How BS8848 can help organisations & parents keep children safe during their visits outside the UK

How BS8848 can help organisations & parents keep children safe during their visits outside the UK

If you are involved in organising visits, fieldwork, expeditions and adventures holidays outside the UK for young people and adults, this article will help you understand the British Standard BS8848 which is not only dedicated to organisations, but also to parents who want to make sure their children are safe.

The British Standard for Adventurous Activities provides a guide to good practice for organised holiday activities abroad: schools and university expeditions, adventure holidays, charity challenges etc. BS8848 covers all aspects of a venture from activities to transport, staffing and accommodation.


The 3 core principles of the British Standard for Adventurous Activities are:


  • Informed choice – all risks should be assessed and clearly explained to participants and parents before they book
  • Single provider – there should be one organisation that takes overall responsibility for the venture
  • Capable staff – all ventures should be run by competent and experienced staff.

All types of overseas adventure travel holidays for young people and adults can follow the guideline provided by the BS8848. Click here to find out what an organisation that chooses to sign up to the standard should do.


Our experience with the BS8848


Our own senior team is backed up by access to many other experts throughout the world who are available to undertake independent audits for activity providers, enabling them to achieve an independent BS8848 certification. The parent’s guide is an important development so parents and of course any stakeholders are informed, which is a crucial part of compliance.

We have experts that work with BSI on the ISO which is below and this ISO has been developed with much assistance from BSI as BS8848 has been in existence since 2006 and updated 2014, which organisations and companies are fond off.


International Standards Organisation (ISO)


There is Information found online for organisations interested in the ISO that relates to Adventure Tourism and the full standard can be bought for the ISO online shop. The purpose of adventure tourism standards is to set out the minimum requirements for safety management systems and communication to participants. They are independent entities since they apply to different aspects of adventure tourism.

this International Standard specifies how the adventure tourism organisation manages its operations in terms of safety;
ISO/TR 21102 provides data on the minimum competence of adventure tourism activity leaders;
ISO 21103 specifies the minimum information to be communicated to participants and potential participants before, during and after the activity to ensure safety.


Purpose of this International Standard


The purpose of this International Standard is to set out the minimum requirements for a safety management system for adventure tourism activity providers. A risk management process is an integral part of a safety management system. A safety management system provides the framework for continual improvement and contributes to the delivery of safe adventure tourism activities.
The safety management system approach encourages providers to analyse their adventure tourism activities, understand participants' requirements, define the processes that ensure safety, and keep these processes under control.


If you have any questions regarding the British Standard for adventure holidays and ISO or if you need help with a BS8848 certification, please do not hesitate to contact our experts on 0117 986 2194 or at [email protected].