YET champions and generally promotes the use of good practice in adventurous activities so that young people can experience the pleasures and values of expeditions without undue risk to their safety and general wellbeing. When doing so, it has to be recognised that adventurous activities, by their very nature, involve exposure to accepted elements of risk, challenge and adventure greater than those normally encountered in everyday life. YET is keen to see that all ventures of this nature follow high standards of conduct and are undertaken responsibly and as safely as practicable. It cannot be guaranteed however that all possibility of resultant injury to participants, or others, is eliminated.
YET views any assessment process of a venture, not as a further restriction on risk and the development of young people, but as an enabling one that raises the standard of operation across the whole sector. It promotes participant (and parental) confidence and brings greater opportunity to enable the benefits of the expedition experience to reach a wider audience of young people.
YET does not organise expeditions, but offers its skilled services, including mentoring to voluntary youth groups, to schools, to all venture providers (voluntary and commercial), to Scouts / Guides / cadets and other uniformed groups, and to all other groups involved in providing challenging and adventurous ventures outside the UK for young people.
In 2007 the British Standard BS 8848 — a specification for the provision of visits, fieldwork, expeditions and adventurous activities outside the UK was published. It provided a recognised benchmark against which to assess the acceptability of safety and general good practice on overseas expeditions. YET re-structured its existing and widely respected approval scheme in line with this standard to enable providers of such ventures to demonstrate Conformity to BS 8848 through the YET Evaluation Service.
In 2009, the British Standard was revised and YET adjusted its procedures to enable either the evaluation of individual ventures, or the assessment of providers on a corporate basis, for Conformity to BS 8848. For corporate conformity, a key requirement is that the Venture Provider has to ‘self assess’ all ventures it provides and declare that individually they do so conform to BS 8848.
In 2014, a new version of British Standard BS 8848 was published. This covers all aspects of provision considered in earlier versions, but with greater emphasis on the nature of evidence required to demonstrate conformity. The YET Evaluation Service methodology is continually reviewed and developed to ensure that it is fully in line with the specification of the Standard.
The British Standards Institute has also published “A parents’ guide to adventurous activities abroad for young people” which offers information and advice on what is covered by BS 8848 and the reason for its existence.
If you have any questions or need further clarification on aspects of the Evaluation process, see the FAQs. If that does not answer your question, contact the Evaluations Co-ordinator by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.