Getting a Permit

If you are planning on offering activities that need a permit , please read this article for details of how to get one.


The system for regulating adventurous activities for Scouts is that the Leader has to be assessed by a qualified specialist before their District Commissioner issues them with a "Permit".  There are a lot of  factsheets available on Scoutbase ( , which now gives you all the relevant information, but it is not terribly easy to follow so I will try to clarify the process for the more common activities.



Hill walking is a popular activity for Leaders and Scouts: but there are rules which are explained in detail in various factsheets on Scoutbase: the principles haven't changed but a lot of the detail and terminology has, so I will try to summarise.


Scouts of all ages can climb hills in 'Terrain Zero' (up to 500m and within 30 minutes of a road) without any need for a special permit or assessment as long as there isn't any scrambling involved.  There are a number of hills in this category in NI which can give young people the real sense of achievement which comes from climbing a 'mountain'. (I am happy to make suggestions or advise if you aren't sure).


'Terrain One' is above 500m or more than 30 minutes from a road: this covers almost all the hilly areas in NI which are not Terrain Zero.  To lead a Scout party in Terrain One you need specific permission from your DC, which he can only give if you have been assessed to be competent by a qualified expert. The appropriate level of training is to the standard of the Walking Group Leader award, with appropriate personal experience. Assessors now have discretion to include all of NI in a Terrain One Authorization.


'Terrain Two' is above 800m or more than 3 hours from a road.  To lead a Scout party in Terrain Two you need similar specific permission from your DC, after you have been assessed to be competent by a qualified expert.  This will normally only be needed for the high or remote areas in GB or the Republic.  The appropriate level of training is to the standard of the Mountain Leader award, with appropriate personal experience.


If you want to lead Scouts in Terrain One or Two, the process is as follows:

(a) Talk to your local activities adviser, or read the factsheets FS120454 and FS120101, and the Assessment Checklist AC120913 (all on Scoutbase).

(b) If you don't have a log of your recent hillwalking experience, write one!  There is a basic format on Scoutbase, but if you already have one in different format, that will do.

(c) Fill out an application for a Permit (ADACTPERMITon Scoutbase). It is a good idea to tell your DC you are applying.

(d) Pass the log and form to your local County Assessor . If you don't know who that is, talk to your ACC Activities or me. The forms can now be filled in electronically and emailed.

(e) The assessor will normally want to see you in action, before making a recommendation to your DC,

(f) The DC will issue a permit if appropriate!


Formal WGL or ML training is not a requirement for assessment - the skills may have been acquired informally- but the Leader must have the skills!


Permits expire after a maximum of 5 years, when the Leader must be assessed again.


Members of our Activities team will offer informal training for Leaders if there is sufficient demand - subjects will include navigation, route planning, group control, equipment, emergency procedures, etc.  Contact me by email (preferred) or phone if interested giving the dates you are available and what areas you think you need to develop. Alternatively - if you are a Leader who doesn't have the skills to offer a hillwalking experience to your Scouts - why not ask and we will find one who does to help you!


Other Activities

The principles for obtaining a Permit for other activities (e.g. Nights Away, climbing, watersports) are similar.  Look in the Activity Permit area of Scoutbase first, then at the details for the activity.



If you don't have direct internet access, either find a friend who does, or prepare for a long conversation or phone call with me, your local adviser, or the information desk at Gilwell!  I am happy to come and go through the detail at District meetings, or wherever a group of people are interested.