The Scouts sets out to deliver everyday adventure and develop skills for life in a growing movement of adult volunteers and young people aged 5-25, in the UK and internationally. The Scouts recognises that life is not risk-free, and in its turn Scouting is not risk-free.  As Scouts, we believe that our members benefit most from our activities when we manage these risks to wellbeing to be as low as is reasonably practicable.  Identifying and proportionately managing risk is a skill for life that we wish to kindle, develop and enhance in all of our members. 

All those involved in Scouting must, so far as is reasonably practicable and to the extent of their role, ability and understanding;

  • Properly assess the risk of every activity undertaken in Scouting.  This assessment should be suitable and sufficient for the activity being undertaken, and follows that activities with higher risk should require more in-depth assessment.
  • Provide and receive clear instructions and information, and adequate training, to ensure members are competent to undertake their task
  • Prevent accidents and cases of ill health by managing the health and safety risks in Scouting
  • Maintain safe and healthy conditions, provide and maintain plant, equipment and machinery, and ensure safe storage/use of substances
  • Review risk assessments as often as necessary when circumstances and conditions change.
  • Never be afraid to change or stop an activity if risk increases.

Doing things safely is fundamental to everything we do in Scouting and our responsibilities are highlighted in the Safety Policy in Chapter 2 of our Policy, Organisation and Rules.  It should become a natural way of thinking, rather than an ‘add-on’ to our planning.

What can you do? (Volunteers)

  • Ensure your mandatory training (safeguarding, safety and first aid) is up-to-date. If you are unsure check Compass or speak with your Group Scout Leader or Local Training Manager. It is important that training records are updated on Compass promptly and correctly following any mandatory training.
  • Ensure you are completing Risk Assessments for all scouting activities and following the rules outlined in POR. Ensure you are informing your District Commissioner and Group Scout Leader if you are taking part in any activities away from your normal meeting place, not just for nights away. It is good practice to share risk assessments carried out for activities away from your normal meeting place and nights away with your District Commissioner and Group Scout Leader.

For more information about Safety, please visit, If you have any concerns about Safety at your group or within your district, please contact your District Commissioner. If any person is in immediate danger, please contact the Emergency Services by dialling 999.

Click the underlined headings and text below for more information directly from The Scout Association.


All adults in Scouting undertake training which includes content to help them deliver safe Scouting, find out here what training is available.

Planning and Assessing Risk

The sense of adventure is at the heart of good Scouting and a key reason for so many young people and adults to join.

Careful planning will not only help you to identify possible hazards but will enable you to correctly identify what resources and equipment you may need and the people required. There are a number of simple tools here to make that process easier for you.

Delivering Safe Scouting

Accidents are most likely to happen at your normal meeting place or during free time.

  • Activities – the A-Z of Scout Activities will guide you through the planning of running exciting and safe activities for your young people.
  • Programme – get some practical ideas of how to bring safety into your programme.
  • Events – guidance for those planning, managing or responsible for approving events within Scouting to ensure that they are delivered in a safe way.

Emergencies and Reporting

Its important to know what to do in an emergency and what plans to have in place before an activity to ensure that you can respond efficiently should one arise.

Near Miss Reporting

The Scout Association want to hear details of near misses within Scouting (unplanned events that did not result in normally reportable injury, illness or damage – but had the potential to do so). This is so that we can update our best practise and guidance for members to try and ensure the same incident does not happen in the future with more serious consequences.

For more information about Safety, please visit, If you have any concerns about Safety at your group or within your district, please contact your District Commissioner. If any person is in immediate danger, please contact the Emergency Services by dialling 999.

Useful Resources and Links

Purple Card – Safe Scouting and Emergency Procedures

Mandatory Ongoing Safety Training

Safety Information and Guidance

A to Z of Activities

Risk Assessment Template

Report a Near Miss