Conference 2017


The 2017 national conference will take place on Monday 20th November 2017.

The venue is Alleyn's School, Dulwich, London. The school has great conference facilities, beautiful grounds and good food.

“Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:”

This is the grand opening paragraph of the Activity Centres (Young Persons' Safety) Act 1995, which arose from a Private Members' bill introduced by David Jamieson, MP, following the Lyme Bay canoeing incident (March 1993) in which four young people died whilst attending a private activity centre. The Act led to a new era of regulation and inspection of the outdoor industry in mainland UK, and undoubtedly to better and more consistent safety standards, overseen by the newly formed Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS), based in Cardiff.
The Act made clear from the start who had to be licensed to provide adventure activities to young people under 18 years old, and who didn’t. Section 3.2 (b) of the regulations makes the position with regard to schools quite clear:
“A person is not required to hold a licence in respect of facilities for adventure activities where those facilities are provided by an educational establishment
to pupils of that establishment.”
Happy days then, for schools and colleges, independent and state, up and down the land. Schools which provide adventure activities to their own pupils are exempt from licensing. The only time a school should take any notice of activities licensing is when they arrange an outdoor residential with a commercial provider, who should hold a licence. Or is it?
An increasing number of schools nowadays have begun to use the inspection framework of AALS as a way to self assess their own practice, despite being exempt from licensing. At IndependentOutdoor we are keen to promote best practice in outdoor pursuits in the schools attending our training events and conferences. This years conference theme is ‘Exempt’, and with the help of some tame AALS inspectors we will ‘inspect’ the outdoor programme of some independent schools who have volunteered their staffing and paperwork for very public scrutiny. The aim of the day is for delegates to come away with assurance that at least some of their house is in order, and with two or three areas identified for improvement.

Our keynote speaker for the afternoon session is Jerry Gore. Jerry is based in the Dauphinee Alps where he helps to run his AlpBase Academy.

He is heavily involved with a charity for diabetics, and annually organises an 'Insulin Challenge' to raise funds:

He will be speaking mostly about the 2015 Challenge with Callum Muskett when they set a UK speed record for the North face of the Eiger by the 1938 route.

To find the self assessment package, visit the AALS web community on the Health and Safety Executive website:


National Conference 20th Nov 2017 Alleyn's, Dulwich


10.00 – 10.30 Arrive, coffee, registration

10.30- 10.40 Welcome and conference intro

10.40 – 11.40 AALS inspections - 'exempt' schools risk everything by submitting to inspection.

11.40 – 12.00 Break

12.00 – 1.00 The 'Exempt' Circus - visit self assessment stations around the venue dealing with people, procedures and activities/equipment

1.00 – 2.00 Lunch

2.00 - 2.15 IndependentOutdoor annual report

2.15 – 3.15 Keynote Speaker - Jerry Gore

3.20 Depart, or chat, coffee available
 through to 4.15

Mon 20th Nov 2017
10.00am - 3.20pm
Alleyn's School, Dulwich London SE22 8SU