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Adventure Activities Licensing Authority

Adventure activities licensing ensures that activity providers follow good safety management practices. HSE is very supportive of such activities which allow young people to experience exciting and stimulating activities outdoors without being exposed to avoidable risks of death or disabling injury.

Adventure activities licensing is delivered jointly by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (a role undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive since 1 April 2007) and the Adventure Activities Licensing Service, which is delivered by a contractor.

This is a small sector in terms of numbers of businesses and activity centres but as these are predominantly in rural parts of the country they are very important to local economies. Many of the undertakings are small enterprises and sole traders (freelance instructors) are common. We keep this in mind by producing straight forward guidance on how license holders can meet their legal duties.

There is a small team who has responsibility for the management of HSE’s adventure activities licensing work. This work is led from Scotland for the whole of Great Britain. The team has responsibility for the day to day management of the licensing contract, the provision of advice to HSE and Local Authority inspectors, developing guidance material, liaison with sector stakeholders, UK Government departments, the Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly and dealing with general enquiries. The team also supports the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) which has overall responsibility for the regime. The AALA is chaired by David Snowball, HSE’s Director of Field Operations.

Of particular interest to activity providers based in Scotland is the development of a specific Scottish system to regulate adventure activity provision.  This work is in its initial stages and is being led by the Scottish Adventure Activities Forum who will report to Scottish Ministers on the shape of a regime for Scotland in Spring 2015.

Find out more about licensing and our work in this area

We also have an adventure activities web community that is free to join.

Updated 2015-03-05