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Activity permits FAQs

What are restrictive permits?

Any permit can be restricted to personalise it to the level an applicant is at, or wishes their permit to be limited to. This allows an applicant to lead their activity within certain parameters.

They can then gain further experience, which could lead to a less restrictive permit in future, should they wish to get one. This is rather than not allowing them any permit, and thus not giving them any opportunity to gain experience leading groups until they have the skills to gain an unrestricted permit.

Is the permit scheme compatible with National Governing Body Awards?

The permit scheme is solely for those operating in Scouting, and permits can be issued to restrict the activity to certain areas. NGB Awards, typically, apply across the UK.

Conversely, the possession of an NGB Award does not mean that a person is suitable to work with young people, hence the checks that need to be made by the responsible commissioner – including the fact that we have certain activity-specific rules. We do, however, suggest that the training schemes offered by those accredited by NGBs are good places to learn skills.

What training and assessment funding is available from headquarters?

Details of all funding available from headquarters to support activities can be found in the activities funding pages.

There are so many first aid qualifications issued by different bodies. What help is there available to understand what is compatible?

Further details on First Response and its equivalents can be found in the factsheet FS310547 First Response: Definition and Equivalents. Details of what is required for a valid first aid qualification (as required for activities in terrain 2) can be found in the factsheet FS120052 Full First Aid Certificate: definition and the wearing of badges.

Why does the permit holder not need to have a valid first aid qualification?

The actual need is to have accessible first aid cover for the activity, rather than attaching that requirement to the permit holder. So, for example, that cover could be provided by a second adult in a walking group, or be shore-based for water activities.

For young people working remotely, for example on expeditions, it is the young people that need to be trained in first aid, rather than attaching that requirement to a supervisor who is not immediately to hand.

Can a young person hold a permit?

Yes, there is no minimum age to hold a permit, whether personal, leadership or supervisory. Perhaps the most typical example is where expeditions are being conducted. However, in these circumstances, the responsible commissioner may place restrictions on time, requiring perhaps that a responsible adult conducts daily visual checks on progress.

Why isn't shooting included within the permit scheme?

The adventurous activity permit scheme covers only those activities defined as adventurous. Shooting is not defined as an adventurous and therefore it does not come under the permit scheme. Shooting does however still have  rules to ensure those leading it do so safely.

As an assessor, what do I have to do to complete Module 25 - Assessing Learning (Activity Assessors)?

Module 25 is included to ensure all county assessors have the necessary soft skills, as well as technical skills, to be able to carry out effective assessments. It is specifically written to be appropriate to county activity assessors. Validation is done through carrying out two assessments, with a workbook available for those requiring support and learning opportunities beforehand. A training adviser (who might well be another county assessor) will be available to provide support and confirm validation.

Personal activity permits

What are personal activity permits?

Personal activity permits are a type of permit that recognises a young person’s ability to safely take part in an adventurous activity without the need for supervision from others.

How are they different to leadership or supervisory permits?

A leadership or supervisory permit allows you to lead an activity for other people. A personal permit only allows you to carry out the activity for yourself, not to lead anyone else. So you can only take part in the activity with others holding personal activity permits.

Are there permit cards for this?

Yes. The permit cards have tick boxes for ‘personal’, ‘leadership’ and ‘supervisory’ to easily show what type of permit it is for.

Does this work in the same way as nights away passports?

No. A nights away passport is given by a nights away permit holder to a young person for a single event. A personal activity permit can only be granted by a commissioner on the recommendation of an assessor (the same way as leadership and supervisory permits), and lasts for up to a maximum of five years.

Is there a minimum age?

There is no minimum age to gain a permit (as there isn’t for leadership and supervisory permits). It is based on the technical skills and personal suitability of the individual.

Is there a maximum age?

Personal permits have no use once someone is 18 as they then come under the rules of adult groups in adventurous activities.

How does it affect Assessors?

Assessors will assess candidates in the same way that they would for leadership and supervisory permits. There are specific assessment checklists for them to use for personal permits.

How does it affect commissioners?

The commissioner’s role is the same as when granting leadership or supervisory permits, with the exception that applicants don’t need checking for child protection (training, personal enquiry checks etc).

Why aren’t all adventurous activities included?

Some activities (eg white water rafting, dragon boating) require someone to be in charge of the craft and others on board. This naturally goes against the idea of a personal activity permit holder only being responsible for themselves, not for others, so it is not possible to get a personal permit for these activities.

Is first aid required?

The first aid requirement is the same as for all adventurous activities. So there is no requirement for the permit holder to hold a first aid qualification, but there does need to be first aid available at the appropriate level whenever the activity takes place.

What activities does this cover?

The activities covered by the adventurous activity permit scheme remain the same. There is no need to get a personal activity permit for activities that you wouldn’t have needed a permit holder for before (eg class C waters, terrain 0, archery etc).

What does a personal activity permit allow you to do?

A personal activity permit allows you to take part in an activity with others holding a personal activity permit.

What doesn’t a personal activity permit allow you to do?

A personal activity permit doesn’t allow you to lead an activity for others or take part in an activity with others who don’t hold a personal activity permit.

Is there funding available to support gaining personal permits?

Yes. Funding is available in the same way as for leadership and supervisory permits. You can find full details at scouts.org.uk/ACtivitiesfunding.

Can personal permit holders take part in activities with over-18s who are following the rules for adult groups in adventurous activities?

No. The adult groups in adventurous activities rule (rule 9.8) does not apply when under 18's are present. The permit scheme (rule 9.7) must apply, and this does not allow the use of personal permits when adults are present. The group could be covered by a supervisory permit holder or a member of the group (under or over 18) holding the relevant leadership permit. Please note that over 18's holding a leadership permit must have a full adult role.


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