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Thread: POR update to section 2.3 (responsibilities within the safety policy)

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    POR update to section 2.3 (responsibilities within the safety policy)

    Can anyone translate this into sensible language?

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    I'm rather concerned about:

    2.3f. Communicate these assessments the most effective way for those involved and, where practical, in writing. These assessments should be reviewed before every activity, and as often as necessary proportionate to changing circumstances and conditions. Ensure that those involved, including parents/carers, have a reasonable understanding of the risk nature of activities being run and communicate this in an appropriate manner.


    The requirement that risk assessments should be written "where practical", if that's what it's saying, goes considerably further than before, and is in conflict with the current online ongoing safety training, which says:

    "While in some cases a written risk assessment is useful (for example, in managing a premises), often a simple checklist or a verbal update may be adequate. No matter what format the risk assessment takes, however, it’s important to make sure that it is fit for purpose, easy to communicate and acted upon."

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    Safety training will be updated in due course, no doubt.

    I hear suspicions it may relate to this legal case where TSA appears to be criticised for not mandating written RAs (and therefore an undertone of not being able to evidence a proper RA process was followed):
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-51374640

    I've seen this coming for a while. We can't really be surprised at it when pretty much all other contexts now require it.

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    Umm and where has the Ben Leonard post been moved too?
    Paul Austin
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Safety training will be updated in due course, no doubt.

    I hear suspicions it may relate to this legal case where TSA appears to be criticised for not mandating written RAs (and therefore an undertone of not being able to evidence a proper RA process was followed):
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-51374640

    I've seen this coming for a while. We can't really be surprised at it when pretty much all other contexts now require it.
    Neil, the issue is the law doesn't!! It's often the case people write pages of crap to try and cover themselves. All the law requires is where there is a significant risk.. still smarting my original post looks like it has been deleted!! If it's good enough on FB it should be good enough on here.

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    Paul Austin
    Kent Scouts SASU Water team
    G0AXQ, intrests in Scouting, Cycling, Hiking, anything on the water. seeing the young people achive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    Umm and where has the Ben Leonard post been moved too?
    Given that its an ongoing inquest i imagine its been removed (although making it "member only" might have sufficed)



    There has to be a line. It cant be reasonable to do a written risk assessment for every little game or activity, but most organisations would mandate one for anything in an unusual venue, anything adventurous, etc. It was one of the areas where TSA had previously been quite pragmatic, but I suspect they're about to get their wrists slapped.

    Everytime something like the current inquest happens new rules come in - sometimes quite rightly, and sometimes as a knee jerk reaction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    Umm and where has the Ben Leonard post been moved too?
    Last I saw was a post concerned that someone might post something and be in contempt of court.

    https://www.gov.uk/contempt-of-court

    Publicly commenting on a court case
    You might be in contempt of court if you speak publicly or post on social media.

    For example, you should not:

    say whether you think a person is guilty or innocent
    refer to someone’s previous convictions
    name someone the judge has allowed to be anonymous, even if you did not know this
    name victims, witnesses and offenders under 18
    name sex crime victims
    share any evidence or facts about a case that the judge has said cannot be made public
    Ian Wilkins
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    Jambowlree - Worldwide Scout Ten Pin Bowling Competition
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    So...

    We've all been on a camp or activity where we've had to cancel something we'd planned because circumstances change. Dependent on what we decide to do in it's place - we'll now have to write out a risk assessment for what we do in it's place?

    Hmmm...

    Reading 2.3f, it's lack of precision is probably deliberate. It still leaves it down to leader's judgement.

    There will come a time when we'll all be living like the people on the spaceship in the film Wall-e.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    Neil, the issue is the law doesn't!! It's often the case people write pages of crap to try and cover themselves. All the law requires is where there is a significant risk.. still smarting my original post looks like it has been deleted!! If it's good enough on FB it should be good enough on here.
    I reported it because I was concerned at the risk that posters and Escouts by extension could easily end up committing Contempt of Court. It will no doubt be reinstated when the verdict has been announced, the inquest is 4 days of which 2 have already passed. I wouldn't like to see this thread go the same way so we are probably best avoiding specific examples here and speaking generally until that happens.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    There has to be a line. It cant be reasonable to do a written risk assessment for every little game or activity
    The written RA would be for "games in the hut" - the risks are broadly the same for all of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    So...

    We've all been on a camp or activity where we've had to cancel something we'd planned because circumstances change. Dependent on what we decide to do in it's place - we'll now have to write out a risk assessment for what we do in it's place?

    Hmmm...

    Reading 2.3f, it's lack of precision is probably deliberate. It still leaves it down to leader's judgement.
    I think you're saying, and what TSA is saying, is no, you don't have to do a written risk assessment if things change, but you should do a risk assessment of the new activity.

    Quite where that leaves kids being kids, and deciding to do something when your back is turned. When you do, say, a Monopoly Run in London and you let them go without a leader, you can brief them about safety all you like, but are you negligent because two decide to have an M&M eating contest and now one is feeling too sick to walk - "Prevent accidents and cases of ill health by managing the health and safety risks in Scouting" - oh carp I forgot to mention eating too many M&Ms in the briefing, that's me out?

    or they walk off site to get mobile signal then decide to walk to McDonalds, or swim across a creek to get back to the campsite rather than walk round.

    Basically all the times you allow them to make a decision, are we now relying on them making a good one rather than a bad one? And what happens when they make a bad one?

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    There will come a time when we'll all be living like the people on the spaceship in the film Wall-e.
    Aye, and Back to the Future promised me a hoverboard.
    Ian Wilkins
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Reading 2.3
    Okay, I've looked at the membership email now, and tried to digest the new 2.3.

    Is it me or are they trying to clear the air with fog machines?

    I know I could currently do with more sleep, really, honestly, I thought I was quite good at interpreting POR but these new rules leave me somewhat bewildered.

    There's just so many weasel words.

    "All those involved in Scouting must, so far as is reasonably practicable and to the extent of their role,
    ability and understanding;"

    Am I okay because I don't really understand the rule 2.3 then? What's reasonable? What do I think is reasonable? What do you think is reasonable? What does a parent think is reasonable? What does a judge think is reasonable? What if they are different?

    "The person responsible for assuring that this policy is being implemented in their area of
    responsibility is the holder of a management appointment"

    I'll crack out my "responsible adult" t-shirt

    "Prevent accidents and cases of ill health by managing the health and safety risks in Scouting"

    So if someone gets the squits on camp have I failed to implement the safety policy? Have I broken POR and can therefore presumably be suspended pending an investigation?

    I'm going to stop now, this requires a period of contemplation and study rather than knee jerk better in the olden days what would BP say noise.
    Ian Wilkins
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    My concern would be how this updated rule is interpreted by DCs

    I can see there will be some DCs who feel that it is their role to enforce it by expecting, for example:

    - To have sight of all RAs a set time period in advance of an activity
    - A set form to be used
    - RAs to be shared with parents before the event
    - Activities to be cancelled if changes mean the activity no longer fits within the signed off and approved RA

    I am also concerned that there will be a requirement introduced requiring direct supervision at ratio levels - so no more groups of scouts/explorers going off camping on passports, going off hiking between checkpoints, being allowed to roam around the town on camp, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    My concern would be how this updated rule is interpreted by DCs
    I am also concerned that there will be a requirement introduced requiring direct supervision at ratio levels - so no more groups of scouts/explorers going off camping on passports, going off hiking between checkpoints, being allowed to roam around the town on camp, etc.
    That would totally mess up the explorer section doing dofe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by campwarden View Post
    My concern would be how this updated rule is interpreted by DCs

    I can see there will be some DCs who feel that it is their role to enforce it by expecting, for example:

    - To have sight of all RAs a set time period in advance of an activity
    - A set form to be used
    - RAs to be shared with parents before the event
    - Activities to be cancelled if changes mean the activity no longer fits within the signed off and approved RA

    I am also concerned that there will be a requirement introduced requiring direct supervision at ratio levels - so no more groups of scouts/explorers going off camping on passports, going off hiking between checkpoints, being allowed to roam around the town on camp, etc.
    If it causes DCs' to start asking for that for hikes and passports then DofE is dead in the water as is most of the programme where YP are challenged to look after themselves and go on hikes and adventurous activities

    If it comes to that then TSA will be down at least one leader (me) and i suspect quite a few more (and groups)

    Yes RA are needed, but not go OTT with it and as to notify parents/dc when i'm in a middle of a field with zero mobile coverage - no chance
    Dave Ralphs
    Yarnton Scout Group (Treasurer)
    DofE Advisor & District Exec Member - Oxford Spires District
    http://yarntonscouts.org.uk/

    I work for O2, any posts are my own personal views & do not represent O2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big George View Post
    That would totally mess up the explorer section doing dofe.
    For me "That would totally mess up the explorer section" would suffice.

    Hopefully DCs wouldn't be so mad as to want 50 RAs in their inbox every week. Though hearing about other people's struggles with their DCs, maybe I'm unduly optimistic. There'll be one somewhere that'll make us all go "whaaaaaaat?!?"
    Ian Wilkins
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