Covid-19 presents a risk no matter where we go or what we do. However, SAGE evidence suggests that outdoor activities may present a lower risk of virus transmission. I will base my activities on the following principles:
Safe Course provision will be informed and guided by a public health assessment of risk. (Government advice through PHE, HPS etc.)
Lawful We will adhere to government guidance and legal restrictions.
Evidence-based We will use the best available activity-specific evidence and analysis to guide our decision making.
Socially responsible We recognise that there must be a balance between economic growth and the welfare of local communities, society and the environment. Clients and providers are accountable for fulfilling their civic duty; the actions of an individual must benefit the whole of society.
Clear We will provide clarity to our clients to enable compliance, engagement, and ac-countability.
Realistic We will consider the viability and effectiveness of course delivery options through discussions with our professional association.
I will ensure I meet the requirements of my Insurers and follow advice from my Professional Association: The Association of Mountaineering Instructors.
Activities will require a pragmatic and mutually agreed approach between clients and instructors. Some objectives may not be feasible. The dynamic nature of being in the mountains means that there may be occasions when ideal Covid Secure practice (in, for example, social distancing) cannot be maintained e.g. to deal with an immediate safety concern that takes priority.
Please bring a personal first aid kit so you can deal with small, non-serious injuries yourself. This doesn't change my duty of care to you all. I will of course provide hands-on first aid if the situation demands it, but this is one small way that I can reduce close contact. Similarly, can you please bring with you your own map case and compass. I do have some spares if necessary. I will provide the actual maps though, and hand these out at the start of the day.
One final point regarding rescue. The level of objective hazard on a navigation course is relatively low, but we all know that accidents can happen. Can I ask you to familiarise yourself with the position statement from Scottish Mountain Rescue at this link. In essence we all just need to be thinking more about risk avoidance and self-reliance, and that's something we can discuss during the course.
Cancellation & Insurance Policy
In order to make things as fair as possible for both parties, I operate a simple and transparent Cancellation Policy. Payment for all courses is taken at the time of booking. I will give you a full refund of your whole course fee if you cancel for any reason, but only on the condition that you give me 28 full days' notice, counted back from the start date of your chosen course. If you cancel any time after that, for any reason, it will no longer be possible to issue a refund - but see the exception for Covid-19 related cancellations below. I strongly recommend that you take out personal travel insurance which specifically covers you for cancellation costs. I recommend the British Mountaineering Council at www.thebmc.co.uk
The current Covid-19 crisis might force you to cancel at short notice for any number of reasons. If that happens, just let me know and I will offer you a full refund or transfer your booking across to a later date - your choice, no questions asked.
As a full member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors I hold the highest level of instructional qualification in the UK. My continued membership of AMI is subject to strict requirements of professional currency and rulings of a Professional Standards Committee. AMI Members have been trained and assessed to a very high level to provide you with a safe and enjoyable learning experience in the mountains. Part of that experience is the acceptance on your part that hillwalking is an inherently dangerous activity with a risk of serious injury or death, however remote. I will help you to understand and to reduce these risks but can never completely eliminate them. I will do my utmost to match your aspirations and abilities with the conditions. I strongly recommend that you take out your own insurance to cover you for personal accident or injury. I recommend the British Mountaineering Council at www.thebmc.co.uk