If you are using the services of an external adventure activity provider, you will need to ensure they have properly trained and qualified staff, they have suitable insurance and sound safety management systems.
There are a number of quality assurance schemes to help you with this.
Commercial providers of specified adventure activities must hold an Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) license to operate. This is a legal requirement. You can find out if your provider has a current license from the AALA web site. Details will specify which activities are covered and the valid dates of the license.
LOtC Quality Badge
Some adventure activities (such as climbing walls, abseiling towers or zip wires) are out of scope of AALA licensing. Holders of the Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) Quality Badge have been inspected against nationally recognised safety and quality criteria.
Similar to the LOtC Quality Badge and inspected to the same standards, holders of the Adventuremark award have been inspected against nationally recognised safety.
Assured members of the British Activity Holiday Association (BAHA) comply with externally inspected safety management system procedures and requirements specified by the Association.
For some activities, National Governing Body (NGB) Awards should be held by instructors supervising adventure activities. For example, Mountain Leader Training England (MLTE) manage a range of hill walking and climbing qualifications, the British Canoe Union (BCU) manage canoeing and kayaking awards and Archery GB, otherwise referred to as the Grand National Archery Society (GNAS), deliver training and qualifications for archery.
Activity Association Codes of Practice/Guidelines
Where activities are not covered by any of the above schemes, look for a national association with a credible code of practice and guidelines which must be followed by members e.g. the National Karting Association for go-karting.
The BMBC Provider Form provides a straightforward to obtain a well thought out set of assurances from adventure activity providers. Send it to your provider, they can complete it and return it to you. You then have a clear contract and specification from them about safety and other relevant issues for you visit.