The Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme

The Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme is designed to show that all those leading adventurous activities for young people within Scouting have the skills, experience and personal suitability to do so.  It is designed so that it can be tailored to be as flexible as possible, while at the same time providing a robust checking process for leaders in adventurous activities.  The permit should be seen as an enabling device to show a persons competence and provide reassurance to parents of the young people.

Everyone who leads an adventurous activity for young people within Scouting is required to hold an activity permit for that activity (different rules apply when using external providers).  Details of which activities are classed as adventurous are outlined in POR.  There are three levels of permit available:


Personal These permits allow under 18's to take part in adventurous activities without the need for someone with a leadership or supervisory permit to be present.  They can participate with others with personal permits, but cannot participate with or lead anyone without a permit.
Leadership These permits allow adults to lead an activity for a group of young people.  The adult must remain with the group throughout the activity.
Supervisory These permits allow adults to remotely supervise a number of groups taking part in the activity.

 Further details of how these permits work for each activity can be found in the factsheet for the specific activity.  Although managed locally, The Adventurous Activity Permit Scheme is a national scheme, so once gained, a permit will allow the leader to run that activity in any District or County.

Applying for a Permit

Permits can only be granted by a District or County Commissioner (depending on wether you hold a Group, District or County role), upon recommendation from an Approved Assessor.  A list of approved County Assessors for adventurous activities can be found below.

The Permit is time limited to a maximum of 5 years at which point it expires.  After this time leaders will have to re-apply for their permit in order to continue running the adventurous activity for young people.  However, if the permit is to exactly the same level as the old permit, and the leader has been active in that activity, there may be no need for a practical assessment.  This decision is down to the Approved Assessor.

There is no prerequisite training required to gain any permit, so long as the adult can show that they are to the required level of technical competence and experience, it does not matter how they reached that level.  However many people will have either undertaken training accredited by National Governing Bodies, be regular participants, or have obtained experience through a club.  Experience gained as a young person is also valid.  There are also no age limitations to gaining a permit, so long as the Applicant has the skills and experience required, it is quite feasible for a young person to gain a permit.

Application Process

Anyone wishing to apply for any Adventurous Activity Permit will need to complete an Adventurous Activity Permit Application Form.  Although there is no requirement to get approval from anyone when applying for a permit, it is good practice for the applicant to let their GSL and responsible Commissioner know beforehand, as they can often provide valuable support and guidance.

Once this form has been completed in needs to be sent to the relevant Approved Assessor (details below), who will assess the applicant against the assessment guidelines.  The Approved Assessor will contact the applicant to arrange for any practical assessments to be performed.

Once the necessary assessments have been completed, the Approved Assessor will make a recommendation to the relevant Commissioner on the level of Permit that they believe the applicants skills and experience are capable of fulfilling.  The Commissioner will then make the final checks before issuing the Activity Permit.


Approved Assessors


County Adventurous Activities Facilitator Judi King
Archery Approved Assessor vacant
Climbing/Abseiling Approved Assessor vacant
Pulling Approved Assessor Geoff Brown
Shooting Approved Assessor Tony Elgar
Water Activities Approved Assessor Jon Curtis

Contact details for the individual Activity Assessors can be found in the County Directory, which is available from your Group Scout Leader or Commissioner

What is Assessed?

There are four areas assessed in order to gain a permit:


Technical Competence This is assessed by the Approved Assessor and looks at the specific technical skills require to run the activity.  It is usually assessed through a practical assessment
Scout Association Rules This can be assessed by either the County Assessor, or the responsible Commissioner when using an External Assessor.  It looks at whether the applicant is aware of the activity Rules and how they affect the activity within Scouting
Child Protection (Not for personal permits) This will be carried out by the responsible Commissioner and ensures that the necessary Personal Enquiry checks have been carried out and the appropriate Child Protection training has taken place
Personal Suitability This is carried out by the responsible Commissioner, often in conjunction with a Group Scout Leader or similar, to check that the applicant is suitable (in terms of attitude) to be leading an adventurous activity for young people