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Snowsports FAQs

Do I need to wear a helmet for a sledging activity near to my Scout Hut?

POR Rule 9.33 Snowsports requires helmets to be worn for all snowsports activities, this includes sledging in Terrain 1 and 2. If you are operating in Terrain 0 then helmets should be identified and considered as part of your activity risk assessment.

Do I need a permit for going sledging in Terrain 0, e.g. on the hill down the road from my Scout Hut?
No. You only require a permit for sledging in Terrain 1 or 2. There is guidance which should be followed for managing sledging in Terrain 0 which can be found in factsheet FS120424 - Winter Sports.

Do I need a permit for going skiing/snowboarding in Terrain 0, e.g. on the hill down the road from my Scout Hut?
Yes. All skiing and snowboarding activities require a permit unless on artificial and nursery slopes.

What do I do differently to go to an indoor ski slope?
This is an external provider in a closed environment, so no permit is necessary.  However, new and inexperienced participants should have instruction given by the centre’s staff and you need to adhere to their own regulations, as do independent participants.  Centres have their own rules about who can participate in snowsports without instruction.  Check with the provider what their arrangements are.  Most will be very receptive to Scout Groups.

I have a skiing permit, does that mean my permit is no longer valid?
All permits are valid until their expiration date but may only be used in line with the conditions of issue at that time. If you have a skiing permit you can only operate to the level which your permit was issued. When you come to renew you will apply for a snowsports permit, this can be restricted to skiing if appropriate.

I’m not a snowboarder, but can I lead snowboarding with my permit?
If you were assessed for a skiing permit, prior to the changes in January 2017, then you can only lead as stipulated in your permit.
If you have a snowsports permit and do not have restrictions preventing you from operating with snowboarders, then you can lead snowboarding.  

What are the ratios for snowsports activities?
Ratios can be found in factsheet FS120457 - Snowsports.

I was a skiing assessor and my role now shows as a snowsports assessor. What does this mean?
The only assessors within Scouting for snowsports were for skiing and so have all been transferred to be snowsports assessors, the intention of this change is to open accessibility to members to take part in snowboarding activities. If you have no experience of snowboarding, this does not mean that you have to assess the snowboard element of a snowsports permit.

I have Nordic Skiing qualifications, can I be an assessor?
As all permits have now been combined for all snowsports, we require assessors to have qualifications which cover a range of disciplines. Nordic qualifications are not broad enough, so you would not be able to become an assessor.

Why is the Snowboard Leader Award qualification no longer referenced?
The Snowboard Leader Award is no longer available and therefore has been removed from our documentation.

My group are going on a snowsports trip. How do we practically apply the permit exemption.
If your group are going to get instruction from professional instructors whilst on your trip (for example, you’ve booked to have instruction in the morning and plan to have personal practice time in the afternoon), young people (under 18) can get a short term personal permit exemption. This will allow them to take part in on piste snowsports activities during the afternoon, without an instructor or permit holder.

More detail is available in POR rule 9.33 and factsheet FS120457 – Snowsports.

The snowsports instructor must have a minimum qualification of BASI Level 2 Instructor in the appropriate discipline (or equivalent or higher). If you are unsure if the qualifications are equivalent or higher than BASI Level 2 Instructor, you should get in touch with the British Association of Ski Instructors (BASI).

Prior to the trip:
1. The leader in charge must check the qualification(s) of the instructor/company providing the snowsports lessons.
2. The Commissioner must approve the application of the permit exemption for snowsports.
3. Copies of the Snowsports Assessment Checklist (AC120934) should be printed to take on the trip.

During the trip:
4. On day one of snowsports lessons, the instructor checks each young person’s skills against the Snowsports Assessment Checklist (AC120934). The instructor must be clear about the scope of activity each young person can undertake in the afternoon. This must be documented by the leader in charge.
5. If a young person’s skill develops during the trip, the instructor can update the exemption record with the leader in charge.
6. A record of each permit exemption must be kept for the duration of the trip. If an incident or injury occurs, you must keep a record until the incident review has concluded.

Does a Commissioner need to approve permits for young people operating under the permit exemption for snowsports?
The exemption process exists to remove the need for the Commissioner to check the issuing of each permit. The Commissioner is still responsible for approving all activities, so must be aware of the planned activities and the plan to use of the snowsports permit exemption. The Commissioner must also agree the arrangements to check that young people are suitable to be issued the exemption for the duration of the trip or event.

My group are going on a snowsports trip to France. Is there anything else we should consider?
There is extreme sensitivity to anyone other than appropriately qualified instructors or guides leading skiers and snowboarders on the pistes. We recommend that you contact the local authorities or your chosen ski school well in advance of your trip, to get your activities approved and to help avoid the possibility of arrest on the slopes.
We also recommend contacting Snowsports England for further advice and clarification.


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