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COVID 19 – Recovery Planning for the Outdoor Sector

Giving activity providers the opportunity to have their say on the challenges they face in the sector.  Colleagues from the Institute of Outdoor Learning have designed this survey to gather data to support the recovery of the sector as restrictions related to the pandemic are eased across the UK. Its findings will be shared with all Home Nation governments. Please ensure that you indicate if your services are predominantly influenced by any one Home Nation government.

Sector Survey II : Recovery Planning

Help us report to Home Nation governments the breadth and scale of the impact of Covid 19 is having on our sector.

Read more here https://bit.ly/3dZSdfG

The survey is designed to capture the challenges outdoor providers are facing in planning their way out of the crisis.

Survey Link – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/OLCovidSurvey2

Closing date : 14th July 2020

 

Institute for Outdoor Learning

Update – NCS Trust and Invasion Camp Group

Our friends from IOL, AHOEC and BAPA have kindly provided the following update from meetings with NCS Trust.

Update for outdoor providers contracted by Invasion Camp Group(ICG) following meetings with NCS Trust.

Andy Robinson (IOL), Ben Wire (BAPA) & Jim Whittaker (AHOEC) met with Amanda Best, Caroline Hunter-White & Victoria Olsen of the NCS Trust on Thursday 9th April and Wednesday 15th April and have had subsequent correspondence resulting in the following points of clarification on the current approach to ‘re-purposing’ the contracted summer 2020 NCS provision.

The relaying of key points below from this recent dialogue between the NCS Trust and sector representatives of the sector are in the context of a) the Trust being pressed by DCMS to make the NCS ‘different, better and more far reaching for 2021’ and b) NCS not being included in the current PPM following a Cabinet Office instruction to DCMS.

  1. On behalf of the NCS Trust, ICG are expecting to consider in the following days what is possible regarding an improvement to the newly proposed terms and conditions and following the conversations with Phase 1 providers, rather than resort to the FM clause in the contract which is in nobody’s interest. The NCS Trust does not expect DCMS to allow any great movement, if at all.
  2. NCS Trust want to move as quickly as possible to provide reassurance and secure bookings for 2021.  To achieve this there is likely to be a change in approach and requests for increased flexibility from providers.  The challenges and risks associated with this have been acknowledged and we await further information on the specifics of those potential changes and flexibilities.
  3. On the question of sunk costs associated with preparation for summer 2020 contracted delivery, Invasion will engage in sunk costs discussions with each venue, though no capital expenditure can be viewed as a sunk cost. We await clarification on the metrics of differentiation between sunk costs and capital expenditure. NCS Trust will nevertheless require proof, for their audit trail, that the costs being presented are 100% related to NCS.  They will then review them as a whole and make decisions based on the funding constraints the Trust is operating within.
  4. On the issue of why NCS procurement is being excluded from the Procurement Policy Note 02/20 : Supplier relief due to COVID19, designed to ensure service continuity during and after the outbreak.  The Trust are following their DCMS leadership so we are approaching MP’s to help provide an explanation.
  5. Finally, to assist in full understanding of the nature of procurement management between NCS Trust, Invasion Camp Group and outdoor providers the Trust have confirmed that Invasion Camp Group do not have any funds and are not holding any funds destined for providers. The Trust has provided us with a detailed breakdown of the payment and authorisation process which is summarised below:
  • Activity and accommodation providers invoice Invasion group
  • Invasion finance team review against the contracts and invoices the Trust, with a copy of the invoice from the Activity and Accommodation provider
  • 4 layers of due diligence are applied at increasing levels of seniority, each requiring sign-off.
  • Payment is made to invasion group for the exact amount that the invoices total
  • Invasion pay activity and accommodation providers and provide the Trust with proof of payment to each provider, they hold no money from the Trust for any length of time as they pay it out within 24hours of it hitting their account- usually within a matter of hours

 

 

On Target Newsletter – Autumn 2018

AIM’s Autumn Newsletter On Target has now been published and hopefully most of you will have had a chance to peruse the pages.  This year’s edition includes some of the usual features such as the Message from our Chairman, a review of AIM claims and updates on events and industry events.

We have a new Mutual Manager, Sophia Reed and Account Executive, Ralph Doe who have joined us and we profile all of the AIM team in this edition so you know who you need to talk to when contacting us.

It also includes a piece written by Vertex on wintering your ropes course with hints and tips on what needs to be done over the winter months to keep your course in tip top condition.  We have profiled long standing AIM member Mendip this year, who have successfully combined snow sports and outdoor activities together to achieve growth.

Our relationship with IOL continues and Andy Robinson CEO has provided a round up of news for the outdoor learning sector and our supporting insurer MS Amlin look at how you manage risk in an ever changing leisure landscape.

We’ve also included details about AIM’s Membership Committee which is seeking new recruits, so if you are interested in hearing more about being on our committee then do please get in touch we’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Self Employed or Employed

When do Freelance Instructors need their own Personal Public Liability Insurance?

Check Lists – A box ticking exercise?

Are We Fulfilling Our Potential?

Andy Robinson, CEO of the Institute for Outdoor Learning, examines the changing map of the outdoor and activities industry.

With statements about the need for increased participation in sport and physical departments (see the latest consultation on a new sports strategy from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport as a good example) it seems that our world of outdoor adventurous activity provision is well placed to be part of a solution. Good news, but is this simply a case of doing ore of what we’re currently doing or is there a need for us to develop and reposition our offers to have a bigger impact than we do at present?

Some good work has been done recently by Sport England, The Sport & Recreation Alliance and The Outdoor Industries Association to gain a better understanding of the outdoor recreation market (in its widest sense) in the UK. The resultant report is available on the Sport England website. It points to a need to think about how well current outdoor activity-related services meet a range of different consumer motivations. for me it is also a reminder of how the needs and opportunities for outdoor activity participants change through our lifetime, and the fact that the outdoors is so often a medium to fulfil social, developmental or health needs. I believe the challenge for providers of outdoor adventurous activity is to better integrate their pure outdoor services with other activity so that those other needs can be more explicitly met.

The Institute is currently working with The Blagrave Trust to review the approaches evaluation of the impact of outdoor learning with children and young people. A report and guidance will be available later in the autumn. I strongly believe that if we are to develop the services of the sector to fulfil its potential, we need to be clear about how we achieve the most far-reaching and sustainable impact, be that with a health, education, environment

Andrew Gardiner

Chairman’s Message, Autumn 2014

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Adventurous Activity Licensing

It is reasonable to reflect back 2 years to the announcement in Lord Young’s report ‘Common sense common safety’, that Licensing was going to be withdrawn and ask the question ‘so what’s changed?’  On the face of it, very little.  Providers of certain adventurous activities to young people are still required by law to hold a license, which they can obtain from the Adventurous Activity Licensing Authority (AALA) following an inspection.

Further to a statement by the Health & Safety Executive in July 2012, I’d like to take the opportunity to outline what I think is likely to happen in the near future and to reflect on what has actually changed in the past two years.

The statement from the HSE in July 2012 was pretty clear.

“We have decided to pause with the proposal to abolish the AALA while we consider further how we develop a regulatory regime that reflects the level of risk whilst taking part in adventure activities, yet ensuring that users are reassured about a provider’s safety management arrangements.” 

The HSE went on to say that they will be consulting further on the two issues; how to reassure users of providers’ safety standards and inconsistencies arising from some activities requiring a license and some not.  Encouragingly there was also a commitment to work with the Scottish and Welsh Governments in developing future arrangements, as the legislation behind licensing is a devolved matter.

So what are the immediate known and likely implications of the HSE statement ?  It is clear that legislation requiring a provider to hold a license will not be substantially changed or withdrawn in the next 12 months.  Given the commitment to a consultation, which is likely to take place in 2013 it is reasonable to assume that by the time a bill has passed through parliament and received royal assent we will be well into 2014, possibly 2015 and in danger of becoming entangled in a change of government.  On a positive note it seems the sector is more likely to have a consistent regime across the UK, though it is difficult to predict what shape that will take.  It could be new legislation or a sector specified approach with the backing of the HSE.

So is there any point in looking for alternatives to Licensing now?  The answer has to be yes.  Representatives of the adventure activity sector have been working with the HSE over the past 18 months seeking to influence the UK Government’s approach to developing a post AALA regime.  Those representatives made it clear that the vast majority of providers and users wished to retain some form of 3rd party accreditation of safe practice and recommended to the HSE that any new regime must be consistent across all home nations in the UK.  Prior to July’s HSE statement a UK Government solution looked unlikely to contain these features.  As a result earlier this year a temporary group was established (the UK Accreditation Transition Group / UKATG) to keep working on a sector based solution.

UKATG has broadened its representative base since the work with HSE and is recommending the establishment of a register of adventurous activity providers who hold a recognised form of 3rd party accreditation.  Such a register would be designed to be open to all (not just providers of activities to young people), recognise a wide range of adventurous activities and provide a single point of reference for users.  The register would need to accommodate the differing 3rd party accreditations that may exist in different home nations. SkillsActive, the sector skills council, have secured funding from the UK Commission for Employment & Skills to help set up a register, the aim of which would be to increase participation and maintain safety in adventurous activities.  An annual registration fee will probably apply.

UKATG is recommending that AAIAC (Adventures Activities Industry Advisory Committee) evolves to become an appropriate organisation to run the register.  It is recommended that such an evolution would involve the formation of a Congress of significant bodies in the adventurous activity community to provide strategic guidance and accountability for AAIAC.  It would also require the formation of a new Accreditation Managing Forum to oversee the register and the associated standards of provision.

So the last two years have not been a standstill for Health & Safety in adventurous activities.  It is my personal opinion, given the potential need for all young people’s providers to hold a License for the next 2 – 3 years, that sector based solutions like a register will need to incorporate the Licensing inspection regime if they are to be commercially viable.

Note: the UKATG is continuing to meet.  If you wish to contribute to its work please contact me at andy.robinson@outdoor-learning.org.