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Thread: HQ Job Cuts

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    I'm sort of with you on this one.

    I can think of a number of hills I wandered around when I was younger, sometimes solo, that would require T1, maybe even T2, but in reality you would find all sorts of folks out taking a Sunday stroll. It then seems absurd that you have to jump through hoops to do what the general public are doing as a matter of course. However, if we are in charge of other folks kids, that changes the nature of things and without permits there is nothing to stop idiots going out in all sorts of weathers and conditions, getting lost and causing all sorts of grief. Because WE can do it, does not mean it does not need oversight.

    The same applies to all disciplines. I am not the only coach who has advised people to get off the water. Worst case I came across was a Scout Group with no group control...

    I did say "sort of with you".
    I agree.

    It's a side effect of the culture we have just now.

    That particular hill is on our doorstep, you can drive all the way up it. (I've been to the top on a motorbike.) We take it for granted, it's no more risky than a walk round a sea level forest path. So we take it for granted.

    But, it still means that it's out of bounds for Scouts as far as we're concerned - which is still stupid.

    It's also worth pointing out, that there are variances in the rules for distances from roads etc, so why not for heights? There are places near to us that don't go near 500m, but are 20 miles from the nearest Land Rover-passable track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Seriously. That's what you're going to equate it with.

    What the hell is wrong with you?
    No, I'm sorry it was extreme, I was tyring to think of examples where a small difference makes ALL the difference.

    However if you don't have black and white in your parameters for rules, you don't have rules.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    No, I'm sorry it was extreme, I was tyring to think of examples where a small difference makes ALL the difference.

    However if you don't have black and white in your parameters for rules, you don't have rules.
    Ther are rules, but there are also principles that supercedethe rules - so even if the rules permit it, if the principle doesn't then you don't.

    (FYI, my day job is applying precisely such rules/principles and making those judgments)
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  5. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASLChris View Post
    Ther are rules, but there are also principles that supercedethe rules - so even if the rules permit it, if the principle doesn't then you don't.

    (FYI, my day job is applying precisely such rules/principles and making those judgments)
    It's probably also true that the law is never black and white or commercial lawyers would never make such money...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    That wasn't how I saw it at all - indeed in the area I hold a Permit - climbing - there was a progressively more pragmatic approach to the rules, away from the old prescriptive approach and towards "if you're qualified, get on with it". Very much not the NGBs' much more prescriptive approaches, though informed by them.

    But the key bit, anyway, was that they weren't replaced - Jess Kelly basically has it all on her plate - and however good she is she just can't do the job of that many people. So as a result the development in Adventurous Activity policy and rules has basically stopped dead.


    Interesting thread, particularly this from Neil. I've held a climbing permit for some years, along with an NGB qual. Got the permit, went on to get SPA, and sort of by accident managed a climbing wall for a while.

    The question of permits is crucial; the UK MTBs insist that they are only assessing an individual's technical competence and that it is the employer's responsibility to ensure they are a suitable person for the role. For that reason alone there should be some form of assessment by an activity assessor.

    I have deep concerns about the current situation with Technical Advisers, both volunteer and paid. Certainly in the climbing arena, and I'd guess the other "technical" adventurous activities, the role of the TA is to keep us up to date with current good practice and to ensure that how we are operating is safe and sound. Whilst I was a wall manager we had an incident in which the HSE became involved. Without our Technical Adviser, with a qualification recognised by the HSE, to support us we would have been in deep doodoo. Basically he/she is there to stand up (in court if necessary)and justify why we were operating in the way we were. One of the things that cropped up several times from the HSE inspector was "who does that, how is he qualified to do it?".

    In the UK the minimum recognised qual for a climbing activity TA is Mountain Instructor Award. I was horrified to discover last year that we no longer have a suitably qualified TA for climbing activities. I have been given erroneous and misleading "advice" by the information centre.

    We were, locally, discussing scouts abseiling and I raised the question of whether to use the old, well-tried, fig-8 device or to use one of the modern belay/abseil devices that most modern climbers use. Where do we go for an answer? I'm afraid I would not feel at all comfortable asking the Information Centre.

    I acknowledge the value of a volunteer TA like Andy Sissons - I have benefitted enormously from his expertise, but there are some areas where we really do need a "professional" with all that that implies. I fear we are just waiting for some poor soul to end up in court with no support.

  8. #51
    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    whoah?

    he wanted a permit for a specific hill that is 524m high. He wanted to be able to get this without going on an assessment weekend etc. He wanted to do an activit within the rules and this is perfectly possible... the permit scheme easily allows for this.

    There would easily be ways fo granting this permit.

    for example: plan a walk up the hill and ask the assesor to come along. Assessor can assess etc on the day and possibly via email and phone calls in advance. That would allow the activity to happen and the permit to be granted.

    This is not outsid the rules, it is explicitly within the rules!
    Last edited by big chris; 07-02-2020 at 04:45 PM.

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    This is what happens when you don't follow the rules:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-51417970

  11. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    whoah?

    he wanted a permit for a specific hill that is 524m high. He wanted to be able to get this without going on an assessment weekend etc. He wanted to do an activit within the rules and this is perfectly possible... the permit scheme easily allows for this.

    There would easily be ways fo granting this permit.

    for example: plan a walk up the hill and ask the assesor to come along. Assessor can assess etc on the day and possibly via email and phone calls in advance. That would allow the activity to happen and the permit to be granted.

    This is not outsid the rules, it is explicitly within the rules!
    Absolutely - it is not an "all or nothing" scheme - it has enormous ability to get people to the right point if they have the right skills.

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  13. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by RisingStar View Post
    No, I'm sorry it was extreme, I was tyring to think of examples where a small difference makes ALL the difference.

    However if you don't have black and white in your parameters for rules, you don't have rules.
    I'm also sorry. That was a bit of an outburst.

    (We've had a political scandal up here - quite a serious and embarrassing one too. Our Scottish Government finance secretary just got the heave-ho for texting a 16 year old boy out of the blue and by all accounts, excessively and relentlessly too. There's an investigation going on currently. I had only just been reading the NSPCC's guidance on what grooming is attached to one of the newspaper reports. It eloquently described pretty much exactly what we do as leaders in scouts, with out the nefarious intent - obviously. You're comment touched a nerve. It reminded me (and the topic of the 'other' thread), just how much risk we put ourselves at.)

    I totally agree about rules, they're not rules if parameters are not set. I was more frustrated about the nature of the rule than the people practising them. They certainly were more qualified than I am, and obviously knew their subject backwards and forwards. However, I'm already over cautious (there are places our cub leaders take cubs that I won't take scouts)*. If the rules take distance from roads into consideration, it seems to me, they could take height into consideration too. (There are some car parks in Scotland we can't stop in with Scouts...)





    * The cub leaders are able to control their cubs better than I am my Scouts. Their numbers are a bit lower, and I think their nights are generally a bit calmer. While our nights are safe and our ratios are good (and I'm quite strict when it comes to safety) - I'm just not comfortable taking scouts to that particular place. (Also, I personally don't like it. It's a tower on top of a hill with spiral staircase which if on the way down you loose your footing, well, that'll be you till you reach the bottom. It just gives me a nope feeling. I have two or three scouts I just don't trust with it. The rest would be fine, but all it takes is one or two to start arsing about. You know how it is I'm sure...)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Rush View Post
    This is what happens when you don't follow the rules:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-51417970
    Again with the fatuous (and frankly offensive) conflations.

    Where's the rolling eyes smiley?



    Oh. There it is.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    whoah?

    he wanted a permit for a specific hill that is 524m high. He wanted to be able to get this without going on an assessment weekend etc. He wanted to do an activit within the rules and this is perfectly possible... the permit scheme easily allows for this.

    There would easily be ways fo granting this permit.

    for example: plan a walk up the hill and ask the assesor to come along. Assessor can assess etc on the day and possibly via email and phone calls in advance. That would allow the activity to happen and the permit to be granted.

    This is not outsid the rules, it is explicitly within the rules!
    To be completely fair to the people involved. In hindsight, I don't think they explained what I'd need to do very well. I took from the conversation, that I'd need to organise the walk around them. It wouldn't be me organising a standard activity for the kids to do. It seemed to me to be them assessing me in front of the kids - which I think is a problem in terms of leadership. If they were along to observe then fair enough, I felt however that it would be obvious to the young folk that I was being 'trained' or 'assessed'. On a weekly basis my Scouts usually zero in on some failing or other on my part - I'm not precious about it. But if you're out and about and trying to lead, having people along who are in charge when you're supposed to be - I thought - would send confusing signals.

    I don't think that's what they meant though.

    You might think I'm being paranoid. But we do things which are a million times more dangerous than walking up that particular hill, and I'm very careful to not allow myself to be undermined when giving safety briefings. The rules I'm putting in place are inviolable, at the risk of sounding like an ****, so there-for must be my word on it. So it just stuck in my craw a bit. It took me a long time to get the troop into a manageable state, I still worry that it could revert back to the anarchy it used to be, (even though I don't think it would... I hope...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I agree.

    It's a side effect of the culture we have just now.

    That particular hill is on our doorstep, you can drive all the way up it. (I've been to the top on a motorbike.) We take it for granted, it's no more risky than a walk round a sea level forest path. So we take it for granted.

    But, it still means that it's out of bounds for Scouts as far as we're concerned - which is still stupid.

    It's also worth pointing out, that there are variances in the rules for distances from roads etc, so why not for heights? There are places near to us that don't go near 500m, but are 20 miles from the nearest Land Rover-passable track.
    There's nothing to stop you walking up 499m of the hill though (well OK your DC would have in theory have to sign it off). The problem then lies with how do you stop the Scouts running another 10m and you then being in technical breach of POR which is an absurd situation to be in. Perhaps a better system would be to use geofenching to clearly mark out T1 and T2 areas of the UK rather than arbitrarily give a maximum height and time from civilisation (which is open to interpretation). Your hill could then be classed as T0 along with many other similar anomalies that exist in the UK.
    Last edited by Nik Bartlett; 08-02-2020 at 06:44 PM.

  15. #56
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    The other consideration is whether T1 applies for this activity. T1 is for adventurous activities. At what point does a stroll become a hike that necessitates a permit.

    Remember, you can take a train to the top of a mountain and walk around up there without it being t2 etc.

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  16. #57
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    Indeed.

    I suppose with all the technology now available, there could be a way to demarcate geographic areas. Probably best someone other organisation does it though, TSA hasn't covered itself in glory with IT stuff.

    I would suggest, if we're giving people the responsibility to award permits for T1 and T2, could they not extend that to this? The people who I was having this conversation with ran DoE in this area, so did know it. I couldn't really understand why they were making (literally) a mountain out of a mole hill. (It's not literally mole hill, but they were talking as if it was a particularly challenging mountain).

    That said. They've never met me before. I might be a nutter. Asking someone to sign anyone off for anything, risks their reputation. But where do you draw that line, and how much granularity is needed. SL's are signed off to run section nights. If they want to go for a walk round the village or town, do they need to be individually signed off for that? Or to cook, or to set fires, or to use axe, knifes and saws?

  17. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Rush View Post
    This is what happens when you don't follow the rules:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-51417970
    That could have arisen just as easily if all rules were followed and a written RA was in place.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Nik Bartlett View Post
    There's nothing to stop you walking up 499m of the hill though (well OK your DC would have in theory have to sign it off). The problem then lies with how do you stop the Scouts running another 10m and you then being in technical breach of POR which is an absurd situation to be in. Perhaps a better system would be to use geofenching to clearly mark out T1 and T2 areas of the UK rather than arbitrarily give a maximum height and time from civilisation (which is open to interpretation). Your hill could then be classed as T0 along with many other similar anomalies that exist in the UK.
    I think if we follow the NGB approach directly, the definitions would be more like "where it is possible to accidentally stray into T1/T2, it is T1/T2".

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I would suggest, if we're giving people the responsibility to award permits for T1 and T2, could they not extend that to this?

    No, no, no, no and no. You've seen the mess regarding water classifications?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Rush View Post
    This is what happens when you don't follow the rules:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-51417970
    There is no rule requiring a written risk assessment (at present)

    The Great Orme does not meet T1/T2 standards

    The only arguable breach of any rules was that they do not have appeared to have informed their DC of the activity - however, we do not know what local process was in place for notifying the DC (which in many cases is, as per POR, an informal process delegated to GSLs). As there doesnt even appear to have been a DC in place at the time there is unlikely to have been a good notification process in place.

  19. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    There is no rule requiring a written risk assessment (at present)

    The Great Orme does not meet T1/T2 standards

    The only arguable breach of any rules was that they do not have appeared to have informed their DC of the activity - however, we do not know what local process was in place for notifying the DC (which in many cases is, as per POR, an informal process delegated to GSLs). As there doesnt even appear to have been a DC in place at the time there is unlikely to have been a good notification process in place.
    Sections of the great Orme (off the paths) does fall into the definition for T2 as they require use of hands to progress so its only T0 if you ensure that those parts are clearly desginated off limits and comminicated as such or off route or have a method to keep Scouts (in whatever Section) to route (e.g. accompanying them and making sure they stick with the walking group).

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