operating and what is being done to correct any weaknesses. This allows The Scout Association to prove that it is capable of managing the provision of adventurous activities internally without the need for extra external legislation.
Counties who are selected for sampling each year will be contacted at the end of January when all self moderations should have been completed. They will need to send the completed County Self Moderation form to the UK Activities Team.