THE ACTIVITIES INDUSTRY MUTUAL NEWSLETTER AUTUMN 2016
INSIDE MEMBER PROFILE OF THE FOUNDRY CLIMBING CENTRE AND WORD FROM AIM DIRECTOR PAUL REEVE. LIGHTNING STRIKE! THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS INTERRUPTION COVER HSE PROSECUTIONS CHANGES TO SENTENCING GUIDELINES
PLUS AIM'S CHAIRMAN, ANDREW GARDINER, GIVES A ROUND-UP OF LATEST NEWS AND MEMBER EVENTS
MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIRMAN Andrew Gardiner reflects on another successful year for AIM Success Ten years of mutuality, membership over 750, a surplus recorded for every year, distributions paid to members, an excellent claims record, and very few successful liability claims. There is plenty to report and many reasons for members to be proud of their Mutual’s success. We are currently enjoying a period of AIM records and anniversaries, a sort of coming of age for the mutual. I said that last year was the 10th anniversary of the publication of AIM’s first Newsletter which set out our raison d’etre. Now I think we can confidently say that we have proved the value of the mutual structure and provide liability cover solely focussed on the outdoors sector. I should also add that our Regis management team has grown in strength over these years and has developed to become, in my view, the best and most expert in our sector.
Financial Strength AIM has now grown in membership to over 750, but more importantly it has recorded a surplus in each year, and it has been able to pay distributions or return of contributions on its first three years of underwriting. We expect this to continue and be able to make meaningful distributions to members next year and in 2018. AIM's supporting insurer continues to be the Mitsui syndicate at Lloyd's, and due to our excellent claims record we also continue to benefit from our profit sharing agreements that will further enhance reserves in the coming years, allowing us to consider further distributions.
High Operating Standards I have touched on AIM’s sustainability in a balance sheet context, but its real sustainability is the sum of its members’ standard operating procedures. It has become demonstrably clear that collectively our members operate to high standards, and these standards help to reduce the likelihood of claims, and if claims come they make them easier to defend. This also means that, generally, risk is perceived to be somewhat higher than the actual managed risk. This is not surprising; after all, our members are experts in managing risks in the outdoors and they should take credit for how much they do to teach the public how to manage personal risk as a core life skill.
Accidents However, even in the best regulated environment, with the best trained staff and the best equipment available, accidents do occur. AIM has of course, had to handle the consequences of accident claims and it is clear from these claims just how important it is to have well-constructed accident reports. These should include an accurate identification of the exact location and an accident investigation report to ensure that any lessons to be learned are learned, and that if personal injury solicitors allege negligence that it is possible to demonstrate what actually happened rather than what is being alleged. More on this later in the newsletter.
Crisis Management The AIM managers support members in many ways, but particularly in post-accident scenarios whether it is a minor scare or a critical injury. We benefit from our close relationship with Pharos Response, not only in a major incident but also in minor situations such as a communication difficulty with seemingly over concerned parents. For example, we always advise, post-accident, to apologise, not for something that might be alleged to have gone wrong, but for the injured partyâ€™s discomfort and inconvenience.
I hope you will find something of interest in this, our latest newsletter. We undertook a comprehensive member survey earlier this year and you told us that you value these, and asked in particular that we include some lessons learned from actual claims - here we focus on the only claim we haven't successfully defended in court, involving a car park barrier, which has useful wider lessons for other incidents. We profile our member The Foundry and fellow director Paul Reeve, who joined the AIM board last year, and Andy Baker from the managers, and describe the experience of a member facing the one thing you never expect, a lightning strike. Our solicitors, BLM Law, offer some examples of recent HSE prosecutions, we briefly review our member survey, and we look forward to our member events in 2017. So there is plenty of progress to report from AIM and me and the other directors, and the Regis management team. We look forward to meeting you at one of these events where weâ€™ll be tackling the issues we all face and with the help of experts. Very importantly we also get the chance to network which is always a pleasure. Thanks go to Emma Alsford at Go West Holidays and Dave Linnett of Bald Eagle Productions for the stunning photo provided for our front cover.
Andrew Gardiner Chairman Activities Industry Mutual Ltd Andrew is also Chairman of Acorn Venture Ltd
MEMBER PROFILE AIM Director Paul Reeve talks about The Foundry The Foundry Climbing Centre opened in 1991 as the UK’s first dedicated commercial indoor climbing centre. Located on the site of a former steel foundry in the city of Sheffield, The Foundry was built by a team of climbers and 25 years on two of the Founding members Paul Reeve & Jerry Moffat still continue to own and operate the Foundry for climbers in Sheffield area who need somewhere to train and climb over the winter months. Routes are regularly reset on the walls, by their Chief Route Setter, Rob Napier and other local climbers. These are a draw for enthusiasts who travel to Sheffield from all over the country to climb. Famous names who train at the facility regularly include Steve McClure, Ben Moon and Andy Cave. The centre is open 7 days a week throughout the year offering something for climbers of all levels. There are 27 Top-rope lines plus 6 auto belays providing approximately 100 routes, plus another 200+ lead routes spread over two 11m high walls. Boulderers can train on a steep section of curved fibreglass resin known as The Wave which has over 100 set problems with 4 set circuits. There is also a 40m long traversing corridor, a 40 degree training board and a training facility for coaching. The Foundry also offers a small cafe, climbing gear shop and a team of instructors and coaches to help climbers develop their skills from beginner upwards. Foundry users are offered a choice of pay-as-you-climb or full membership access schemes. A new visitor can register for just £2 and start climbing right away by paying a session fee of £7.50 with concession rates available for senior citizens and children. Full memberships are available from £350 per year.
Commercial Challenges & Opportunities The Foundry operates as a commercial limited company in an increasingly competitive indoor climbing market. When the centre first opened it would attract climbers from all over the country in the winter months. Today it is one of 3 indoor centres in Sheffield, facing an increased level of competition both locally and nationally. There now are over 380 climbing walls in the UK and the Association of British Climbing Walls has over 135 members. Director, Paul Reeve has seen many changes over the years and he sees a positive future for the Foundry as Climbing continues to grow in popularity. The profile of climbing has never been higher with its recent acceptance as an Olympic sport at Tokyo 2020. Paul has seen a trend in higher level climbers seeking coaching to take them on to the next level and expand their horizons. This takes the Foundry Team beyond skill acquisition to provide a service that is higher up the value chain and ultimately more commercially sustainable. Paul has also witnessed a massive growth in the popularity of Bouldering as it is considered to be a more accessible form of climbing with relatively fewer barriers to entry. This helps the Foundry reach users who might choose to climbing as a preferred leisure activity over a visit to their local gym: “Climbing is now seen by many young people as a cool edgy activity thanks to the growth of fitness trends like CrossFit and TV programmes like Ninja Warrior. These new entrants to the climbing world see the activity as a
lifestyle choice rather than a sport and they are big users of social media. They are always sharing videos and images of their climbing experiences both at our centre and further afield.” The Foundry has always been busier in the winter months as traditional climbers spend more time at local outdoor crags in the summer months. There is however an increasing trend for the newer generation of climbers to use the centre on a year round basis. Paul think this new generation are looking for different features to the more traditional climbers, valuing factors like air conditioning and bright ambient surroundings - allowing centres like the Foundry to compete directly with local gyms like Virgin Active.
Proactive Approach to Safety Management From the outset the Foundry have taken a proactive approach to safety management, based on the premise that indoor climbing should be “low risk” if the centre is well run. Paul takes pride in the experience of his team and the level of in-house training that focuses on managing a “risk-averse” environment without losing any of the fun and excitement of the sport. The staff structure includes a General Manager, Assistant Manager, Lead Instructor and a number of full and part-time duty supervisors. On top of this permanent structure the Foundry has a dedicated team of local freelance Instructors and Coaches who provide extra tuition as required. Instructors all hold relevant CWLA or Single Pitch Awards. Coaches hold Mountain Training Foundation, Development or Performance Coach awards. Individual users who are using the centre without any direct supervision or instruction are required to take responsibility for their own safety. This is made very clear to them at the point of registration as they are required to sign a written declaration on registration. All of the registration forms prominently display the BMC’s Participation Statement at the top of the page: “Climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.” The registration forms are specific to the type of activity to be undertaken, e.g. there are separate forms for Bouldering and Rope Skills, both of which reference the relevant conditions of use of the centre. Each registration asks users to confirm that they have read and understood very clear safety guidelines with activity-specific questions such as: Bouldering: “Do you understand that the matting under the bouldering walls cannot remove the risk of injuring yourself should you fall on to the mats?” Rope Skills: “Can you use a belay device to secure a falling climber and lower a climber from the wall?” The net result is a community of safety-aware users, the vast majority of whom enjoy their climbing without incident or injury. Indeed the management team often observe their own users interceding when they see other climbers acting in a manner which could be place them or other users at risk. First-time visitors who do not have basic rope skills are advised that they need to book an instructed session in advance. Registered adult members who wish to bring a guest are allowed to bring up to two guests as long as they accept full responsibility for their supervision. This is often the entry pathway for new climbers and children trying the activity for the first time. It is the only way that under 14’s can climb at the centre without an instructor.
The Value of Working with AIM As an AIM Member, Paul considers the Mutual to be a key strategic partner in helping to run the Foundry safely and professionally. Prior to working with AIM, Paul had historically experienced many years of spiralling insurance costs that did not seem to bear any relationship to the reality of the safety record within the sector. The Foundry have been with AIM since 2010 and their cover includes Public Liability and Employers Liability cover of £10m and Public Indemnity cover of £5m. Any external instructors who use the centre are required to provide proof that they have their own adequate insurance cover in place before using the centre. Paul was also instrumental in setting up the Association of British Climbing Walls and establishing the Climbing Wall Operators Guidelines. He sees the value of working together with the rest of the sector to build a long-term relationship with insurers that can make the operational costs of centres like the Foundry viable on a sustainable basis. Paul was recently elected as one of five outdoor professionals serving as a Director on the board of AIM to provide in-house expertise. This is a unique aspect of AIM as an insurance provider to the adventure sector. Commenting on his experience in this role since being elected in March, Paul says: “I’m finding it fascinating to see how insurance actually works and enjoying interacting with the mutual’s managers at Regis. I hope that I can provide support to the AIM Board to the benefit of the many climbing and bouldering walls that continue to be built throughout the UK.” More info: www.foundryclimbing.com
MEMBER SURVEY RESULTS Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our Member Survey for 2016. We were delighted that so many of our members chose to respond. A summary of the results can be found on our website. http://www.activitiesindustrymutual.co.uk/results-member-survey-2016/ From the results gathered we learned that 44% of the membership would like to hear from us through seminars, workshops and newsletters. We will once again offer two member events next year. A number of responders wanted to see an AIM Facebook page and we are pleased to have now launched an AIM Facebook Group for our members which we hope you will all join, to share thoughts, ideas and issues and a forum to keep up to date with industry news. When we asked about the AIM Member Events and Newsletters, an overwhelming number of you are interested in claim case studies and the lessons learned. We have included articles on the Wide Horizons claim, and the benefits of Business Interruption, and the car park barrier court case with some lessons on recording and documentation of incidents. We will continue to look at lessons learned at future events and publications.
STAFF PROFILE - ANDY BAKER
How long have you been at AIM and what do you do?
I have been at AIM since March 2014. I underwrite new and renewal quotes, as well as dealing with queries and cover changes throughout the year. As the Mutual continues to grow, the work has changed from being focussed on new and renewal quotes to offering greater support and service through the whole year, especially with the amount of members now going abroad with clients. As the Senior Underwriter I act as a referral point for the team, ensure day to day work flow is managed and provide support to Shaun Fyson the Mutual Manager.
How do you fill your spare time? I am lucky enough to live just a short walk from the sea, so my wife and I spend many hours walking along the Sussex coastline. As I was born in the Midlands, I haven’t lost the thrill of seeing the sea, as this was something we only did during summer holidays, usually in Devon and Cornwall. Ironically I am a very poor swimmer, so prefer to stick to Hill and Mountain Walking. Recent UK holidays include the Lake District, Dartmoor and the Brecon Beacons, as well as going to Mallorca, Austria and Slovenia. I am going to Slovenia again in September, this time to Kranjska Gora and after a very busy spring and summer at AIM, am looking forward to the great walks and views.
What is your greatest sporting achievement? The one that stands out is an improvised hurdle over an electric fence to avoid being trampled by cows in Austria about 3 years ago! The most adrenaline filled one was certainly a tandem skydive in Australia, when I was there watching the cricket as part of the Barmy Army – as I am not good with heights this was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I played a lot of sports in my younger days and was very lucky that my science teacher at school was a fencing coach, so got to try something which was quite unusual. I was ranked 9th in the Midlands region for Foil at the age of 15 for the under 18’s, so that would be my best achievement and still proudly have my badges for passing my 1 Star and Bronze awards too. Unfortunately I did not continue with fencing after leaving school, as focussed on played Badminton instead.
What activities do you plan to try next? The one that appeals is Archery. We tried it as part of a team away day and really enjoyed it, so that is the one I would probably look to do, along with axe throwing.
Insurance background I have been underwriting for over 20 years having started out at what is now Aviva and also worked at AXA doing traditional commercial combined insurance covering both Property and Liability insurance. I have also done Commercial Motor Fleet, Motor Trade, Engineering, Contract Works and Group Personal Accident & Travel cover in my time. Personally I always found Liability insurance the most interesting and challenging with the complexities that crop up covering Employers, Public and Products Liability. Prior to working at AIM I worked for the large American Insurer AIG for over 8 years as either Senior Liability Underwriter or Branch Liability Manager within 2 offices in the UK. During my time at AIG I worked on the Liability programs for a wide variety of clients, ranging from small specialist technology companies up to large multi billion pound turnover companies. Clients included a large charity youth membership association, a charity providing emergency medical relief following natural disasters around the world, and a globally operating consulting engineering company.
HSE PROSECUTIONS It's All About The Risk Assessment
The world of health and safety is changing. New Sentencing Guidelines have been published, vastly increasing penalties for breaches of the law. Fines have hiked considerably and custodial sentences for those in charge are far more likely. The key for all businesses, more than ever before, is to conduct a thorough risk assessment process to avoid foreseeable incidents. This article briefly examines some health and safety news over the past 12 months related to the activities industry.
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pay a further £90,693 Hatfield was fined £50,000 and ordered to In January 2016, Queenswood School in ty at Work etc. Act Safe and th ce under Section 3(1) of the Heal in costs after it pleaded guilty to an offen lt of rotten resu a as rred occu g collapsed. The incident 1974. A child suffered paralysis after a swin support timbers. maintain them in a and other providers of play equipment to The HSE highlighted the need for schools assessments were risk if ded avoi the accident could have been safe condition. The HSE commented that properly followed.
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Risk assess, risk assess, risk assess! Each of these incidents could have been avoided if a thorough risk assessment had been carried out and appropriate control measures put in place. Risk assessments are all too often viewed as a tick-box exercise but having a detailed plan on how an activity is to be carried out is crucial to avoiding accidents. Appropriate control measures should be put in place and adhered to. Specialist advice to assist in the process should be sought where necessary. If an incident occurs but could not have been foreseen, having a proper paper trail relating to the system of work will put a business in the best possible position to defend a challenge against it.
Sentencing guidelines Updated health and safety sentencing guidelines are now in force and apply to all sentences passed after 1 February 2016. The ranges for fines are contained in tables (see below) determined by company turnover. Where a fine will fall within each category range is dependent on a nine step process including consideration of the companyâ€™s â€˜culpabilityâ€™; the risk of harm; the seriousness of harm risked (i.e. death/serious injury); along with other factors including cooperation with an investigation and credit for guilty pleas. The new guidelines are designed to bring home to Board Directors and Shareholders the importance of health and safety. Fines and penalties are on the whole much larger than before and the likelihood of custodial sentences has increased. The full guidelines can be accessed at: https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/HS-offences-definitive-guideline-FINAL-web.pdf
Author: BLM Law, specialist insurance and personal injury solicitors who have assisted AIM with several successful claim defences.
WIDE HORIZONS Lightning Strike
AIM member Wide Horizons is an adventure learning charity in the UK who provide adventure experiences to approximately 45,000 children and young people a year throughout 8 centres around the UK. The Townsend site in Swanage needed assistance from the AIM team in October 2014, when, during a violent storm of heavy rain and very strong winds, lightning struck the gable end of one of the dormitory blocks on site. This strike damaged the fire alarm at the building which stopped it from functioning. The storm rumbled on and by 4am a local milkman, on his rounds, discovered the building was on fire and alerted the emergency services. Unfortunately by this time, the building had suffered significant damage including a collapsed front roof and damaged undercroft plus smoke damage throughout and all services (water/electric) were destroyed. Simon Hicks, Head of Operations at Wide Horizons, told us that thankfully there were no guests in the building at the time and ironically, that was the first night that the building had been empty for approximately 3 months, showing the popularity of the site and the frequency of bookings for the dormitory. â€œThe effect on future bookings could have been disastrous, a group was booked in for the following week so alternative accommodation had to be found and the local youth hostel kindly provided this for us. One group who were booked in were relocated within the Wide Horizons family and changed their location to Wales. We were relieved and pleased that they loved it there and have continued to use that centre. We were unlucky to lose one booking who had to stay at a similar activity centre in Swanage but thankfully the school has remained with us since then. The need to have the correct plans in place to deal with an incident of this nature is paramount. The centre already had a critical incident plan, which was adhered to at the time and since then we have continued to update this plan, and other processes on an annual basis.
New dormitory at the Townsend site.
As part of its its AIM membership, Wide Horizons has Business Interruption cover, which has been so important for our survival, as we were covered for loss of earnings while the new dormitory was being built and this covered an entire termâ€™s worth of business, anyone in business but especially working for or involved with a charity can appreciate the impact of losing this level of income.
Despite the fire, the outcome has been very positive for Wide Horizons. The building’s footprint hasn’t changed, but it has allowed us to modernise some of the structure of the building, which was originally built in 1928. We had new fixtures/fittings/furniture throughout, and as a charity that in itself had a significant impact as some of the furniture was in need of updating! Being a member of AIM has provided peace of mind. In the event of a claim we found that this was handled both professionally and with compassion, AIM did a wonderful job”.
Newly built Durlston dormitory block at the Townsend site.
Are You Covered? AIM offers Business Interruption cover to all members who take Property Damage cover. Business Interruption covers loss of income (including rent where appropriate) and increased costs arising from damage to a member’s premises. Surveys indicate that most SME’s buy cover for their buildings and contents, whether with AIM or a conventional commercial insurer, but fewer opt for the protection of Business Interruption cover as well. Lightning strikes are thankfully rare but as Wide Horizons’ experience shows, they can happen, and they are only one possible cause of damage – fire, storm and flood damage are more common and of course all of these can cause a building to be unavailable for use, with practical and financial implications for an activity provider. If you are interested in learning more about Business Interruption, and receiving a quotation, please contact AIM. Author: Activities Industry Mutual with comment from Simon Hicks, Head of Operations at Wide Horizons
LESSONS LEARNED Contested personal injury liability claims - covering the FACTS
It’s usually the accident report form and witness statements from the instructors, perhaps supported by photographs, which provide the most credible evidence of what actually happened when the accident occurred as opposed to a claimant’s solicitor’s version of events. In the event of an accident, reports should be written on the day of the accident, as early as possible, while memories are fresh, to ensure accurate information is recorded. Should the accident bring about a claim, the original reports will most likely be revisited and further statements will be taken. Should it proceed to court, and this is likely to be at least two years later, solicitors will take further statements prior to the trial itself.
Statements: accurate and factual The report is evidence of what actually happened. The accident investigation is equally important but is a separate exercise. Reports must be accurate, complete and factual - Avoid opinions, drawing conclusions or making subjective statements. - Be as concise as possible but do not leave anything out - Give precise dates and timings - Record the precise location, O.S. or GPS coordinates if appropriate, and measurements of site - Do not include anything that you did not see but have only been told about (unless you state the source of the information, ie. After the accident Sarah said that Mary’s ankle is weak as she had a sprain three weeks ago) - Do not speculate, express opinions or make comments that are judgmental or subjective
What can go wrong? Some four years ago, the indoor climbing wall community was a little shaken when a court found that a climbing centre was negligent and consequently liable for a Claimant’s broken ankle sustained whilst bouldering (Editor’s Note : this was not an AIM case). The Claimant was a member of a corporate group from a firm of insurance loss adjustors. The Claimant fractured her ankle upon landing awkwardly, having jumped from a bouldering wall, from a height of 4 – 5 ft. She claimed that she hadn’t been adequately briefed and that just before jumping she had mentally carried out her own “on site risk assessment” having looked at the mat below and concluded that it was safe for her to jump. Her version of events was supported by statements taken some 15 months after the accident from three members of her staff, all eye witnesses.
The climbing centre’s description of what happened was evidenced by its accident report form, completed on the day of the accident, and statements from the instructors taken upon the receipt of the claimant’s solicitor’s letter some three months later. Further statements were taken some 12 months later in preparation for the trial. In court, the claimant’s barrister, in cross examination, was able to exploit apparent inconsistencies in their statements and undermine their credibility as witnesses to the judge’s eyes. The claimant prevailed.
Reporting the incident - Complete or Incomplete? Another case, albeit not involving an activity, where the Claimant’s barrister focussed on gaps and alleged inconsistencies in the accident report form and witness statements in order to undermine the duty manager’s credibility, is an example of a forceful cross examination as illustrated in excerpts below from the trial transcript. The Claimant was visiting this residential centre, according to the accident report, to see her daughter who was part of a school group staying at the centre. Despite a sign at the entrance that all visitors should sign in at reception, she decided not to follow this procedure and walked straight down the roadway to gain access. The automatic entrance control barrier across the roadway, adjacent to the reception office was in the “up” position as the Claimant approached it, as a car had recently entered the site. As she walked under the barrier, it returned to the down position and struck her on the head. The event was partially witnessed by the duty manager and a colleague both of whom happened to be facing the other way. Though neither actually saw the barrier coming down and striking the claimant on the head, they heard the noise and saw the claimant “on the floor by the barrier and the edge of the road”. This was documented in the contemporaneous accident report completed by Jane Perkins as follows: “Gemma walked under the electric barrier after a car had driven through – the barrier came down on top of her head. Gemma was found on the floor by myself and Sue. Gemma was conscious but confused”. Names have been changed to preserve anonymity. This brief account was substantiated by a subsequent statement made following the receipt of the claimant’s solicitor’s letter of claim, some 7 months later, then, some 2 years later, a further statement describing the incident was taken by the defending solicitor to be included in the trial documents.
Hostile cross-examination by a claimant’s barrister. Mind the gaps! We reproduce an extract from the trial below, as an illuminating example of the nature of questioning by a claimant’s barrister that a witness may have to deal with. We leave you to draw your own conclusions as to whether this may have influenced the judge, who found for the claimant. Q. I want to ask you a question about the penultimate and final sentence, which is on page 165. I am just going to read that out: "She had been walking behind a car, effectively tailgating it, as a pedestrian and had walked under the barrier as it was descending. The barrier then descended on to her head." Let us just be clear, you did not see any of that, did you? A. No. I didn't see it, no. Q. Fine, so you did not see the car come through the barrier? What colour was the car? A. Black. Q. Where is that in the witness statement? A. It is not in my witness statement. Q. Why is that? A. It was a car. At the time it was just a car. Q. It is not just a car, is it, because you are saying that the claimant is telling a pack of lies about this car. It is not just a car; it is the most important thing in the case. So why did you not say what colour it was?
A. At the time I did not know that was the most important thing. I was just told to write down what happened. The car went through, so that is what I said, "A car went through." Q. What sort of car was it? A. It was a big like a Land Rover, Range Rover. It was a big car. Q. Again, why is that not in the witness statement? A. Because it was a car. Q. That brings me to my next question. I can perhaps accept that you did not think it sensible to go and ask for the driver's details or his version of events, his or her version of events on the day in question, but subsequently, in due course, did you ask at reception, "By the way, do you remember the black Land Rover coming through immediately before that woman was hit on the head?" Did you ask that question? A. Did I? Q. Yes. A. At the time? Q. At any time? A. At any time. I knew it had gone through because we discussed it afterwards. Q. Who did you ask at reception? A. The reception staff, yes. Q. Where is that in your witness statement? A. It is not in there. Q. Why have you not mentioned the person in the car prior to just now? A. I honestly didn't think it was relevant. I don't know what would have been relevant. All I knew that the car had gone through and that is all that needed to be known as far as I was concerned. Q. I just do not accept that. And so the cross examination continued.
The verdict In his summing up, the claimant’s barrister referred to the duty manager’s statements. He targeted the duty manager’s “failure” to refer to the type and colour of the car and the driver until she was being cross examined in the witness box. He criticised her “omission” and referred to her as “not being a reliable witness of fact”. It turned out that the barrister had done enough to persuade the judge to doubt the duty manager’s evidence and her credibility as a witness and, despite all the inconsistencies in the claimant’s version of events, and to the surprise of those in court, he found in favour of the claimant. Please download the example forms by clicking on the links below:
Example Incident Accident Form Link: https://goo.gl/tvQv7s Example Witness Statement Link: https://goo.gl/LLqn2o There are no guarantees in court, and barristers naturally will seek to discredit witnesses. But a detailed and complete contemporaneous account of events made in the immediate aftermath of the accident is the best form of defence.
NEW APPRENTICESHIPS FOR OUTDOOR INSTRUCTORS Though the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS)* may have got off to a shaky start with its push for more apprentices a couple of years ago, a tightening of the rules and increasing engagement by employers, together with the introduction of a levy for the larger employers, is starting to make a difference. So what are the challenges and opportunities for the outdoor sector with this emerging new apprenticeship regime? If your annual pay bill is over £3million you are hopefully already aware that you will be required to pay a levy in 2017. The resultant ‘levy pot’ will be used to help pay for apprentice training and assessment costs, thus acting as an incentive for employers to review their recruitment and training regimes and have more apprenticeships. It is important to note that an apprenticeship is not restricted to the school leaver or lower level training and assessment. In this new regime it is perfectly feasible to be an apprentice at 40 years old training to develop level 7 competencies. As well as the levy the new regime requires employers to look closely at what they require from a successful apprentice at the end of their training period. A number of sectors have already seen representative groups of employers come together and redefine apprenticeship standards. This new employer led approach is known as Trailblazers. An important feature of Trailblazers is the requirement that apprentices are assessed at the end of their training to demonstrate ‘holistic competence’. This current lack of defined end competence and appropriate assessment is of particular concern to BIS. Employer led defining of new apprentice standards represents an opportunity for the outdoor sector and is not just for the larger employers. A group of outdoor instructor employers working with The Institute for Outdoor Learning has been granted Trailblazer status to produce a new apprenticeship for first level instructing roles in the Outdoors. The group is also working on 2nd and 3rd level standards for higher instructing type roles for submission. It is anticipated that a range of apprentice training and assessment activity not currently included in outdoor instructor apprenticeships will become eligible for funding under the new standards later in 2017. The new standards will support apprenticeships across a wide range of job types and in an equally wide range of provision e.g. recreational, educational, tourism, adventure, specialist coaching etc. If you are interested in influencing or supporting this work please contact IOL’s professional standards manager (email@example.com ) or the chair of the Outdoor Instructor Trailblazer employer’s group (firstname.lastname@example.org ). AIM is supporting this work by IOL and the trailblazer employer group. *The responsibility for trailblazer apprenticeships was moved from BIS to the Department for Education in July 2016 and funding continues to be only applicable to apprentices with an English home address or those who are employed in England.
Author: Andy Robinson
CONFERENCES & EVENTS As many of you will be aware we regularly hosts events as part of AIM’s service and commitment to our members. The vision has always been to bring together members with key industry specialists to learn, network and share ideas based on your experiences. We hope that these events provide a helpful and informative forum for you all. Once again AIM hosted two Member Days in February and March this year. We travelled to the Cairngorm Hotel, Aviemore and in March were on board HMS Belfast in London which proved to be one of the largest well attended AIM member events. Both Member Days included presentations from a range of speakers including Ian Rideout from Outfit Moray, Phil Briggs, Venture Trust, John White of Whitewave and AIM director Peter Gordon of Rockley Watersports. There were legal presentations provided by Sophia Reed at law firm BLM who gave her opinion on the developments in Occupiers Liability Law and Mark Donaldson from Clyde & Co who discussed liability and claims trends in Scotland. Additionally, Lawrence Jones, Barrister, discussed RIDDOR rules and requirements. Andy Robinson provided an update from the Institute of Outdoor Learning (IOL) and David Ball also shared invaluable advice on risk assessment and recording which delegates found “Excellent & Useful, really informative and reassuring”. Our thanks to all our speakers and collaborators from earlier this year. We welcome any suggestions for venues, speakers or topics for consideration at forthcoming AIM events. Look out for the invitations for next year’s exciting events and we look forward to seeing you there. For further information or to book your place on one of our 2017 Member Days, contact Cath Watson on email@example.com
THURSDAY 23rd FEBRUARY 2017
TUESDAY 7th MARCH 2017
AIM Member Day
AIM Member Day
Hollowford Centre, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WB
New Forest Outdoor Centre, Minstead Manor Estate, Emery Down, Hants, SO43 7GA
For more information or quotations please contact US James Willis, Shaun Fyson, Richard Briggs, Andrew Baker, Cath Watson, Bradley Mott at the Activities Industry Mutual Ltd Third Floor Westcombe House, 2-4 Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8AS Tel 01892 888423 | Fax 01892 535480
Email firstname.lastname@example.org | www.activitiesindustrymutual.co.uk FEBRUARY 2017 AIM Member Day
Managers: Regis Mutual Management Ltd www.rmml.com