Guidance for local authorities

Licensable adventure activities can be delivered in many different ways by a local authority and by several different departments. This guidance will help you to decide if a licence is needed by your authority.

  1. List each school, centre, unit, club, college, base from which activities are offered. Don't forget your peripatetic providers and any children's homes or other residential facilities you operate (eg secure units);
  2. Next to each, indicate which activities they provide eg kayaking, hill walking, sailing, etc;
  3. Indicate the circumstances of the provision. For example, is it part of the curriculum of a school, the main purpose and function of a centre, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Unit provision, etc;
  4. Ask who has immediate responsibility and what their role is - eg teacher in charge, head teacher, head of centre, unit manager;
  5. Consider if the activities come within the scope of the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations, eg is it exempt because it is school provision only or does it require licensing because the school offers the activities to other pupils besides their own

In recent years, many local authorities have set up arm-length trusts or other means of delivering activities or managing their centres. It is important that local authorities check that any arrangements they have comply with the requirements for obtaining licences under regulation 3 of the Adventure Licensing Regulations 2004. In particular, whether it is appropriate for them to have a licence and whether it is necessary that additional licences are required for any other bodies they may be using to provide activities. You may want to seek guidance from the Licensing Authority or consult your legal department for advice and clarification.

Occasionally local government is subject to reorganisation. Depending on the statutory arrangements for the reorganisation, provision may have been made for existing arrangements such as licences to remain in effect. A licence may lapse where the authority ceases to exist and no other arrangements have been made, in which case any successor bodies will need their own licence to provide activities. Where a reorganisation is taking place, you should contact the Licensing Authority as soon as possible to ensure that any new licence(s) that may be needed can be in place in good time.

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Updated: 2023-07-13