Apply for a licence

You can apply using our online application system -If you are unable to use the online application system you should contact the AALA at [email protected]

When to apply for a licence

You must hold a licence before you start providing adventure activities within the scope of the Regulations and should apply at least 3 months before you want to start operations.

In the case of application for renewal of your licence, you must ensure that your application together with supporting documentation and payment are received by HSE in plenty of time to allow us to come to a licensing decision before your current licence expires. We need three months to process your application once we have received your application form, supporting documents and the fee. We recommend you allow some additional time in case there are any issues with documents or clearing payments.

If you apply to renew your licence on time and the Licensing Authority has not issued its decision within 3 months of receipt of your renewal application, you may operate as if the expired licence was still in force. You can continue to provide licensable activities for a further 3 months or until a decision is reached (whichever comes first). Your licence will automatically be withdrawn three months after the expiry date on your existing licence if no decision is made, and you must stop providing licensable activities.

In such cases you would have the right to appeal to the Secretary of State if you so wish. Details of the appeals procedure can be obtained from [email protected]

If you have not received an acknowledgement of your application within 5 days of submitting it you should contact the Licensing Authority to make sure your application has been received.

How to apply for a licence

The application form must be completed, and the declaration signed by the person in authority making the application. Information on completing the application form is provided in the Application Guidance Notes.

You are required to submit information in support of your application, and it should be clearly labelled and enclosed with the application form.

The licence application fee must be paid before the application will be considered. The completed application form and supporting documents should be sent to the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority at [email protected]

The Licensing Authority will forward an acknowledgement and send you instructions on how to pay the application fee.

Licence application fee

The fee for the consideration of the licence application specified in Regulation 5 of the Licensing Regulations is £715. This fee must be paid before your application can be assessed.

The same fee applies in the case of licence renewal applications.

You should note that the licence fee covers some of the costs of processing applications, carrying out inspections and preparing the reports that are required before a licence is issued. You must have a valid licence at any time you are providing in scope activities – it is an offence to provide activities without one.

Inspection arrangements

To obtain a licence you will be required to demonstrate to the Licensing Authority that you follow good safety management practice. This will cover the following aspects:

  • assessment of risks to participants
  • measures identified as necessary to reduce risks
  • arrangements to give continued effect to these measures

Further detail is contained in the application form and in the guidance notes.

All first-time applicants will receive a site visit. Renewal applicants can expect a site visit too. However, if a provider seeking renewal can demonstrate competence, compliance and commitment to maintaining robust Health and Safety management systems through their application, and the inspector is of the opinion that a site visit is unnecessary to verify this, inspectors can recommend a licence is granted without visiting. When licences are granted in this way, AALA reserve the right to carry out inspections during the lifetime of the licence. HSE will devise criteria for inspections outside the application process.

Once the application has been assessed, and a decision made, the Licensing Authority will send you an Inspection Report. This report will identify the issues discussed at the time of the inspection. It will also inform you of the outcome of that inspection a decision on whether a licence will be granted, and its duration.

For information about the AALA licence

Licence refusals and revocations

The Licensing Authority has the power to refuse a licence application, revoke an existing licence or impose certain restrictions on a licence in the interest of safety. In such cases you will be notified of our intention to do this and informed of any remedial action required before a licence can be issued. You will be given 28 days' notice before any action is taken. You may appeal to the Licensing Authority if you are not satisfied with its decision.

Once a licence has been refused or revoked it will be illegal for you to offer adventure activities that come within the scope of the Regulations.

Representations and appeals

If you are not satisfied with the licensing decision you can make representation to the Licensing Authority. In most cases the right to further appeal exists. This would be to the Secretary of State (in the case of providers based in England and Scotland) or the Welsh Assembly (in the case of providers based in Wales). Appeal procedures are available by emailing [email protected]

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Updated: 2024-06-06