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Joint adventurous activities with Girlguiding

(Published January 2018 replacing July 2012)

The information contained on this page is for use by Guide and Scout Leaders when members of both Girlguiding and The Scout Association take part in activities together (as defined in POR 9.76).


Joint activities are part of the programme for both The Scout Association and Girlguiding, especially the Explorer/Network Scouts and Senior Section. The following guidance is designed to ensure responsible leadership in these activities.

Leaders should recognise the responsibility they have towards their members, giving them the encouragement and the protection required by their age and experience, but at the same time recognising the fact that young people need opportunities to exercise responsibility in the management of their own affairs. This is especially true in the senior sections, but as a principle it should also be kept in mind when working with other age ranges.

The following information has been taken from the policies and procedures of each Association for its members in relation to activities. Failure to follow these safety rules could lead to accidents.

In the interest of safety, the person in charge of an activity may at any time insist on stricter requirements than those listed.

For joint activities not included in Policy, Organisation and Rules or The Guiding Manual, Leaders should refer to the safety regulations of the appropriate National Governing Body for advice and guidance, in consultation with the relevant Commissioner.

In cases of doubt, reference should be made to the headquarters of the two Associations.

The insurance arrangements and cover available for activities vary for each Association. Leaders must therefore be aware of their own Association’s insurance requirements.

Responsibility of Commissioners

The responsibility for approving joint activities rests with the appropriate Scout Association District or County Commissioner (depending on who is organising the activity) and the relevant Girlguiding Commissioner.

Their approval must be obtained by the Leaders involved before any members undertake joint activities within their programme. The approval is given to the Leaders in charge who will remain responsible to the appropriate Commissioner.

In certain circumstances, the appropriate Commissioner may give approval for adequately experienced and competent Scout and Guide Leaders jointly to carry out specific activities for a defined period and/or area before seeking renewal and approval. This is particularly relevant for Joint Units or Joint Groups.

Leaders’ responsibilities

Where Leaders themselves do not have the specialist skills required for a particular activity, this leadership must be delegated to a suitably qualified person who has been approved by the appropriate Commissioner. While the activity instruction is delegated, the responsibility for the young people remains with leaders.

A suitably experienced or qualified young person from either Association may lead a group with the permission of their Leader and Commissioner.

Activity leaders, once approved, should work on the basis of mutual consultation and wherever possible offer joint leadership in these activities. These consultations with ‘opposite numbers’ form an important aspect of the leadership role. However, the leader in charge of the activity must:
For more information about InTouch please see the web page: InTouch and for home contacts please see : the web page:  Home Contacts

Accidents or Emergencies

In the event of an accident or emergency the Leaders should follow the appropriate accident and emergency procedures, including the relevant Home Contact and InTouch procedures.

Over-riding Controls

The nights away / camp and holiday scheme of each Association must be followed.

The appropriate Commissioner in any area where activities take place, or any other authorised representative, has an over-riding authority to direct that any particular activities must be postponed, stopped or cancelled, if in their view, this is essential in the interests of safety.

Laser war games, paintball, bungee jumping, towed inflatables behind powered watercraft or hang-gliding may not be undertaken as joint activities.

Use of commercial centres and instructors

A Leader intending to use a commercial provider of adventurous activities must ensure that, if appropriate, a valid Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) licence has been issued to the provider when any participant is under 18.

AALA was set up to implement the Adventure Activities Licence Regulations 1996 (updated in 2004), which affect some activities in certain circumstances. These include caving, climbing, cycling, pony-trekking, skiing, walking and watersports.

When professional instructors from outside The Scout Association and Girlguiding are engaged for any adventurous activity not subject to the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 1996, they must be qualified to the level recommended for the activity by the appropriate National Governing Body or Government agency. It is the responsibility of the Leaders concerned to check that the qualifications are held.

The Leader in charge of the activity must also be satisfied that the person(s) providing the instruction or leadership are adequately insured. Before entering into any agreement for the provision of such services which includes an indemnity clause (i.e. where it is assumed that the hirer will be responsible for damage, injury or loss), the agreement must be referred to each Association’s headquarters.

Adult Groups

All groups consisting entirely of adults (i.e. over 18 years old) taking part in adventurous activities (as defined in Policy, Organisation and Rules 9.7a) must use the regulations of The Scout Association (Policy, Organisation and Rules 9.8).

Activities in A – Z Order

The list below is provided to help Leaders running joint activities and to avoid them having to work to two sets of specific rules. This does not negate the need for members of both Associations to follow the general requirements as set out in Policy, Organisation and Rules or Girlguiding policy and procedures.

Aerial Runways

Use The Scout Association rules (Policy, Organisation and Rules 9.41).

Note: The only people who may use an aerial runway constructed by Guides/Scouts are members of both Associations, or of an overseas Scout Association or Guide Association.

Air Activities

Use The Scout Association rules with the exception of hang gliding. (Policy, Organisation and Rules 9.10-9.21).

Note: Girlguiding insurance does not cover flying activities.

Boating/Water Activities

Use Girlguiding regulations with the exception of rowing/pulling, when either rules can be used. (Girlguiding–Water, Policy, Organisation and Rules 9.42 – 9.47).


Use The Scout Association rules (Policy, Organisation and Rules 9.35).

Climbing and Abseiling

Use Girlguiding regulations. (Girlguiding-Climbing).

Walking and Mountain Biking in Moors, Hills and Mountains

Use the rules or regulations of the Association to which the person in charge of the activity belongs or is representing.  (Girlguiding–Walking, Policy, Organisation and Rules 9.26 – 9.32).


Each Association should refer to their own rules or regulations. (Girlguiding–Shooting, Policy, Organisation and Rules 9.37).


Use Girlguiding regulations. (Girlguiding-Snowsports).


Use Girlguiding regulations. (Girlguiding-Swimming).


Further Information

Policy, Organisation and Rules is available online: www.scouts.org.uk/por.

Girlguiding policy and procedures are available online: http://guidingmanual.guk.org.uk/


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