4. Planning Visits

4.1 Introduction

Whatever type of visit is being undertaken, time given for preparation will ensure good planning, maximise the potential benefits of the experience and help minimise the risk from any incidents.

4.2 Preparing a Visit Plan

A Visit Plan needs to be in place for all off-site visits. The Visit Plan outlines who is to do what, and when. The amount of content and detail in the Visit Plan will be determined by the nature of the trip.

4.3 Establishing Ratios

It is important to have a suitable ratio of adult supervisors to participants for any visit.

4.4 Communicating with Parents

The majority of off-site visits are a normal part of educational and other service provision (e.g. youth clubs) and are referred to within this guidance as ‘Routine and Expected Visits’.

4.5 Parental Consent and Medical Information

A summary of visit types, with recommendations regarding parental consent and medical information, can be found in the matrix in the Toolkit section.

4.6 Preparing Participants

It is good practice to prepare participants so that they understand the aims and nature of the visit. Risk Education is an important aspect of young people’s development.

4.7 Supervision

The Visit Leader has overall responsibility for supervision during a trip. All adults in a supervisory role have a duty of care for the group at all times. There is no break from this responsibility during the trip.

4.8 Remote Supervision

Remote supervision is the term used when the leader is not directly present with participants. Remote supervision comes in varying degrees and is used in a variety of circumstances.

4.9 Unaccompanied Visits

There may be occasions when young people take part in visits without any accompanying leader for the entire trip.

4.10 Exploratory Visit

A Visit Leader needs to be confident that the location and facilities are suitable for their plans.

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The content of this guidance is in line with advice from the Health and Safety Executive and has been developed in partnership with Education Scotland.