Requirements of a Visit Wales Approved Adventure Tourism Operator

Approved Adventure Tourism Operator

All approved Visit Wales activity operators have undergone an inspection via a recognised third party accreditation process and completed a Self Declaration process as confirmation. 

The inspection via a recognised third party accreditation process will have been carried out by one of the following:

  • Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) - a UK statutory process for providers offering adventure activities to under 18's;
  • Adventuremark Accreditation - a UK non-statutory process for providers of adventure activities;
  • British Activity Providers Association (BAPA) - a UK non-statutory process for providers of adventure activities;
  • National Government Body (NGB) Accreditation - a UK non-statutory process for providers, offered by individual NGB's for single activities e.g. Kayaking & Canoeing, Hillwalking, Sailing & Windsurfing;
  • A Visit Wales nominated Technical Auditor - a non-statutory process offered to adventure tourism providers in Wales who are not governed by a statutory process and have chosen not to engage with the other listed non-statutory processes. The technical auditor will:
  • Have a proven level of technical competence within the outdoor activity sector & in at least one of the activities offered by the provider (usually as set out in L77, “Guidance from the Licensing Authority on the Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004”); 
  • Have a good knowledge of the venues to be used by the provider; 
  • Have access to, knowledge & understanding of the management of the provider, including the instructors concerned; 
  • Have sufficient experience in at least one of the activities offered by the provider, as well as maturity to make suitably sound judgments.   

The process requires the technical auditor to consider the following 10 standards of the providers business: 

  1. Autonomy & Accountability – Competence of Instructional Staff  
  2. Delivering a Safe & Effective Service 
  3. Learning & Development 
  4. Working in Partnership 
  5. Consent 
  6. Record Keeping & Information Governance 
  7. Communication 
  8. Management & Provision 
  9. Evaluation of Services
  10. Promoting & Marketing Activity Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Sector Services & Products    

After which, the technical auditor will provide a report, along with recommendations, to Visit Wales. The report & its recommendations require an endorsement from the Wales Adventure Tourism Organisation (WATO) before approval is granted by Visit Wales.   

The Visit Wales Self-Declaration process confirms that a recognised third party accreditation process has been completed (Evidence required by Visit Wales) and that the provider agrees with the Terms & Conditions of signing up. The Terms & Conditions relate to the 10 standards listed above.