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Adventure activities consultation

A consultation on the development of a safety system for adventure activities in Scotland has been launched by the Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison.

The Scottish Government is considering the best way forward for Scotland in light of the UK Government's plan to replace the statutory Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) with a new voluntary code of practice.

The AALA was established in 1995 to licence caving, climbing, trekking and watersports operators after four young people lost their lives canoeing at Lyme Bay in Dorset.

The consultation seeks views on three proposals:

  • Adopting the model proposed by the UK Government - this would see the current licensing regime replaced with a voluntary code of practice. This would remove the costs and bureaucracy associated with licensing but end the current inspection regime.
  • Introducing a non-statutory, voluntary accreditation scheme - this would still include an element of inspection and accreditation, however, public bodies would only be able to promote and encourage compliance not enforce any scheme.
  • Introducing a statutory scheme - this would see the continuation of an inspection and statutory scheme for Scotland, although an appropriate body would need to be identified to carry out its functions

Ms Robison, Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, said:

“The UK Government's proposed abolition of the AALA has implications for Scotland. Any safety system developed for adventure activities in Scotland would need to meet the needs of Scottish providers and users whilst being robust and proportionate."

"That's why I want to hear views on whether a statutory inspection and licensing regime should be maintained or if a new approach should be adopted and would encourage anyone with an interest to have their say on what should be put in place."


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