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Adventure activities (HSE guidance)

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Adventure activities are regulated in Guernsey and providers must be inspected before they can offer certain adventure activities (caving, climbing, trekking and watersports).

  • The inspection scheme

    • The following activities are within the scope of the scheme:
      • caving (underground exploration in natural caves and mines including potholing, cave diving and mine exploration, but not in those principally used as show-places open to the public);
      • climbing (climbing, traversing, abseiling and scrambling activities except on purpose-designed climbing walls or abseiling towers);
      • trekking (walking, running, pony trekking, mountain biking, off-piste skiing and related activities when done in moor- or mountain-country above 600 metres and which is remote, ie over 30 minutes travelling time from the nearest road or refuge);
      • watersports (canoeing, rafting, sailing and related activities when done on the sea, tidal waters or larger non-placid inland waters).
    • The scheme is provided by Escape Routes, a UK approved inspection body, on behalf of the States of Guernsey. There is currently no charge for an adventure activities provider to receive permission from the HSE to operate.
    • Activity providers must be inspected before they start to operate in Guernsey. Existing provider are re-inspected periodically (every 2 years, depending on risk).  
  • What is required

    • Evidence requirements for Desk Based Safety Audit of Guernsey Outdoor Activity Providers
      • Section 1: Activity Provider Details
      • Section 2: Activities Provided
      • Section 3: Responsibility for Managing Health & Safety
      • Section 4: Procedures for Assessing & Controlling Risk (Risk Assessments) 
      • Section 5: Recruitment, Selection & Competence of Instructors
      • Section 6: Selection & Procurement of Equipment and Inspection & Maintenance of Equipment 
      • Section 7: Monitoring & Reviewing Safety Arrangements 
      • Section 8: Reporting, Recording & Investigating Injuries & Near Misses
      • Section 9: Technical Advice
  • What happens during the inspection

    • Year 1, stage 1: Desktop based audit of safety management policies and procedures by Escape Routes. 
    • Escape Routes will request relevant documentation relating to the activities safety management and carry out an audit of the documentation to gather information for stage 2
    • Year 1, stage 2: Virtual interview with activity provider.
    • A suitable time and date for a virtual interview with the provider will be held to enable any findings from stage 1 to be followed up.
    • A report will follow Stage 2 which is sent to the HSE to confirm that all safety management systems are in place, in relation to the process undertaken.
    • Year 3, stage 3: Site visit, activity observation by Escape Routes.
    • Activity providers must be inspected prior to operating in Guernsey. Existing providers are inspected every 2 years, depending on the risks. Currently there is no charge for the above service.
  • Outcome of the inspection

    • HSE will consider the inspector's report and decide:
      • (a) whether the applicant satisfies Guernsey Health and Safety Legislation;
      • (b) whether permission should be granted or refused;
      • (c) the length of the period the permission should remain in force;
      • (d) whether it would be appropriate to restrict what the applicant asked for; and
      • (e) whether any non-standard safety conditions are required.
    • Any obvious shortcomings in the adequacy of the proposed provision of activities will be drawn to the attention of the applicant so that they can be remedied.


Guidance on adventure activities

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