Managing Risk in Play Provision: Implementation guide

The Play Safety Forum, a group of national organisations involved in play safety, has produced an updated version of Managing Risk in Play Provision: Implementation guide which was originally published in 2008.

It has been written by David Ball, Tim Gill and Bernard Spiegal. 

This guide shows how play providers can develop an approach to risk management that takes into account the benefits to children and young people of challenging play experiences, as well as the risks. It builds on the Play Safety Forum's position statement Managing risk in play provision (2002).

The guide is aimed at those responsible for managing play provision, and will be useful for those who manage spaces and settings in which children play, and for those involved in designing and maintaining them.

Robin Sutcliffe, Chair of the Play Safety Forum said:

'Children need and choose exciting places to play, which inevitably means managing situations that are inherently risky. This publication recognises this and gives guidance to providers about how this can be reconciled with a natural desire for children’s safety.'

Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE said:

'Play - and particularly play outdoors - teaches young people how to deal with risk. Without this awareness and learning they are ill equipped to deal with adult life. Outdoor play and learning is an important part of our children's education. HSE endorses the proportionate advice in the guide. We should all make sure that needless health and safety excuses do not get in the way of activities. Of course take sensible and reasonable precautions, but let young people play.'
 

Download Managing Risk in Play Provision: Implementation guide


New practical tool challenges the cotton wool culture and paves the way for more adventurous playtimes

The Play Safety Forum, a leading safety body, has launched a new practical tool that tackles the cotton wool culture head-on and makes a positive case for risk, adventure and challenge as vital ingredients in children’s play. The initiative is supported by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the UK Government.

The document, entitled Risk-Benefit Assessment Form is an easy-to-use tool to support play providers to balance the benefits of an activity with any inherent risk, taking into account the risks while recognising the benefits to children and young people of challenging play experiences. It will be invaluable for all those who manage spaces and settings in which children play, and for those involved in designing and maintaining them.

The Risk-Benefit Assessment (RBA) Form is available in two formats: as a blank form, and as a hypothetical worked example based on a tree swing. It was commissioned and developed by the Play Safety Forum, which brings together all the leading UK agencies with an interest in play safety, and is co-authored by Professor David Ball, Tim Gill and Bernard Spiegal.

The RBA Form builds on over a decade of work by the Play Safety Forum to promote a more balanced approach to risk in children’s play. It is based on the Government-funded publication Managing Risk in Play Provision: Implementation guide first published by Play England in 2008 and republished as a second edition in 2013.

Robin Sutcliffe, Chair of the Play Safety Forum said:

‘Children need and choose exciting places to play, which inevitably means managing situations that are inherently risky. The RBA form will help providers assess how this can be reconciled with a natural desire for children’s safety.’

Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE said:

‘Play - and particularly play outdoors - teaches young people how to deal with risk. Without this awareness and learning they are ill equipped to deal with adult life. Outdoor play and learning is an important part of our children's education.

‘HSE endorses the proportionate advice in the RBA Form. We should all make sure that needless health and safety excuses do not get in the way of activities. Of course take sensible and reasonable precautions, but let young people play.’

The RBA Form is published by Play Scotland in partnership with Play England, Play Wales and PlayBoard Northern Ireland. It was sponsored by, and the copyright belongs to: Play Scotland; Play England: Play Wales and PlayBoard Northern Ireland.

Download Risk-Benefit Assessment Form - Worked Example

Download Risk-Benefit Assessment Form - Word version

Want to take a more balanced approach to risk? Here’s the tool you have been waiting for - Tim Gill blog post