A big part of Scouts is adventure. We want children and young people to have fun and take part in exciting activities, but they can only do that in a safe and controlled environment.
What are activity permits?
Activity permits are our way of assessing leaders of activities that are classed as adventurous, such as archery, scuba diving and climbing.
Oxfordshire Scouts manage this for our area, meaning we get to work closely with leaders of adventurous activities and can assess them on a personal level.
Our assessors are fully qualified to sign off activity permits. We assess whether leaders of adventurous activities have the skills and experience needed to run an activity, even if the leader does not have professional, external qualifications.
We’re certainly not here to catch anyone out, we want to support leaders of adventurous activities and encourage them in any way we can. We may run training or assessment courses for those who don’t have national governing body (NGB) awards.
Ultimately, activity permits benefit the leader, the children and young adults taking part in the activity, ensuring everyone works within a safe environment.
A full list of permits and further information on the different permits can be found here.
Who is this for?
Everyone who leads an adventurous activity has to obtain an activity permit. It’s mainly aimed at over 18s, however, Explorer Scouts and Young Leaders can also benefit from the Activity Permit Scheme.
What will you need to obtain a permit?
We take a flexible approach to activity permits. Understandably, our first priority is to ensure that activities are safe for all involved. However, this does not mean we require you have any formal, professional qualifications in order to gain a permit for your preferred activity.
All you need to show is that you have the skills and knowledge required to carry out the activity. Your skills and experience will also be taken into consideration.
If you do have formal qualifications then this will make the process much quicker.
Can you become a leader having gained experience through the Scouts?
Many of our young scouts go on to become leaders of adventurous activities having gained their experience through scouting. We encourage passing on this knowledge and experience to new and upcoming leaders.
How long does a permit last?
Permits remain valid for three years. After 3 years we will review the information. The database of activity permit holders helps those who wish to undertake an activity but don’t have a permit themselves.
Want to apply for an activity permit? Complete the assessment request form here.
If you still have questions about an activity permit, our Assistant County Commissioner – Activities will be happy to help.