Adventure activities – reducing the risk, not the value

Adventure activities – reducing the risk, not the value

: Adventure activities : Leadership roles : Management and supervision : Offsite visits : Outdoor learning : Overseas visits : Risk management Essential NewsBlog

A higher level of risk management is required…

For the purposes of OEAP National Guidance, an adventure activity is defined as an activity which is exciting and challenging and which involves significant inherent risk of harm, without which the activity would lose much of its value, or which takes place in a remote or hazardous location.

The Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel (OEAP) produces National Guidance, which provides comprehensive support for the management of high-quality outdoor learning, educational visits and adventurous activities.

“Adventure activities require a higher level of risk management, and may require specific competence, in order to reduce the risks to an acceptable level.”

So says the OEAP National guidance document 7.1a Adventure activities.

Adventure activities can be hugely beneficial for those fortunate enough to benefit from them. Participating in adventure activities can be one of the highlights of a young person’s learning experiences.

While any off-site activity will probably be exciting, adding an extra dimension of personal challenge through participation in adventure activities can make the experience particularly memorable, the learning that takes place often being life-long.

“Students are active participants, not passive consumers, and a wide range of learning styles can flourish.”

The guidance document covers:-

  • A definition of adventure activities
  • The rationale of adventure activities
  • Leading adventure activities
  • Using an external provider
  • Licensing.

Specific competence requirements

Adventure activities require a higher level of risk management, and may require specific competence, in order to reduce the risks to an acceptable level.

To ensure this, employers and establishments should consider whether their policies should include special requirements for adventure activities, such as an approval process for leaders and activities.

Additional guidance regarding this can be found within 4.3c Risk management – an overview.

“Risk management is therefore not about eliminating risk – it is about reducing it as low as reasonably practicable and deciding if this is acceptable in order to gain the potential benefits. This is recognised by both HSE and the Department for Education (DfE).”

The download also contains direct links a variety of other supporting OEAP National Guidance documents.


Download OEAP National Guidance document 7.1a adventure activities »

An introduction to OEAP National Guidance »