TEST DofE Unsupervised Overnight

For Westermill Consideration Only
DofE Unsepervised Overnight

When a UK campsite hosts a group of Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) students who are not supervised overnight by their institution, it must adhere to specific legal responsibilities and understand the implications of insurance liability. Here is an outline of these responsibilities and liabilities:

Legal Responsibilities
  1. Duty of Care
    • General Duty

      The campsite has a general duty of care to ensure the safety and well-being of all its guests, including unsupervised minors. This includes maintaining safe facilities and taking reasonable steps to prevent accidents and injuries.

    • Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

      The campsite must comply with health and safety regulations to minimize risks to all visitors. This includes ensuring that fire exits are accessible, first aid kits are available, and that staff are trained in emergency procedures.

  2. Safeguarding
    • Child Protection

      Although the DofE participants are generally older children (usually 14-24 years), the campsite should still adhere to safeguarding policies. This includes having a safeguarding policy in place and ensuring staff are aware of procedures to follow if they have concerns about a child’s welfare.

  3. Risk Assessment
    • The campsite should conduct a thorough risk assessment, especially given the lack of overnight supervision by the institution. This assessment should identify potential hazards and outline measures to mitigate these risks.

  4. Communication with the Institution
    • Information Sharing

      It is crucial to establish clear communication lines with the institution responsible for the students. The campsite should have contact details for the institution’s emergency contact person and ensure there is a clear understanding of each party’s responsibilities.

Insurance Liability
  1. Public Liability Insurance
    • Coverage

      The campsite must have adequate public liability insurance. This insurance covers claims made by third parties (in this case, the students) for injury or loss resulting from the campsite’s negligence.

    • Scope

      The insurance policy should explicitly cover activities undertaken by guests and any additional risks posed by hosting unsupervised minors.

  2. Employers’ Liability Insurance
    • If the campsite employs staff, it must have employers’ liability insurance to cover any claims from employees who might be injured or fall ill due to their work.

  3. Additional Insurance Considerations
    • Event Insurance

      Depending on the nature of the DofE activities, additional event-specific insurance might be necessary to cover unique risks associated with the event.

    • Confirmation of Coverage

      It is advisable to review the insurance policy to ensure that it covers the specific scenario of hosting unsupervised minors and to discuss any gaps with the insurance provider.

Practical Steps for the Campsite
  1. Pre-Arrival Briefing
    • Provide a thorough briefing to the students upon arrival, covering campsite rules, safety procedures, and emergency contact information.
  2. Designated Responsible Person
    • Although the institution is not providing overnight supervision, the campsite should designate a responsible person on-site who can handle any emergencies or issues that arise overnight.
  3. Monitoring and Supervision
    • Increase monitoring of the campsite, particularly in the areas where the students will be camping. This can be done through regular patrols by campsite staff.
  4. Emergency Procedures
    • Ensure that all students are aware of the emergency procedures and have access to a 24-hour contact number for campsite management.

Hosting a group of DofE students without overnight supervision by their institution requires the campsite to exercise heightened vigilance regarding legal responsibilities and insurance liabilities. Ensuring the safety of the students through comprehensive risk assessments, clear communication with the institution, and appropriate insurance coverage is essential. By taking these steps, the campsite can fulfill its duty of care and mitigate potential legal and financial risks.

For more detailed guidance, campsite operators should consult legal advisors and insurance professionals, as well as resources provided by organizations such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the British Horse Society, if relevant to their specific context.