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International Activities Questions and Answers

Activities Abroad FAQs

How do we know the classification of waters abroad?

Classifications are defined in the same way outside the UK as they are within. The permit holder should be able to define the waters when you arrive or before you go based on prior knowledge of the area.

Where can I go to find instructors when abroad? 

There is no central point for finding a local activity provider abroad, but best to make the most of your networks and contacts so ask around with the host association, your accommodation provider or any local scout contacts you have. If you require the contact details of any National Scout Organisations please contact UKHQ using international@scouts.org.uk.

How do I know that an instructor is qualified when abroad?

When using external providers, you need to take reasonable steps to ensure that the provider is suitably qualified to deliver the activity. This should be through them holding formal qualifications from a national governing body or similar, and the qualification should be at an equivalent level to the qualification that would be needed to run the activity in the UK.

There is no direct comparison of qualifications from organisations in different countries, so you will need to find as much information as possible about the qualifications held from the provider you are looking to use and your ACC Activities/County Adviser should be able to help you compare this with the standards required in the UK.

Is it ok for the local Scouts we are staying with to organise the activities?

Yes, our rules allow activities to be planned and led by the host scouts whilst following their rules. Any activities which are banned for our members applies to anywhere in the world. See POR rule 9.46(e)

What do I need to do when I visit Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC)?

KISC has a set of rules for the management of activities which fit the requirements of the UK Scout Association. Full details can be found in the Kandersteg information sheet available at www.scouts.org.uk/activitieskisc.

Is my permit valid outside of the UK?

Yes, unless a restriction on the permit states that it is for UK use only.

Do buoyancy aid rules apply outside of the UK?

Yes, Scouting’s Policy, Organisation and Rules (POR) applies outside the UK too.

Do I still need a permit abroad?

Yes, if a permit is required in the UK then it will be required outside the UK for a Scout-led activity.

Are there any activities which insurance won’t cover abroad?

Check your insurance policy, if your travel insurance is with Unity all activities will be covered provided you follow the rules as laid out in POR.

Is there a separate Nights Away Permit for going abroad?

No, just the relevant permit for the type of accommodation. There is a requirement to complete the Visits Abroad process. Contact your Assistant County Commissioner - International (ACCI) for details.

What notification do I need to give when going overseas?

The Visits Abroad process must be followed which required notification and approval of your trip being planned and then the trip approved to go ahead. Full information can be found at scouts.org.uk/international.

What do I need to do to take my Scouts swimming when abroad?

The same rules apply when swimming abroad. Full details can be found here.

How do I define terrain when abroad?

The UK terrain definitions apply anywhere in the world. However the altitude criteria may not apply outside the UK (as per POR rule 9.64d). Where this is the case members should define the terrain using the other criteria, and the height gained from the low point in the area as the altitude criteria.

Are banned activities still banned abroad?

Yes, all activities which are banned for members applies to anywhere in the world.

Are there any restrictions on taking Beaver Scouts abroad?

No, all previous restrictions on Beavers Scouts taking part in visits abroad were removed in January 2018, further support can be found online.

How does the VA process work for a county organised trip?

The VA process is designed to be used at all levels within Scouting and so for a county run trip the VA form needs to be approved by the County Commissioner, however if they are participating in the trip this should be escalated to the Region Commissioner. Part A would be completed as usual and when completing part B it may be beneficial to notify DCs of who from their Districts are taking part.

Is there a maximum group size for a visit abroad?

No, although consideration should be made to how a trip will be managed as it grows in size. The level at which the trip is being organised should be the level at which the Visits Abroad approval is given.


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