Outdoor sector accreditation update for outdoor activity providers in Wales

Wales Adventure Tourism Organisation (WATO) and its core members (Pembrokeshire Outdoor Charter Group [POCG], Snowdonia-Active [S-A] & South Wales Outdoor Activity Provider Group [SWOAPG]) hosted a virtual meeting on Tuesday 12th January 2021, to explain the current status of the AALA scheme.

Key points:

  • AALA applications during lockdown: as of 6 Jan, and at the time of application for both new and renewed licences, Providers can request a postponement of up to 3 months on the start date of their licence. Once the licence is successful, the postponement starts but can be lifted at any stage when you want to start working, providing a few days notice. This is only available for licences applied for during a full lockdown. In effect this gives applicants until July before their licence duration begins, and is intended to encourage people to apply now and be prepared rather than a queue and backlog in May.
  • AALA reforms: It will be 2023-2025 at the earliest for any change to an industry-led scheme. Whatever the outcome, getting all stakeholders around a table is seen as positive and if an industry-led scheme is rejected by HSE, a single industry wide accreditation scheme might run alongside AALA (replacing the myriad of current schemes).

A recording of the meeting can be accessed here. Copies of the presentations can be accessed here:

AALA & Adventure RMS
Adventure UK and Option 3 Development


  • Tim Morton – Head of Service for Adventure RMS, appointed by the HSE as the AALA Inspectorate.
  • Frances Kelly – Health & Safety Executive.
  • Mike Rosser – Chair of Option 3 Working Group.


  • Confirm the changes in licensing arrangements from April 2021.
  • Explain the new AALA application review process.
  • Update on how Adventure RMS are proceeding during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Provide an update from the HSE.
  • Update on the work being carried out by Adventure UK and particularly the work by the Option 3 Working Group who are responsible for developing a possible replacement for AALA licensing.

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