SkillsActive is working with a new grouping of outdoor sector stakeholders with a mutual focus on delivering appropriate transitional accreditation arrangements in advance of the removal of statutory licensing.
Following last year’s announcement to repeal the Activity Centres (Young Person’s Safety) Act 1995 (in England at least), the group initially formed as a part of a working group to offer guidance to the Health & Safety Executive on post-repeal arrangements. Significant concerns have galvanised the sector to continue this initial work through the newly named UK Accreditation Transition Group (UKATG). These concerns include:
- - the possibility of differing accreditation arrangements over the four UK nations;
- - the absence of a robust voluntary accreditation scheme incorporating independent assessment which covers all aspects of the sector.
It is critical that users (local authorities, schools, parents, families, customers) can have confidence in the provision of adventurous activities across the UK. Safety and the perception of safety to outsiders are critical to the sector. In turn confidence, or more importantly the lack of it, can have a dramatic impact upon participation and take-up. The outcomes of this would be detrimental to society, education, the economy and to the long term health of the population.
So far, the group has met twice in 2012 with efforts to date concentrating on:
- - identifying a suitable body to adopt the group’s role in the longer term;
- - developing plans for a regime of voluntary third party inspections & an associated register;
- - communication activity to address the mixed levels of understanding about post-AALA arrangements.
The group’s membership is drawn from a range of stakeholder organisations with coverage of the diverse range of variables that make up the UK outdoors including the four home nations:
- - Adventure Activities Industry Advisory Committee;
- - Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres;
- - British Activity Provider Association;
- - English Outdoor Council;
- - Institute for Outdoor Learning;
- - Mountain Leader Training UK;
- - National Union for Teachers;
- - Outdoor Education Advisors’ Panel (English & Welsh representation);
- - Prince's Trust;
- - Royal Yachting Association;
- - Outdoor Employers’ Group;
- - Scottish Advisory Panel Outdoor Education;
- - SportNI;
- - SkillsActive (the sector skills council for the UK outdoor sector).
Please check this page regularly for updates on the group’s work.