HSE Working Group Report - Post AALA Regime
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HSE Working Group Report - Post AALA Regime

Author:IOL FE
Date Added:11 October 2011
Report from HSE Working Group - Post AALA Regime
 
28th September saw the first meeting of the HSE working group to ‘develop practical post-AALA arrangements to support the recommendation within Common Sense Common Safety’.  The group is likely to meet 2 or 3 more times in order to have developed a practical way forward by the end of this calendar year.  Adventurous Activity providers were represented by myself and Paul Kenwright.  This first meeting was largely to enable HSE to explain their responsibilities and probable activities going forward, in the context of directives from government and reflecting their approach to other industries who do not have statutory licensing requirement
 
To enable me to further represent the views of a wide range of providers I invite comment on the following issues that arose during the meeting.
  1. The government is looking for an increase in the number of young people participating in adventurous activities
  2. The government is not looking for a direct replacement of Licensing with a regime that is practically the same but run on a voluntary basis.
  3. The government is looking for the option of a ‘no cost’ route to demonstrating compliance with the new Code of Practice for provision of adventurous activities, consistent with the Common Sense Common Safety recommendation to reduce the cost burden to business.
  4. The HSE will move to dealing with incidents and breaches of the Health & Safety at Work Act and Management Regs in the adventurous activities sector and reviewing the Code of Practice.  They will not carry out inspections.  It will be the providers responsibility to demonstrate compliance with the new Code of Practice.
  5. In the event of an incident, inspection investigation costs incurred by the HSE will be need to be met by the duty holder.
  6. The Minister for Education is considering the possibility of removing schools from the need to comply with H&S legislation or, if that proves impossible, removing the duty of care for H&S from employers and giving it to teachers instead.
  7. The Scottish & Welsh devolved administrations have not yet committed to their approaches to the recommendation to abolish AALA and may wait to see what is developed by this working group before deciding their approach.
  8. The earliest that the bill to repeal AALA would receive Royal Assent would be October 2012
A number of other issues were raised by working group members and are likely to be considered further as the group moves to development of more detailed arrangements.  These included but were not restricted to:
  • The need to incorporate a risk/benefit based approach in the new regime
  • The need to ensure that visit leader’s burdens are not increased under the new regime so as not to act as a disincentive for adventurous activity trips
  • The need to ensure sufficient guidance to new entrants to the industry (currently provide through AALA inspection activity)
  • The financial challenge to the sustainability of forms of compliance beyond self declaration as result of reduced frequency of inspections (more proportionate) and withdrawal of public funding.
A detailed analysis of the recently completed consultation by the HSE on the abolition of AALA will be made available for the end of October.  It may be helpful to refer to the attached diagram of the new regime when considering contributing to this process.  The dotted line represents the limit of the HSE’s role and interest under the new regime.
 

The working group is looking to make available a working draft of the new Code of Practice after its second meeting later in October.

RESPONSES WELCOMED ON THE IOL ONLINE MEMBERS FORUM

An IOL Members discussion forum is available HERE to enable you to post comments, pose further questions and reply to questions (you will need to be logged in to the website access this).  As well as taking note of any direct e-mails I receive I will also review the content of the discussion forum before each meeting of the working group over the next 2 months.

Andy Robinson, IOL CEO


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The Institute for Outdoor Learning supports practitioners and providers of Outdoor Learning. Our mission is to increase participation in outdoor learning in the UK and to recognise and improve the quality of outdoor learning in the UK. - See more at: http://www.outdoor-learning.org/Default.aspx?tabid=40#sthash.CUZDhwSj.dpuf
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