In common with more general health & safety regulation in the UK the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations are goal setting in nature. They do not give explicit detail regarding every aspect of adventure activity licensing. This approach applies to the duties placed by the regulations upon licence holders but also to the duties placed upon the licensing authority (AALA) itself.
With regards to licence duration Regulation 8 (d) states;
A licence granted by the licensing authority shall be in writing and shall state –
(d) the date on which the licence will commence and the date on which the licence will expire which shall be no longer than 3 years from the date of its commencement;
This is the sole reference to licence duration within the regulations.
Guidance from the Licensing Authority on the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004 (HSE publication L77) provides some criteria for defining appropriate intervals between inspections, in effect the duration of licence (Paragraphs 70, 71 & 72). This guidance is expanded in AALA note 1.03v25 – Licence Duration (rev5), available via the link below.
This guidance reflects the current view of the authority and is regularly reviewed, a version history is provided with the document. It is applied by Adventure RMS when identifying the appropriate licence duration for each of the applications reviewed.
The Adventure RMS application review process considers licence duration on three occasions and requires the consideration and agreement of the inspector, a consulting inspector and ultimately the head of service;
- Inspector recommendation – the inspector undertaking the application review is required to consider licence duration, in relation to AALA note 1.03, during the initial core inspection and, when required, subsequent further inspection.
- Consulting inspector review – consulting inspectors are required to review the recommendations of inspectors during the application consultations and during the report review.
- Head of Service endorsement – all applications are ultimately endorsed by the head of service.
A decision on each application, including the duration of a licence, is provided to the AALA by Adventure RMS within the report. Any licence, and a copy of the report, is subsequently issued to the applicant by the AALA.
Where a provider considers that the guidance contained within AALA note 1.03 has not been correctly applied to their application they should, in the first instance, address their enquiry to the AALA (AALA@HSE.gov.uk). They may wish to refer to Note 1.03 in any correspondence.