About the Covid Care Quality Assurance Scheme

The CCQA Scheme is designed to follow a common sense progression to get you back to business.  It is designed to get you to consider the whole of your business operations in a common sense way.

To help staff and customers to have confidence in our business we need to fully involve them, to do this we must:

Assess – what we do.

Agree – things with those involved.

Educate – those affected.

Any return to working has to be staged, to simply ‘dive’ back in will lead to things being overlooked and ultimately risks.  We suggest 5 tiers to consider for returning to business, these are designed to follow a progressive pathway, which will help to ensure you don’t overlook anything. You can choose to do them in any order that best suits your needs:


Tier 1:  Site Operations – Getting you and your team back into work

Getting your team back into the workplace and ensuring its safe is going to be essential to going forward.  As the first step this is the foundation on which your business activities will sit. The place you run you business from and your team must be safe.  If there are problems here, then all our business activities will be affected.  By making you work place safe for your staff, you can begin to involve them more easily in your transition back to business.

Typical tasks could include: Equipment maintenance, administration, facilities and building management, vehicle maintenance, cleaning.


Tier 2:  Bookings – Engaging our clients

Re-establishing contact with our existing customers and reaching out to new ones to let them know we are actively working towards re-opening will help us to increase the amount of bookings we have when we open our doors.

Typical tasks may include: Reviewing customer details, email shots, updating websites, signage and social media.

Tier 3:  Activities – How we run our activities

We need to check out how we run our activities to make sure that they don’t put people at COVID risk.  This is by far the largest tier for most Adventure Tourism Businesses.   We need to consider our activities and may need to choose which ones are suitable for reopening – especially in the early stages.  Where activities can be run, we may need to amend them.  Each activity will have its own unique needs and they could be considered independently.

Typical tasks could include:  Reviewing if operating areas are open, reviewing transport arrangements, arrival briefs, activity reviews, lunch and food breaks, equipment cleaning and issue and record keeping.


Tier 4:  Incidents – What we do when things don’t go to plan

We often have standard techniques for dealing with incidents; we don’t want these to put people at undue risk. Many of these techniques involve close contact – think about using a group shelter, rafting up etc.  It is, therefore important to assess these activities.  So that the ‘incident management toolbox’ you and your staff use is as safe as possible.

Typical tasks could be:  Reviewing incident and near-miss logs, considering techniques used to manage incidents, anticipating common situations, client briefings and amending techniques.


Tier 5:  Accidents – How we respond when someone is hurt

When someone is hurt we will often need to get close to them.  We need to ensure risks are kept as low as possible.  When things go wrong, your staff will need to respond quickly, where they are forced to put themselves at some increased risk, they will need clear guidance.

Typical Tasks could be: Reviewing First aid procedures, client briefings, reviewing first aid kits, updating post accident procedures and reviewing record keeping.



At each tier will mean differing levels of work for every business.  Some may not have staff, others may use freelancers or have full-time employees.  Many businesses operate in remote locations, where others have activities on-site.

Each tier therefore, must be viewed against your own business structure.  There are some common themes for all Adventure Tourism Businesses: Our activities are our livelihoods, our instructors are our lifeblood and the landscape is our storefront.   To ensure we include all of our common and individual factors into our return to work we must ensure that we consider the following:

We ASSESS what we do, where we do it and who is involved.

We AGREE our revised business operations with all stakeholders: staff, contractors, communities and customers.

We continually EDUCATE all stakeholders in what is required of them and how to stay safe.

We should apply these three considerations at every tier.

Where to get the right information

One key theme with the COVID-19 Pandemic is the lack of definitive guidance and the amount of apparently conflicting information out there.  This leads to confusion, uncertainty, stress and often paralysis. We recognise the need to have information from reputable sources too. Our “Knowledge Bank” will help to signpost you to the right information quickly.

The Knowledge bank is divided up into subject areas.

This information can be categorised into 3 Levels, with Level 1 information being from the most reliable source. Our information is in our Knowledge Bank and works together with the COVID Care Code

Level 1 – Government Information; this information should be used as the first source of all information.

Level 2 – Industry information from equipment manufacturers, industry bodies.

Level 3 – Other information collected, not fact checked, be aware.

To access the Knowledge Bank you will need to complete the following process;

  • Complete the submission form and pay the fee
  • Knowledge bank will become accessible
  • Complete the questionnaire and make the declaration
  • On receipt on the declaration a Covid Care Quality Scheme logo will be sent to you. Please note there are two versions and you must decide which version you would like.

Some useful ideas

The following useful ideas can help you to assess and modify your business activities:


Risk Assessments.  The main way to ensure you make your business activities as safe as possible is by effective Risk Assessment. As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. This is called a risk assessment and it’ll help you manage risk and protect people.

Hygiene.  Ensuring we maintain good hygiene procedures is essential. Cleaning, sanitising and hygiene procedures for workers and workplaces are some of the main ways to ensure that people are working safely during the corona virus outbreak.

Social Distancing.  Social distancing is an important way to reduce the risk of corona virus spreading between people when they are working. Conversations with workers will help you to identify where social distancing will need careful planning and consideration.

Minimising Spread. Organising your workplace and activities to reduce the likelihood that corona virus can spread is an important part of your risk assessment that will allow you to work safely during the corona virus outbreak.

Pre-mortem.  A pre-mortem is a useful way of reducing your chances of missing something, whilst involving your team.  Once you have reviewed an activity or procedure ask your staff to imagine a situation when things went wrong while using the new procedure.  Then get them to tell you why it happened.  You’ll be surprised how good your team will be at spotting the holes in the plan! It’s a great way of involving everyone in the Assessment phase too.  It can be done over video link too if you need to. 


Engaging with everyone. who is involved with our activities in being fully involved in making the activity as safe and enjoyable as possible. You must consult all your workers on health and safety. It is a two- way process, allowing workers to raise concerns and influence decisions on managing health and safety. Be aware of Equality and Diversity issues and the need to agree any changes to staff contracts.

Informed Choices. Ensuring Customers make an informed choice when booking an activity is important.  They should be able to understand what the risks are and know what is contained in any disclaimer.  It doesn’t always inspire confidence and trust if things are hidden in the small print.

Record Agreement.  Having a record of what you’ve done is always going to be a good idea.  Staff contracts, records of meetings, customer agreements, disclaimers. etc. Remember Zoom, Webex etc have the ability to record meetings.

Other Agencies and Companies.  Where your activities or procedures rely on agreement from other agencies or companies, be sure to revisit it with regard to COVID-19. It may be access to parking, or over private land.  Don’t assume anyone will be OK to proceed as things were previously.  In particular, if you have rescue agencies built into your plans, be sure to discuss their needs and agree things before you assume.


Who’s Got Your Back?

Include your insurers in agreeing your amended procedures; they will be glad to know you are actively seeking to reduce risks. If you are offering different activities, then they’ll need to know that too.


Tell ‘em and Keep Telling ‘em.   New ways of working will take time to bed in, so don’t assume that staff will be as practiced in them straight away.  Have SOPs that are in a staff friendly format and ensure that they are readily available.  Be sure to revisit procedures with staff from time to time.

What to Expect.    Be sure to tell your customers what to expect when they arrive.  This may include parking info, where to congregate, what to wear etc.  You may do this by video, photos or a document. This is also a great way to show your customers that your thinking of their safety. Once they have arrived at you location safely you will be able to brief them on how to behave.

Reviews. Include post activity reviews with staff. This is a great way to check on their wellbeing and ensure your new procedures are up to scratch.  It’s a good idea to document these too.

Reputations Matter.  Irrespective of our personal views, many people are worried about tourists returning to their community.  The Adventure Tourism Industry need to ensure its reputation is maintained at the highest level throughout these difficult times.  Encourage your staff and customers to be considerate of others in the areas in which you operate.

Tell People Your Doing Your Best to Keep Them Safe.  Display your Covid Care Mark in a prominent position.  Tell people in your community what it means and how it is helping to keep people safe whilst allowing your business to run.  Consider telling local papers and your Chamber of Commerce too, they can often be useful ways of getting a message into local and business communities.