In 1996 it became a legal requirement under The Activity Centres (Young Persons' Safety) Act 1995 for providers of certain adventure activities to undergo inspection of their safety management systems and become licensed.

This licensing scheme only applies to those who offer activities to young people under the age of 18 years and who operate these activities in a commercial manner.

Generally, licensing only applies to these activities when they are done in remote or isolated environments. For example, climbing on natural terrain requires a licence, climbing on a purpose built climbing wall does not.

The Adventure Activities Licensing Authority inspects activity centres and other activity providers on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills (DfES).

If the Licensing Authority is satisfied that the provider complies with nationally accepted standards of good practice they issue a licence.

Activities covered include:

  • Climbing
  • Watersports
  • Trekking
  • Caving
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