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AALA review - update 12 June 2017

On 3 May 2017 the HSE Board met to discuss the findings of the initial AALA consultation. Whilst the survey results showed widespread support for AALA, respondents set out a number of aspirations for improving the system.

Prior to the HSE Board meeting, a group of industry stakeholders approached HSE with a suggestion that the current statutory scheme could be replaced with a government- backed, UK-wide, industry-owned and -operated scheme which would maintain current standards and levels of reassurance for service users. HSE recognises that there is potential for an effectively functioning, industry-run scheme to meet the aspirations of stakeholders expressed in responses to the survey, and has therefore stated its commitment to work with these stakeholders and others to develop this option further.

If the industry proposal meets criteria set out by HSE, it will be included in the consultation. HSE has stated that it could support a scheme providing it:

a. Is underpinned by the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

b. Meets the aspirations of stakeholders and has broad support

c. Maintains current standards

d. Provides sufficient levels of reassurance to parents and teachers

e. Reduces the burden of red tape on business

f. Provides better value for money for the public purse

g. Allows mutual recognition across other comparable existing national governing body schemes

h. Is recognised and branded as the industry standard

The HSE Board have agreed to delay the commencement of phase two of the consultation to allow the industry proposal to be developed and for a formal proposal to be submitted. We hope to begin stage 2 of the consultation process late 2017/early 2018.

Regardless of the outcome, HSE and Local Authorities will continue to have a role in regulation of adventure activities under the terms of occupational health and safety legislation. Current licensing arrangements remain in place. In the meantime we will continue to engage with and update stakeholders, such as service users and Government, including Devolved Administrations.

A webinar is being held on the 19 June to provide feedback on the survey results. Details of how to dial in are attached below.