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Safe Scouting and what to do in an emergency...

Emergency: What do I do?

In the event of an incident:

  1. Deal with the immediate situation and alert the appropriate emergency services, if required.
  2. Alert your District Commissioner: dc@gordondistrictscouts.org.uk
  3. Alert the emergency contact of those individuals involved.
  4. If you are abroad, alert any agencies required by the insurers.
  5. For incidents involving air activities or water activities in coastal or deep
  6. sea waters notify the appropriate government agency.
  7. Inform UK Headquarters at the earliest opportunity if:
  • someone suffers a personal injury or illness requiring a doctor, nurse, paramedic, dentist or hospital.
  • someone requires an emergency service rescue.
  • third party property is damaged.

You will need to provide basic information about the incident including information about the injured party, what happened, where it happened and who is reporting the incident.


In the event of a critical incident (one involving loss of life, near loss of life or collapse of a structure):

  1. Deal with the immediate situation and alert the appropriate emergency services, if required.
  2. Alert UK Headquarters (you will need to provide a basic overview of the incident, who is involved, where the incident occurred and Group information). A Critical Incident Manager will assist you and guide you through the management of the incident.

Key points:

Do – keep a record of actions and communications, including details of others who may have seen what happened.

Do – keep calm and ask for support where needed.

Do – refer all news media to the Duty Media Officer and seek support before

talking to the media by calling UK Headquarters.

Don’t – make any admission of liability.

Don’t – initiate contact with the news media.

Don’t – try to handle things on your own.

Safe Scouting: a code of conduct

Do – ensure all activities are approved, run and supervised in accordance with POR (Rule 9.1).

Do – identify hazards and discuss how they will be managed to reduce risk (see the Activities - Risk Assessment factsheet; Staying Safe checklists for managers, Executive Committees and section leaders).

Do – find the most effective and appropriate way to communicate the risks and controls identified.

Do – ensure all meetings, events or activities have an identified leader in charge that oversees the activity and all adults and young people. This includes responsibility for registers, headcounts, allocation of roles to specific adults and checking they are aware of their specific responsibilities (see leader in charge info at scouts.org.uk/safety). The best way of doing this is for all adults who will be involved in the activity to agree which one of them will undertake this role.

Do – give young people and adults appropriate training, guidance and rules.

Do – be prepared to deal with accidents (have a first aid kit, a robust InTouch system and relevant emergency contact details).


Do – consider any additional needs of those taking part.

Do – review an activity if conditions or equipment change significantly.

Don’t – be afraid to stop or alter an activity being run by you or another leader.

Don’t – put your needs above those of young people. Ensure activities are appropriate for the young people involved.

Don’t – ignore concerns expressed by adults or young people.

Don’t – assume that someone else is managing safety – always check.

Reporting potential accidents:

  • If you see an activity, premises or equipment which is potentially dangerous, report it to the premises manager, line manager or activity organiser immediately.
  • If your concerns are ignored, contact the responsible GSL/Commissioner or body.

Reporting near misses:

• We would like to hear about any situations that could have led to injury, illness or damage. This is especially important where the issue relates to equipment or the process followed and to help us improve the advice and information we give to the movement and prevent future incidents. Near misses can be reported at scouts.org.uk/nearmiss.

Contact details

UK Headquarters – including notification of incidents, critical incident support and contacting the Duty Media Officer

0345 300 1818

020 8433 7100

+44 20 8433 7100

• Please save these numbers in your phone.

Our policy

To provide Scouting in a safe manner without risk to health and wellbeing so far as is reasonably practicable.

Version 7 - March 2019scouts.org.uk/safety