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Thread: Written Risk Assessments to become compulsory - POR Pre-launch Check

  1. #1231
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    It's my view that TSA are building an atmosphere of mistrust, or rather, they seem to be developing a structure which doesn't really require trust because there's so much oversight and line management anyway.

    I've had it said to me here, and elsewhere, that because I'm critical of WRA's, that I must be complacent and a danger to children. They WRA's have polarised leaders to some extent. There are those who are hysterically for, and those who are miserably against. The former - even although they could have been doing them before but weren't - are very critical of the latter.

    I think most leaders are in the middle, they'll just fluff their way through it and/or Press On Regardless. (Or not come back.)

    I don't think that complacent is the right word, I doubt that you are that, I can't think what you might call it, but you have a dislike of stating the obvious - like an RA for your premises. I'm a bit like that as well - though, because we use communal premises, and they had not got even a Covid RA, I ended up having to do a premises RA for our own use - which now precludes us from using the building!

    Those hysterically for written RA can be found in FB, and the approach of many is absolutely shocking - a copy and paste game. A - do you have an RA for X? Can I have a copy of it. Now it may be that the copy is to act as a guide, but the nature of people is such that a copy gets filed as gospel.

    I have looked at several for activities, and not one of them applies in our situation - I am sure that the commonality of sites and structures is NOT what people think it might be.

    We will do what we have always done - establish proper MoO for activities, and if they require a belt and braces, a written RA - But, I'll confess, our written RA for Climbing, Archery, kayaking etc, are metaphorically gathering dust on one of my hard drives.
    Ewan Scott

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  2. #1232
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    I mean, I'd stick with complacent because I feel it's what they genuinely think of leaders who don't wring their hands and tear their hair out when it comes to safety and written risk assessments.

    And it's just as you say, the people who are doing the most hand wringing and criticising, are exactly the people who are doing WRA's in a way that makes them entirely pointless. There is a lack of self awareness there - that just having a WRA (copied and pasted and held centrally) will transform their safety regime.

    If they'd properly consulted, TSA might have harvested far more effective ways of how safety might be improved - from the people who actually have a hand in that safety. But nope. They just railroaded a half arsed solution through, then changed it as different groups of people squealed - but obviously not section leaders themselves, because while we're in the front line and actually do scouting - we're not line managers so don't count.

    DC's obviously told HQ there was no way they could review tens of thousands of WRA's - HQ listen. Section leaders tell HQ there's no way they'd be able to find, or justify finding the time (never mind the practical efficacy of WRA's) to do written risk assessments for every single instance of their scouting existence - what was it Graeme Hamilton said, oh aye: 'get over it'.

    I can say with some surety - that single comment is going to cost TSA a lot of income in terms of AMS come January 2021.

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  4. #1233
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    I see they've managed to amend training records on Compass to account for the new time limitations, but haven't yet managed to get it to automatically update Compass when said training is complete.

    The list of people you need to send your saved (or printed) certificate to, is interestingly long. It's the only part of the process which isn't online.

    The email came from the UK Commissioner for People. It was most business-like, almost like being at wo-...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I see they've managed to amend training records on Compass to account for the new time limitations, but haven't yet managed to get it to automatically update Compass when said training is complete.

    The list of people you need to send your saved (or printed) certificate to, is interestingly long. It's the only part of the process which isn't online.

    The email came from the UK Commissioner for People. It was most business-like, almost like being at wo-...
    I raised the auto update compass when the new courses went online as for the ones where you enter your name at the end you can print, hit back and re-enter a different name, print and so on ad-infinitum. The response i had was that the training course system and compass are separate and it cannot update compass (yet another compass failing)
    They are looking at an integrated solution but thats is somewhat in the future (I presume when Ed updates OSM )
    Dave Ralphs
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    I work for O2, any posts are my own personal views & do not represent O2

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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    The email came from the UK Commissioner for People. It was most business-like, almost like being at wo-...
    Funny, I felt really valued (not) as well - but there again I guess I am no longer a person in TSA eyes, just a number in a computer system.
    John Alexander,
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I see they've managed to amend training records on Compass to account for the new time limitations, but haven't yet managed to get it to automatically update Compass when said training is complete.

    The list of people you need to send your saved (or printed) certificate to, is interestingly long. It's the only part of the process which isn't online.

    The email came from the UK Commissioner for People. It was most business-like, almost like being at wo-...
    I read that as send to one of the people on the list not to all of them. Yes, it was business like but not like I used to get at work, less corporate crap in it. For once it came across as pretty clear - weve changed some dates, heres when you need to renew by, its on line and send the certificate to one of these people (ok, automated a pass onto compass would be good but seriously, given the history of the TSA with computing wed be complaining that weve done the course and the results arent on compass).

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    Updated HQ guidance on documented risk assessments
    https://www.scouts.org.uk/news/2020/...al-activities/

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    Quote Originally Posted by London Scouter View Post
    Updated HQ guidance on documented risk assessments
    https://www.scouts.org.uk/news/2020/...al-activities/
    I can see that being useful for new leaders, or as part of training. But for everyday stuff? It sounds even more like an **** covering exercise than before. We're told the concern was that leaders weren't doing risk assessments. Now the concern will be around whether they're copied and pasted, and/or communicated.

    It was a sticking plaster before. Now it's a sticking plaster with a cartoon on it.

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    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    "Risk assessments should also be reviewed every 12 months as a minimum" so that means we now need a system to ensure that this is being done.

    And so it rolls on.....

    I am so glad I'm not a Leader any more.
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

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    GSL & ESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    "Risk assessments should also be reviewed every 12 months as a minimum" so that means we now need a system to ensure that this is being done.

    And so it rolls on.....

    I am so glad I'm not a Leader any more.
    I will just review mine every time I use them, if they aren't used again (e.g. a one off activity that we don't repeat) then no need to review them

    Peter Andrews ESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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  14. #1241
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    "Risk assessments should also be reviewed every 12 months as a minimum" so that means we now need a system to ensure that this is being done.

    And so it rolls on.....

    I am so glad I'm not a Leader any more.
    What I really can't understand is, obviously this is aimed at everyone, but who or what is it targeting particularly? If it's leaders who weren't doing RA's, then they're even less likely do them now for all sorts of reasons. If it's leaders who were doing them, but not very well, then it's a training issue. If it's leaders who were doing them effectively, all it's doing is piling more work on.

    Even for that middle group who this might assist, sure, it might standardise how RA's are done and focus their minds, but wait... Are they doing a full table or are they recording something on their phone? What else are TSA doing to ensure these leaders can identify risks at all?

    For review, what's the point if there's no audit trail? The idea that leaders who weren't doing them at all will all of a sudden turn over a new leaf and do all this?

    It's still incoherent.

    Are we going to have DC's breathing down the necks of leader teams to make sure this is all being done? I don't think that's fair on either party.


    (Or is it just going to be a fancy set of web pages demonstrating lofty aims but basement levels of compliance?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiftypete View Post
    I will just review mine every time I use them, if they aren't used again (e.g. a one off activity that we don't repeat) then no need to review them
    From memory I thought we were meant to review them (with the other leaders and possibly with all those doing the activity) before the activity took place. This was to ensure any “new/changed” risk was identified and managed. There is little point in reviewing a RA unless you intend doing it soon after but don’t worry if it goes wrong, you’ve followed the TSA procedures, written your RA and reviewed it at the start of the year. The fact that that was 6 months ago and things have changed is entirely irrelevant.

  16. #1243
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    As you say

    for Leaders that weren't doing them before, i doubt that will change much. They might do enough to get their covid RA approved (if they even bother) and maybe as others have said download a generic off FB and copy/paste. They will file it away never to be seen again.
    Or they will ignore totally and if anyone asks say oops its all in the file that i left at home/work/camp/dog ate it

    The ones that it will miss are the leaders that don't go online often, don't do FB or email and probably have a GSL (if they have one) who doesn't pass on info.
    They won't get told about this until they find out their safety/safeguarding has expired after 3 years now and not the 5 they were expecting and in doing the training find out what they were meant to be doing.

    Are they bad Leaders - probably not - Are they unsafe - who knows but a piece of paper doesn't suddenly make them any safer, but under this new scheme you are unsafe and should be banished forever if you can't produce an RA

    Without some sort of checks & balances its all a waste of paper and time.
    Dave Ralphs
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    DofE Advisor & District Exec Member - Oxford Spires District
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    I work for O2, any posts are my own personal views & do not represent O2

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  18. #1244
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    Quote Originally Posted by dralphs View Post
    As you say

    for Leaders that weren't doing them before, i doubt that will change much. They might do enough to get their covid RA approved (if they even bother) and maybe as others have said download a generic off FB and copy/paste. They will file it away never to be seen again.
    Or they will ignore totally and if anyone asks say oops its all in the file that i left at home/work/camp/dog ate it

    The ones that it will miss are the leaders that don't go online often, don't do FB or email and probably have a GSL (if they have one) who doesn't pass on info.
    They won't get told about this until they find out their safety/safeguarding has expired after 3 years now and not the 5 they were expecting and in doing the training find out what they were meant to be doing.

    Are they bad Leaders - probably not - Are they unsafe - who knows but a piece of paper doesn't suddenly make them any safer, but under this new scheme you are unsafe and should be banished forever if you can't produce an RA

    Without some sort of checks & balances its all a waste of paper and time.
    I think this is what annoys me about it the most - it's dishonest.

    It doesn't address the real issues - which I think is about leaders not being able to identify risks. It seems obvious to me, if they could identify them, then they'd avoid them whether they've written it down or not.

    It also completely misses any of the points it is supposed to address from the Great Orme incident. This would not have stopped that. And TSA still have no idea what groups are doing in terms of safety any more than they did before.

    I would accept that if a leader team sits down and goes through a full risk assessment process, they may alight on risks they otherwise might have missed. But no one has time to RA's in that way, so it's impractical to expect it.

    There's a bit of Schrodinger's risk going on here, or ummm, something. There is risk that risk assessments won't be written down. So we should write that down... But, we're not writing them down... WRITE THAT DOWN... NO! AAARGH....

    Anyone remember trying to load games off cassette tapes and you got a SYNTAX ERROR? It's like that. Across the UK, there will be leader teams crashing, or just sitting there like the physical embodiment of the blue screen of death...

    Last edited by pa_broon74; 20-10-2020 at 09:41 PM.

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    We did a wide game in town last week. A treasure hunt quiz type thing.

    I did a WRA. It was a clone of a standard one out GSL has written.

    It covered traffic etc. We also had our covid WRA.

    What it did not cover was a YL going off the route and climbing the clock tower and then falling to his death.

    I don't see how any of this would stop the GO death happening again.

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