Adventure Activity Standards
Version 2.0 of the Standards have been released by Outdoors WA. See “Useful Links” on the right to download a copy.
Note: This project is of particular interest to Ride Leaders, whether they are commercial tour operators or just the guy in front in informal group rides.
RTRA is contributing to the development of Adventure Activity Standards for Trail Bike Touring.
What are Adventure Activity Standards?
Adventure Activity Standards benchmark the minimum industry requirements and responsibilities for organisations and leaders conducting outdoor adventure activities for commercial and non commercial groups where the participants are dependent on the activity provider.
Adventure Activity Standards are currently in development for a range of Western Australian outdoor activities, including:
- Mountain Biking
- Horse Trail Riding
- Four Wheel Driving
The development and implementation of the AAS allows the outdoor adventure industry to demonstrate its collective integrity and agreed standards. This, in turn will provide a measure of quality for the purposes of assisting
- Consumers of our services to make informed choices about the services they select
- Training organisations to produce graduates who understand and meet industry standards
- Media, insurance and legal scrutineers of our activity and its participants to understand what is acceptable practice and what is not
- The development of sustainable use practices that consider the specific environmental and cultural heritage values of an area
- The development of Western Australian Adventure Activity Standards has been instigated by the Department of Sport and Recreation and is being coordinated by Outdoors WA. Individual standards are being driven by Technical Working Committees from each recreation. The WA Standards will align with the National Tourism Accreditation Program and the National Outdoor Leader Registration Scheme.
So what does this mean for Trail Bike Riders?
For individuals who just go out for a ride, or even when you get a couple of mates and ride a trail that you all know, the answer is ‘not much’. Individuals will not be required to abide by the Standards, although they may serve as a useful safety checklist.
For organised competitions such as Enduros and Motocross (including recreational rides like the Capel 200, coaching and practice days) that are held under the regulations of Motorcycling Australia, the answer is ‘even less’. Motorcycling Australia already has a well documented set of Standards as documented in the general Competition Rules (GCRs) and these will continue to apply for all MA events.
But … where there’s a group of riders who go out on a ride where they are following a lead rider and depending on that lead rider to navigate them home again, or where they join a group of riders on a promoted ride (whether or not they pay to do so), then the Adventure Activity Standards will come into play.
Every ride leader, whether a commercial tour operator or just the guy who knows where the trails are has a legal Duty of Care to those who follow him or her. In the event of an incident on the ride it is important that the ride leader can demonstrate that he or she provided a reasonable level of care to the participants. The AAS will provide a set of processes which, if followed, will define what that reasonable level of care should be and thereby provide a degree of legal protection to ride leaders.
It will also help to demonstrate our commitment as trail riders to taking a responsible attitude towards our own safety, the safety of our riding buddies and the environment.
It is quite likely that in the future the Trail Bike Touring Standard may become a requirement to gain access to DEC land (eg State Forests) for group rides.
And, of course, it will serve as a checklist for prudent practice when planning and organising rides
Version 1.0 of the Standards was released in June 2009
Version 2.0 was released in January 2013. The changes relate to the requirements of ride leaders and provides more options for demonstrating leader competence.
Version 2.0 of the Standards – Trail Bike Touring (PDF)
Serious Adventure report (PDF 7.1Mb)