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 options in the Discussion Document were as follows:
- Retain the AALR regulations and current scheme underpinned by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and increase fees.
- 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.
- 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.
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?
In June, the HSE Board were recommended to approve Option 3, but decided that they required additional information on Option 3 and the existing framework before coming to a decision.
Additional information was presented at theBoard meeting on 12 September 2018 and following discussion of this the Board approved the Option 3 proposal.
HSE will seek Ministerial agreement to consult on the implementation of Option 3 and will continue to engage with the Devolved Governments and stakeholders. 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.
We will keep you informed by providing updates on HSE’s website.
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.
For more information on the future of the AALS contract please see below.
The Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS) is presently operated by TQS Ltd, a not-for-profit company under contract to the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA).
The current contract with TQS Ltd is expiring within the next 12-18 months and HSE is looking to procure a new licensing scheme provider.
HSE need to procure a new AALS contract as the future direction of AALA cannot be implemented within the current time frame of the remainder of the TQS contract.
HSE will shortly be formally announcing its intention to host a pre- procurement supplier day. The event will be held at HSE’s Headquarters, Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Merseyside, L20 7HS.
The objectives of the supplier day are to introduce the unique requirements of this service and to exchange views with potential suppliers about the forthcoming procurement exercise.
HSE will do its best to minimiseany uncertainty for the sector during this complex transition phase.
HSE would like to take this opportunity to thank TQS Ltd for its dedication and commitment to the adventure activities sector over the years and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours.