The Scottish Government has launched a public consultation into plans for the development of a new safety system for adventure activities such as caving, trekking and watersports.
It follows proposals from the UK government to replace the Adventures Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) - set up in 1995 after four people died while canoeing in Dorset.
After the Common Sense, Common Safety report of 2010, the UK government has committed to abolishing the 17 year old legislation. This forms the basis of the statutory licensing requirement of outdoor adventure providers who are commercial and who operate with children and young people.
This decision was taken following a UK-wide consultation on the issue which closed last September. SkillsActive and its Outdoor Employers Group (OEG) submitted a response to this consultation which can be viewed here: Consultation response
However, the Scottish Government believes that the outdoors licensing issue is a ‘devolved’ one. It has just launched a consultation of the development of safety systems for the outdoor adventure sector specifically in Scotland. The consultation and response document can be viewed here: Scottish consultation . The consultation closes on 30 March 2012. SkillsActive will be responding to the consultation
The consultation will look at, and compare, three options for Scotland, including the UK government's planned new voluntary code of practice and would remove costs associated with licensing, a non-statutory, voluntary accreditation scheme and a statutory scheme.
The Scottish consultation was formally launched by Commonwealth Games and sport minister Shona Robison.
Robison said: "Any safety system developed for adventure activities in Scotland would need to meet the needs of Scottish providers and users whilst being robust and proportionate.
"That's why I want to hear views on whether a statutory inspection and licensing regime should be maintained or if a new approach should be adopted."