Events are part of the Scouting experience. Large events, and events of long duration, are complex and require significant planning and oversight. The Event Standards are designed to be scalable to reflect the variance in complexity, location, duration and program requirements for a particular event. This Event Assessment & Approval Procedure and accompanying stage gate process outlined in the Events Management Procedure Flowchart provides steps for the event management team to determine the appropriate event risk category and risk controls to be applied in the early planning stages.
There are three broad categories of risk: High, Medium and Low. A typical High Risk event may have some or all of the following attributes:
- New site – not used for a large event previously – often requiring large infrastructure changes or substantial environmental impact (e.g. tree-felling)
- New or infrequent event with little recent experience to draw upon
- Large scale with many youth and Scouters from across the country and abroad
- Long in duration with significant program variety and the potential for significant set-up (mobilization) and tear-down (de-mobilization) requirements.
- Poor incident management or safety incident experience from past events
- All events are managed by a designated Event Management Team Lead as part of a larger Event Management Team, which is accountable to an Approval Team to ensure the event adheres to the Event Standards. For events categorized as low risk or medium risk, the approval team is the Council Key 3 or delegate(s). For high-risk events, the Approval Team is the National Key 3 or delegate(s)
- Council-level, multi-Group events (previously “Area events”) classified as low risk would continue to be managed locally. The Event Management Team Lead is responsible for ensuring the event adheres to the Event Standards.
- Group events would typically be classified as low risk, for which the Event Management Team is usually the Group Committee. The Group Commissioner (GC), or delegate, would be the designated Event Management Team Lead responsible for ensuring the event adheres to the Event Standards. It is not expected that the Group Commissioner inform the Council Key 3 of a Group event; this is left to the discretion of the GC.
- A Section camp, expedition or adventure is not classified as an event for the purposes of this procedure and associated Event Standards.
- All events must follow the process and stage gates outlined in the Events Management Procedure Flowchart. Note: The Event Management Process defined in the flowchart requires scaling appropriate for the risk, scale and scope of the event to be planned. All steps and approval stages must be followed, but the work and specific requirements should be modified and agreed with the decision makers in the “IDEA” stage as part of the Charter and Risk Classification approval process.
- International Contingents are defined as Scouts Canada Events and are managed by a designated Contingent Management Team Lead or Head of Delegation (equivalent to Event Management Team Lead) as part of a larger Contingent / Event Management Team. International Contingent management follows the Event Management Standards and Procedures. Most International Contingents would be categorized as High-risk events with the National Key 3 or delegate(s) as the defined Approval Team.
This procedure provides a consistent set of criteria to evaluate events of any scale and to determine relative risk. This is then used (in discussion with the Approval Team, when applicable) to determine the appropriate controls and components found within the Event Standards.
Step 1: Risk Assessment
The Event Management Team will assess and determine an event risk category using seven quantifiable, evidenced-based criteria (Table 1):
- Location – how frequently the site has been used for this event (site experience)
- Frequency – how frequently the event is held (event experience)
- Event planning – based on the experience of the Event Management Team (team experience)
- Attendance – includes youth, Scouters and event volunteers (scope and scale)
- Duration – includes the number of days that volunteers are on site setting up and taking down for the event (i.e. mobilization and de-mobilization)
- Program – measures the number of Category 2 and 3 activities (complexity)
- Incident management – assesses both frequency and scale of safety incidents and past experience of the management of the incident / emergencies (safety experience)
Table 1: Risk Assessment
|Location used annually for large events
|Location used previously but not in the last two years
|Location used previously, but not in at least five years
|New Scouting event
|Experienced team, multi-event management
|Less experienced planning team, limited event experience
|New planning team
|1-day (no overnight)
|7 or more nights
|Program - Category 2 & 3 events
|1 to 2
|3 to 5
|6 to 9
|10 or more
|Good incident management experience.**
|Inconsistent incident management
|Repeated incidents and policy violations OR a new event
|Attendance (including youth, Scouters, event volunteers)
|Less than 500
|3,000 or more
** Incident management experience is not an absolute quantifiable metric but a basis for discussion. The Event Management Team must consider reported and potentially unreported incidents, what first aid has been required and, depending on the event history, incident management experience.
Note: A table of historical events and their quantified scoring is provided as a guideline in the Appendix.
Step 2: Risk Category Assignment and Characterization
The assignment of category is based on the risk assessment (Table 1) done by the Event Management Team.
The determination of High, Medium and Low Risk is not based on an absolute quantifiable outcome, – but is a balance between all seven of the criteria above, with an emphasis on attendance (scale) and complexity.
Complexity = sum of scores: location + frequency + event planning + duration + (2x program) + (2x incidents)
Plot 1: Example Event Risk Assessment Matrix – Determination of Risk Category
The Event Management Team will review past experience in conjunction with the initial plan for the event being proposed and will provide a short summary for the Approval Team to justify a proposed risk category assessment. This would take place in the “idea” stage of the Events Management Procedure.
Step 3: Event Governance, Decision Making and Approvals
The category assessment should be used as guidance for a consultative discussion between the Event Management Team and the Approval Team. The classification of High, Medium or Low risk will determine the basis for the selection of appropriate risk controls.
A high-risk event requires more rigour and planning than an event without these characteristics: local, small, simple, annual and experienced team. A low-risk event requires few controls, and should require less oversight and fewer approvals, although the components of the Event Standards are potentially all applicable.
In conjunction with the Approval Team, the Event Management Team will agree upon the requirements and deliverables to meet or exceed the expectations in the Event Standards. Although the specifics are not prescribed, it is expected that the Event Management Team will work with the Approval Team to agree upon a set of key deliverables required to progress and support the execution of the event. The teams will also agree upon the timing of the deliverables in preparation for the next decision phase (see Major Event Management Procedure).
Note: A pre-defined set of deliverables is not specified to enable the Event Management Team flexibility to make good decisions based on local conditions. It is expected that the list of required deliverables will vary from event to event.
Per the Events Management Procedure, all events require approval at the initial “idea” stage prior to further planning and resource allocation. The risk categorization is determined, proposed and approved at this stage. Depending on scale, complexity and experience, the risk category will both determine the requirements for event planning, design and approval and the event governance.
- High-risk events must be approved by the National Key 3 (or delegate) before planning may begin and will require oversight at the National level.
- Medium- and low-risk events are approved by the Council Key 3 (or delegate) and are managed within the Council.