Adventure Activities Licencing

Adventure Activities Licencing Information & Updates

Adventure Activities

Visit the AALS Info Log below for information about incidents, accidents and near misses that have happened in adventure activities or similar, closely related activities.

  • AALS Information Log
  • AALA Review
  • AALS Inspection Guidance Notes
Below you can find links to information about incidents, accidents and near misses that have happened in adventure activities or similar, closely related activities. Many of these appeared on the former Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS) website as InfoLog entries. They will be of use to anyone who is interested in adventure activities, as a provider, user, enthusiast, organiser etc. This information is updated from time to time with safety developments and recommendations from within the outdoor community. Often an entry results from specific incidents and our intention is to look at the outcomes and implications of these and not at the incidents themselves. The entries have been complied by the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority with the assistance of the AALS as part of its advisory role. Licensing Service inspectors and others may refer to this guidance as illustrating good and up-to-date practice. Note - not all of the old InfoLog entries have been transferred to this site. Some entries have been removed for various reasons such as being out of date, superseded or replaced by published guidance. Items for removal were agreed with AALS.


The HSE continue to review their approach to Adventure Activity Licensing. Below you can find information about the most recent meetings and consultations with the outdoor learning sector.

To provide the HSE with a representative and informed point of contact a wide ranging group of representative organisations has come together as the UK Adventure Industry Group. The group has established a simple website to hold notes of its meetings and other pertinent information UKAIG. The group is being supported by the Institute and a list of its members can be found on the website.

Update 12/06/2017 Following the consideration of their 2017 AALA survey results the HSE recognises that there is potential for an effectively functioning, industry-run scheme to meet the aspirations of stakeholders and has committed to work with these stakeholders and others to develop this option further. See further details of the HSE statement and an option to join a webinar on 19th June to hear feedback on the survey results. IOL will continue to support this dialogue with the HSE working closely with AAIAC and other stakeholders representing all the Home Nations.

Note of meeting with Adventure Activity stakeholders British Mountaineering Council, Manchester 20/04/2017

These are currently hosted by the HSE at ALAA Inspection Notes


Lessons Learned Group
The Lessons Learned Group (LLG) is a small group of professionals and practitioners in adventure activities, brought together by a common aim to incorporate into ongoing good practice any lessons that can be learned from outdoor incidents..
HSE ‘pause’ the proposal to abolish AALA
(2/7/12) Following announcements that the Welsh and Scottish Governments intend to retain a statutory licensing scheme for Adventurous Activities, the Health and Safety Executive have written to all License holders to say that they are proposing to consult further rather than withdraw AALA at the moment. The two major issues they plan to consult further on are user reassurance of safe practice and the limited scope of adventurous activities covered by licensing. Importantly the HSE are also proposing to work with the Scottish and Welsh Governments as they develop future arrangements. IOL will seek to encourage and support this in pursuit of a consistent UK wide regime..
Nothing Ventured: Balancing Risks and Benefits in the Outdoors
By Tim Gill. "Explodes the myths about safety on school visits and gives real reassurance to teachers". 28 page publication by the English Outdoor Council (2010). Download a PDF of Nothing Ventured
Scottish Government decide to retain a statutory licensing schemes
The Scottish Government have decided to retain a statutory licensing scheme for the provision of adventurous activities. In doing so they are seeking to reassure users, especially parents, though they intend to also retain exemption for sports clubs to encourage participation. Attached is a link to the Scottish Government’s consultation report.

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Briefing on progress towards a post AALA regime
27/6/2012. Representatives of the providers and users of outdoor adventurous activities have been working to try and establish an appropriate alternative to the Licensing regime that Westminster is proposing to withdraw. This group of representatives have called themselves the UK Accreditation Transition Group.

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Advisers act to keep visits running after government withdraws guidance
Last year (2011) the DfE withdrew its detailed guidance on educational visits - Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits (HASPEV) – a move widely condemned by teaching unions and professionals in the field. Now Outdoor Education Advisers have acted to issue detailed advice and support to school staff and others leading groups of young people on visits and learning activities outside the classroom.

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Welsh Ministers decide to retain adventure activities licensing in respect of Wales
Welsh Ministers have decided that they wish to retain adventure activities licensing in respect of Wales. The Welsh Government have decided that they do not wish to follow Westminster’s proposal to withdraw AALA.

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MCofS Responds to Scottish Government on Adventurous Activities
Mountaineering Council of Scotland Responds to Scottish Government Consultation on Adventurous Activities. Responding to the Scottish Government's consultation into developing a safety system for Adventurous Activities the MCofS stated that it believes that a licensing scheme for mountaineering club activities is unwarranted and unnecessary and urged member clubs to respond individually to the consultation.

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Scottish Govt consultation on alternative to AALA
The Scottish Government has opened its consultation to identify an appropriate replacement for the current AALA regime. This is independent of the work currently being undertaken by the HSE working group and reporting to Westminster DWP minister Chris Grayling.

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Post AALA update - Draft Code of Practice & Proposal for register of providers
Post AALA update - Draft Code of Practice & Proposal for a register of providers. draft of a code of practice designed to replace AALA when it is repealed.

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HSE Working Group Report - Post AALA Regime
28th September 2011 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.

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