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Update on the Review of AALA following the HSE Board meeting on 20 June 2018

On 20 June 2018 the HSE Board considered a paper on the feedback from the recent Discussion Document on the future of the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) and the Adventure Activity Licensing Regulations (AALR). The Board paper is available at

The options in the Discussion Document were as follows:

  1. Retain the AALR regulations and current scheme underpinned by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and increase fees.
  2. Retain the AALR regulations and current scheme underpinned by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, but increase fees and extend the activities in-scope.
  3. Removal of the AALR regulations and move to an industry-led; non-statutory; not-for-profit scheme underpinned by the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974, to provide assurance to users of outdoor activities.

Feedback from the Discussion Document

The Discussion Document did not ask respondents to state a preference for any of the options, but asked respondents to say which options they found acceptable or unacceptable and why. The number of acceptable/unacceptable responses for each option was not significantly different for each option. Analysis of the written feedback was important in identifying the aspirations of respondents in relation to the sort of system they wanted to see in the future. The feedback also provided insight into the perceived pros and cons of the options.

What did the Board decide?

The HSE Board discussed the recommendations but did not come to a decision. They would like to see more detail about the proposed option (option 3) approach. They have asked for additional information to be presented to them at a Board meeting later in 2018.

Next steps

A paper will be presented to the HSE Board on 12 September 2018. The AALA team thank you for your patience and remind stakeholders that regardless of the outcome, there will be no immediate changes to the licensing scheme. There is still much to be considered, and it will take time for any changes to come into effect.

Licence holders should continue to engage with AALS and ensure they have a valid licence for activities in scope of the regulations. You will be notified well in advance of any changes and if necessary any transition arrangements to ensure that things continue to run smoothly.