Policy for Adventure Tourism Activities
The state of Maharashtra has diverse geography like Kokan coastline, the Sahyadri
mountain range and Vidarbh where there is ample scope for organizing Adventure
activities based on Land, Air and Water. Adventure activities are a popular part of
tourism in the region and there is a growing trend for people to enjoy these
activities. The Tourism Policy 2016 covers the promotion of adventure tourism and
registration, regulation, monitoring, planning, encouragement, training etc. to
organisations related to Adventure Tourism, Adventure tour operators, Adventure
training institutes and Clubs.
Two children who went on a trek in the Himalayas died during an expedition. Their
parents had filed PILs in the Mumbai High Court in 2007. In this regard, the Hon'ble
High Court on 12.07.2013 directed the government to form a detailed
policy/guidelines or rules for the safety of people and children participating in
various adventure activities.
Accordingly, a Government Resolution (GR) with Guidelines was issued on
26.06.2014 for organizations involved in Mountaineering, Skiing, Snowboarding,
Parasailing, Hang Gliding and Water Sports. Shri. Vasant Limaye and others filed a
writ petition no. 8304/2014 in the Mumbai High Court challenging the GR. It was
pointed out in the petition that due to various shortcomings in the GR dated
26.06.2014, it would be impossible to implement it due to practical difficulties in its
implementation. The petition also called for the appointment of a committee
comprising of two experts each from Land, Air and Water adventure sports to
prescribe guidelines for the safety of participants.
To make necessary improvements in the GR dated 26.06.2014 issued by the
Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, a committee was constituted under the
chairmanship of the Commissioner, Sports and Youth Services to make
recommendations to the Government for framing the rules/guidelines for
organizations/individuals conducting various adventure activities based in Land, Air
and Water. The committee had submitted a draft of the revised GR to the
government. Accordingly, GR dated 26 July, 2018 was issued. Shri. Vasant Limaye
and others filed again a writ petition No. 490/2019 in the Mumbai High Court
challenging the GR. After hearing the petition, the Hon High Court directed the
government to take appropriate action.
As per the directions of the High Court in this regard, a hearing was held on
05.02.2020 under the chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary (Sports) in
presence of the Principal Secretary (Tourism) and the concerned petitioners.
During this hearing, Petitioners and President of Maha Adventure Council (MAC)
has submitted an elaborate and detailed statement regarding their various
suggestions arising out of the GR of 26.07.2018 and the practical difficulties in its
implementation. In this hearing, it was decided that since adventure activities are
the subject falling under the purview of the tourism department, the matter should
be referred to the tourism department for taking appropriate action.
A meeting was held on 5th
May 2020 under the chairmanship of the Principal
Secretary (Tourism) with representatives of the Adventure Tour Operators
Association of India (ATOAI) and representatives of other organizations in the field.
The guidelines prepared by ATOAI are recommended by the Ministry of Tourism,
Government of India. Government of Maharashtra has developed guidelines that
are in line with the those of ATOAI as also safety standards prescribed under ISO
21101 and BIS ISISO21101: 2014 standards for adventure activities for all
stakeholders related to various adventure activities based in Land, Air and Water.
Required detailed guidelines are attached with this draft (Annexures - A, B, C, D
The GR issued by Ministry of Education and Sports on 26th
July 2018has been
superseded. This policy will be applicable to the entire state of Maharastra. This
policy will be applicable to all organizations currently conducting adventure
activities as well as those planning to conduct adventure activities in future in
Maharashtra. All such activities must follow a process of registration.
A. Following type of stakeholders need to register under this Policy for
1. The following organizations/individuals/clubs conducting Adventure
activities will be required to register and follow the guidelines outlined below.
2. The proposed GR will be applicable only for Organized Adventure Activity.
All organizations, individuals or group of individuals who are engaged in
organizing any type of adventure activity based on Land, Air or Water, where
there is a clear division between the organizers and the participants, are
required to register under this GR.
3. The following categories of organizers:
1. Adventure Tour Operators - Individual Ownership (Proprietorship
Act)/Partnership (Partnership Act)/Company Registered under the
Companies Act 1956
2. Relevant Service Providers who provide services for organizing
3. Non-profit organizations/Charitable organizations/amateur
4. Adventure Activity Aggregators (Individuals and Organizations)
5. Camps / Resorts Organizing Adventure Activities
6. Institutes and Organizations imparting Training for Adventure activities
7. Associations of Organizations involved in Adventure Activities
8. Individuals who organize adventure activities
B. Registration Procedure
The procedure for registration of adventure activities will be as follows.
Temporary Registration Certificate: Temporary Registration is
mandatory for all Adventure Activities. Those organizers who are currently
active and also desirous of organising Adventure Activities, which is all
individuals/organisations/companies must, get temporary registration. After
scrutinizing the application received, temporary registration certificate will be
issued by the Office of the Director. The Temporary Registration Certificate
will be valid for one year from the date of issuance of the Certificate. During
the period of Registration individuals/organisations/companies who have
applied for Registration can conduct activities, using certified equipment,
trained staff, all required infrastructure and following Safety Guidelines. In
exceptional circumstances extension of six months for the Temporary
Registration may be given only once, but such extension will not be available
after that. Adventure Activity organisers can continue their activities at their
own risk after giving an Undertaking to follow the Safety Guidelines.
All stakeholders who are engaged in organizing any type of adventure activity
based on Land, Air or Water will have to apply for Temporary Registration by
paying a fee of Rs. 1000/- and submitting the application online in the
prescribe format of the application. Application must be made with attaching
the following documents. Adventure Activity organiser who cannot apply
Online, a facility of making an Online application is provided at the main office
of the Directorate and the offices of regional Assistant Directors. The
documents to be submitted along with the prescribed application form:
1. Organization/Company Registration Certificate
2. PAN Card
3. Aadhar Card
4. Shop Act License
5. Electricity Bill/Rent Receipt/Water Bill/Telephone Bill/Ration Card
6. If rented premises then copy of the Rent Agreement.
7. IT Returns
8. Information on the medium of Adventure Tourism to be registered for -
9. Undertaking of compliance with Safety Guidelines
2.Final Registration Certificate -Application must be submitted to the Office
of the Director for the final recognitioncertificate along with all the required
documents, at least 60 days before the expiry of the temporary registration
certificate. If the application for the Final RecognitionCertificate is received
after the expiry of the temporary registration certificate, the Director of
Tourism reserves the authority to reject such application.
Applications received for Final RecognitionCertificate will be scrutinized by
the Divisional Committee. Within 30 days after receipt of the application, the
Divisional Committee will scrutinize the application, inspect the site and
forward the applications to Directorate of Tourism with recommendation(s) for
Divisional Committee structure
S.No. Ex officio/ Designation Designation in Committee
1 Deputy Director, Tourism Chairman
2 Deputy Superintendent of Police / Nominated
3 Divisional Forest Officer/ Nominated Senior
4 Concerned Executive Engineer (Water
5 Three Experts from Land Medium and one
each from Water and Air Mediumfrom the
empanelled list of Directorate of Tourism
6 Deputy Engineer, Regional Tourism Office Member Secretary
Scope of work of the Divisional Committee
1.To scrutinize the application for Final Recognition Certificate based on
Temporary Registration Certificate as per the Guidelines of the
Adventure Activity for which the application has been received.
2.Visit of the site and inspection of the equipment/trainers/ infrastructure
and other related issues for the Adventure Activities.
3.Along with site inspection report, submission of report of relevant factors
for Final Recognition Certificate to the Director, Tourism.
4.Submission of report to shut down / take legal action on organizations
conducting unauthorised Adventure Activities to the Director, Tourism for
5.To conduct enquiry / investigation in case of an accident during the
conduct of any Adventure Activity, and to take necessary action against
the concerned organization.
6.Coordination betweenadventure organizers in the respective Divisions
7.To provide all possible assistance for the proper implementation of the
Adventure Activity Policy.
8.To collect all the necessary information regarding establishment,
development and important landmarks about Adventure Activities in the
districts of the division.
Procedure for Final Registration Certificate: A separate cell for
adventure tourism will be set up in the office of the Director, Directorate of
Tourism. The Director, Tourism will be the Head of this cell. Applications
received in the office of Deputy Director, Tourism will be scrutinized by the
cell and forwarded to the constituted committee for approval.
Office of Deputy Director, Tourism will grant the Temporary Registration
within 30 days of receipt of application.
If the cell finds any discrepancies in the applications, these will be sent
back to Deputy Director, Tourism within 7 days for resolving the
discrepancies. Office of Deputy Director, Tourism will rectify the
discrepancies and send the applications within 15 days to Director,
Divisional Committee will forward the scrutinized applications to the
Adventure Tourism Cell (mentioned below) for granting the Final
Registration Certificate. The criteria for granting the Final Registration
Certificate will be finalized and sent to State Level Committee within 6
months for approval.
Adventure Tourism Cell
S.No. Ex officio/ Designation Designation in Committee
1 Director, Tourism Chairman
2 Deputy Director, Tourism Member
3 Three Experts from Land Medium and one
each from Water and Air Mediumfrom the
empanelled list of Directorate of Tourism
4 Assistant Director (Development) Member Secretary
Scope of Adventure Tourism Cell
1. Scrutiny of applications received from Divisional Committee
2. Final decision regarding Final Registration Certificate after scrutiny.
3. To recommend actions for smooth implementation of Adventure Tourism
Policy to State Level Committee.
4. To publicize Adventure Tourism Policy and its implementation
5. Create and approve empanelled committee of experts from field of
adventure and formulate guidelines for the committee.
6. To grant star-rating to those registered Adventure Organizations that
provide star-facilities to clients.
The validity period of the Final Registration Certificate issued for Adventure
Activities will be 3 years from the date of issuance of such Registration
Certificate. Application for renewal must be made online, 45 days before the
expiry of the Final Registration Certificate.
1. A fee of Rs.3,000/- for the Final Registration Certificate must be paid for
each category of Adventure Activity (such as Land, Air and Water). This
means that if an applicant is registering for only one out of the Land, Air
and Water activity, he will be charged Rs.3,000/- as registration fee.
2. If the applicant is applying for Registration for more than one adventure
medium, he must pay a fee of Rs.6,000/- (for two media) or Rs.9,000/- (for
3. Also, the Final Registration fee for Air and Water adventure activities will be
for one location and such location will be mentioned in the Registration
Form. For organizing Adventure Activities in the same medium in more
than one location, Rs.1,500/-for each location will have to be paid as
additional registration fee.
4. These fees must be paid through Gras system.
1. The renewal fee for each Adventure medium will be Rs.2,000/- (i.e. if an
applicant is applying for renewal of registration for only one out of the
Land, Air and Water medium, he will have to pay a registration fee of
2. If the applicant is applying for renewal of registration for more than one
Adventure medium, he will be charged Rs.4,000/- or Rs.6,000/-.
3. Also, the renewal fee for Adventure Activity in the medium of Air and
Water will be for one location and such location will be mentioned in the
registration form. For conducting adventure activities in more than one
location, the renewal fee for each additional location is Rs.2,000/-.
4. These fees must be paid through Gras system.
Provisions regarding Insurance:
Individual participants as well as those organizers who are actually present at
the site of adventure activity must have adequate insurance cover. As
recommended in the Safety Guidelines, before starting the adventure activity,
the organizers are required to share with the participants, all information,
about all the risks involved, adequate insurance coverage and the need for it
in the adventure activity. It will be the responsibility of the organizers to
comply with the Safety Guidelines regarding the insurance coverage of the
participants, organizers and employees participating in the activity, and the
professionals (permanent, contractual or otherwise).
It is mandatory for each Registered Certificate holder to submit the report of
the activities conducted in that financial year in the prescribed format by 31st
May. Failure to submit the annual report within this period will result in
suspension of registration.
The Director Tourism will compile a list of experts in Adventure in Land, Air
and Water activities. The selection of these experts will be based on specific
criteria. Experts from such list will be appointed as members on state and
divisional committees. Such list will be announced within six months from the
date of the GR.
An ad hoc committee of experts from all three media will be appointed by the
Tourism Department to prepare such a list and its criteria.
Investigation and Penal Action:
The Director or Deputy Director, Directorate of Tourism himself or an
authorized Inspection Team, carry out inspection without any prior notice at
the adventure site or at the registered office of the operator, the equipment
used and safety measures adopted for Adventure Activities.
Organizations operating without Registration
Violation of Safety Guidelines related to Adventure Activity
Unfavourable report submitted by inspection team about Adventure
Non-availability of trained staff
Violation of other provisions of this GR while conducting Adventure
Any of the above will be liable for penalty.
1. Organizing adventure activities without Temporary Registration or Final
Registration, or organizing unauthorized activities - For the first time
default, penalty amount Rs.20,000/- and sealing of equipment being used
for adventure activities. If the organiser is found to be guilty for second
time, penalty amount Rs.25,000/- and sealing of equipment being used for
adventure activities. If the organiser is found to be guilty for third time, it will
be considered a punishable offence.
2. Registered Organizers are liable to penalty as given below -
a. Penalty amount of Rs.5,000/- for nominal offence
b. Penalty amount of Rs.10,000/- for serious offence
c. Penalty amount of Rs.15,000/- for grievousoffence
1. The registration certificate of organizers will besuspended/cancelled in the
event of the offences mentioned above. The Director of Tourism will have
the power to blacklist the organizers who have been penalized for serious
violations and ban them from providing Adventure Tourism services in
future in Maharashtra. The concerned organizers will be given opportunity
to defend their case.
2. In case of serious injury/loss of life to tourists, civilians or third parties by
the organization/company/individual providing Adventure Tourism
services, there will be necessary action by the local police under the Indian
3. Any penal action against the organizers of Adventure Activity under the
provisions of this GR will be without prejudice to the applicable provisions
of Indian Penal Code, Cr. P.C., Consumer Protection Act or any other law
for the time being in force.
In case of suspension/cancellation of registration by Deputy Director,
Tourism, an appeal may be lodged with the Directorate of Tourism in this
regard within 30 days from the date of notification of the decision to the
A second appeal may be referred to the Principal Secretary (Tourism) against
the decision of the Directorate of Tourism within 30 days from the date of
notification of such decision to the concerned organizers. The decision of
Principal Secretary (Tourism) will be final.
A State Level Committee is being constituted for effective implementation of
Adventure Tourism Policy. The constitution and scope of the State Level
Committee is as follows:
State Level Committee for Adventure Tourism/Activity Policy and
S.No. Ex officio Designation Designation in Committee
1 Principal Secretary, Tourism Chairman
2 Director General of Police or Nominated
Senior Representative, Maharastra State
3 Chief Conservator of Forests or Nominated
Senior Representative, Nagpur
4 Chief Executive Officer, Maharashtra Maritime
5 Joint Secretary, Water Resources Member
6 Director, Directorate of Tourism Member
7 Three Experts from Land Medium and one
each from Water and Air Mediumfrom the
empanelled list of Directorate of Tourism
8 Joint Director, Directorate of Tourism Member
Scope of the work ofState Level Committeefor Adventure
Tourism/Activity Policy and Implementation
1. Comprehensive development of all types of Adventure Activities in the
State, implementation of appropriate and safe methods in their
2. To determine the methodology and procedure for investigating
accidents while conducting Adventure Activities.
3. To determine the methodology and procedure to be followed for
redressal of complaints
4. To suggest improvements if necessary, in the working of the Divisional
Adventure Activities Committee.
5. To provide all possible assistance to the Government for proper
implementation of this Adventure Tourism/Activity Policy.
6. To prepare a policy framework for the overall development and
promotion of Adventure Activities.
7. To prepare and approve new plans, new Adventure Activities in tune
with the changing times and as per requirements and to suggest
8. To implement this scheme in a timely manner and to suggest
measures for it.
9. To review the implementation by holding quarterly meetings of this
10. The State Level Committee shall have the power to accept from time
to time changes in the Guidelines for Adventure Activities, in
consultation with experts, and publish the changes.
11. To guide innovative Adventure Activities in Maharashtra for publicity
through various media at National and International level.
12. To decide guidelines for accreditation of registered adventure activity
13. When organizing Adventure Activities, the organizers need to contact
various Government departments for getting permissions. These
agencies include Forest Department, Archaeological Department,
Irrigation Department, and Home Department. The State Level
Committee will implement 'One Window Scheme' to make it easier for
registered organizers to get such permissions.
14. To guide Ministry of Tourism for preparing list of empanelled experts.
Various incentives provided under Tourism Policy 2016 will be applicable
for organizing Adventure Activities.
Adventure Tourism Policy is applicable to individuals / organizations
conducting organized adventure activity (professional or no-profit no-loss
basis). As far as possible, individuals or small groups (upto 5 people)
undertaking mountaineering or rock climbing activity should participate in
these activities with registered individuals/organizations for the purpose of
safety. If not, then these individuals/small groups should follow all
practices for safety mentioned in the Adventure Policy.
Organizers based out of Maharashtra wishing to conduct adventure
activities within the state of Maharashtra must follow the process of
registration outlined under the Adventure Policy.
Organizers that promote adventure activities through social media and
conduct such activities also must follow process of registration.
Organisers conducting adventure activities without registration / in an
unauthorised manner are liable for penal action.
If trekking / mountaineering activities are to be conducted in Reserve
Forest, Wildlife Sanctuaries or other areas coming under the jurisdiction of
Forest Department or Archaeology Department, all relevant rules and
regulations of these respective departments must be followed.
If water-based adventure activities are to be conducted in sea or creeks,
the rules and regulations specified in Water Sports Policy of Maharashtra
Maritime Board must be adhered to. (Excluding snorkelling / scuba diving.)
Similarly, if adventure activities are to be conducted in the backwaters of
dams, then necessary permissions must be secured from Department of
Water Resources, Water Conservationand Local Autonomous Body.
It is mandatory to secure all permissions relevant to respective adventure
activities from State or Central Government Authorities.
Appendix – A
Common Guidelines for all kinds of Adventure Activities
Adventure Activity: an activity that involves greater than
normal risk which may include a) travel into a relatively
undeveloped area in which communication and vehicle contact is
difficult and/or uncertain or b) encounter with natural
environmental challenges requiring greater reliance upon personal
resources than would normally be required in day-to-day life or c)
‘soft adventure’ that is organized for people with little or no
experience in rural, semi-urban and urban areas. In this
Document, ‘Adventure Activity’ and ‘Activity’ mean the same thing.
Land-based Adventure Activity:Adventure Activity which is
primarily conducted at various geological features like hills,
mountains, rock faces, pinnacles, valleys etc. on the earth’s
Air-based Adventure Activity: An adventure activity which
is primarily conducted at various locations and which involves
using gear that enables people to stay/fly above ground for
extended periods of time
Water-based Adventure Activity: An adventure activity
which is primarily conducted in flowing water or flat water (lake)
with the use of various kinds of crafts.
Adventure Program: An event that has one or more
Adventure Activities included with specific objectives in mind.
Service Provider: An individual or organization which
provides service/s to the Adventure Program of a contracting
organization or individuals (i.e., it is an outsourced resource).
Service: Service could be in the form of an activity
associated with the adventure part of an Adventure Program or an
activity which complements the adventure part (e.g., transport to
the adventure site, boarding and lodging, etc.).
Experiential Learning based Program: a program
designed using the methodology of experiential learning which
uses a series of activities each one of which is followed by a
review session where participants derive learnings through
reflection in their experiences
Social Environment: that part of the environment that
comprises of local populations and their cultures.
Historical Environment: the component of the adventurer’s
environment that comprises of relics of archaeological structures
Ecological Environment: the natural environment of an
Organization: individual, group of individuals, commercial
entity and non-commercial entity organizing any Adventure
Program or Adventure Activity
Management: Policy-making part of the organization. The
responsibility for implications of any action taken by the
organization lies with the management.
Hazard: something that can potentially cause harm;
objective hazards are largely natural phenomena, and subjective
hazards are largely related to human factors.
Risk Potential: arises when subjective a hazard comes into
contact with an objective hazard
Critical Incident: Any significant incident that demands
medication and/or first aid and/or extended care and/or conflict
management and/or evacuation of person and/or is a near miss
(near miss: an incident that could have had serious
These rules will apply to water, land and air adventure tourism activities.
Below mentioned rules and standard operating system will be applicable to all
types of adventure tourism service providers. Separate rules based on the
various types of adventure tourism activities will be applicable as per
Annexure B,C,D & E. This shall be mandatory for all adventure tourism
1. The adventure tourism service providing organisation / independent
person / partnership firm / company / society require to have their
goods and service tax registration, pan number, current bank account
and a registered office in India.
2. It is essential that the adventure tourism service providers shall have
full time experienced, efficient, trained staff.
3. It is essential that the employees providing adventure tourism service
have at least one year experience certificate from a reputed
organisation as per guidelines mentioned in form B.
4. It is important that the adventure tourism service provider has best
equipment for the concerned adventure tourism type. The quality of
specific equipments must be in order with the global standards and
guidelines mentioned in annexure B.
5. All members and organisers who participate in adventure activities must
have sufficient insurance cover. It shall be mandatory for the organiser
to give information on the dangers and nature of risks lying in the
adventure activity before starting it. The organisers shall also arrange
for sufficient insurance cover for field workers, guides and other
professionals concerned with the adventure activity.
6. The adventure tourism service provider shall have all permissions and
licenses necessary to carry out the activities.
7. Adventure tourism service provider should provide separate group
leader to each tourist individual / group.
8. Each participating tourist need to be given information on safety by the
organiser at the beginning of the adventure activity. This shall include
information about the equipments that are mainly required to perform
the activity; dangers faced while performing the activities and measures
to overcome them. Giving such information to the tourist and staff will
be mandatory for the organiser.
9. The staff giving adventure tourism service must be trained for providing
first aid / CPR. Every employee of the adventure tourism service
providing organisation must have thorough knowledge of First Aid /
10. Adventure tourism service providing staff must have following first
aid materials for tourists participating in their adventure activities.
Band aids of different size and shape
Small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
Medical adhesive tape
Crepe rolled bandages with chips
Disposable sterile gloves
Painkiller medicines (Paracetamol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen) (Not
applicable to children below 16 years of age)
Analgesic spray (Volini, Move)
Antihistamine Tablets (Cetrizine)
Dettol or similar antiseptic liquid
Energy boosting medicine (ORS)
11. It is mandatory for the adventure tourism service provider to have
a list of the nearest dispensaries / list of doctors.
12. It is important for all employees to have a medical fitness
certificate from a certified doctor.
13. Before providing adventure tourism services to the tourists, it is
important to assess the risk of the type of adventure activity. An
independent register shall be maintained for risk assessment. The risk
assessment register shall be made available by the service provider
14. It is important to have an Emergency Action Plan ready. It is
mandatory to provide regular training to the staff / employees on
emergency action plans. Adventure tourism service providers shall be
provided with emergency action plans on-demand.
15. It is important for adventure tourism service providers to adopt
16. It is important for adventure tourism service providers to display a
service fee display board.
17. Necessary precautions be taken for conservation of nature and
protection of environment. In this regard a compliance certificate be
obtained based on the guidelines on sustainable tourism issued by
Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
18. The participating member / organisation will be held responsible
for any accident if occurred while performing the adventure tourism
activity. The Department of Tourism will not be responsible for the
19. Though the organisation has taken guarantee / declaration from
the participant members, regarding the risk carried for performing the
adventure activity; action will be taken by the competent authorities as
per the rules and regulations regarding the accident.
In addition to the documents to be submitted for the type of adventure
tourism activities, following documents shall be ensured by the service
providers while providing adventure tourism services. These documents
should be made available on request by the concerned authorities.
1. Name and address of the service providing employee and employer.
2. Assessment reports of nominated experts.
3. Documents related to the personnel assigned to the specific adventure
tourism site and the responsibilities assigned to them.
4. Documents related to the insurance cover
5. Details of supplier of materials / equipments, purchase date, warranty
6. Daily, weekly, monthly, annually maintenance related documents and
documents related to maintenance procedure.
7. Employee training and certified employee register
8. Register regarding first aid medicines
9. Record regarding incidents
10. Reports of assessment conducted by departmental committee.
11. Details of tourists performing adventure activity (Name / Address /
1. Provision of Resources
The prime role of Management is to provide adequate resources to
the organization in order to conduct operations and activities in safe
manner. The resources include Standard equipment as per
requirement, trained and qualified manpower. Though, it is true that
this needs financial support, it is a myth that it needs fat budgets.
One of the objectives of this document is to help Management to
clearly specify Mandatory & recommended requirements in order to
carry out activities in a safe manner. It is expected that Management
reviews current activities to ensure adequate resources are available
as per recommended requirements to enhance safety level in the
organization. In case such recommendations are not met currently,
the Management should consider providing resources to meet those
recommendations in a planned manner over a period. In case any
gaps are observed, the Management should put a stop to the activity
and restart the same after adequate resources are organized.
2. Training and Development
Trained and qualified manpower is an important resource for safe
operations. Thus, Management needs to put efforts for systematic
training and development of its employees, members or associates.
The training does not necessarily mean only nominating members or
employee to external training programs. However, it is strongly
recommended to formulate mechanism to conduct in-house training,
where, experienced & trained resources available within the
organization are utilized. The mechanism includes identification of
training needs, develop training modules, imparting training (Class
room and field) and evaluate effectiveness of the training.
It is suggested that the Organization nominates budding members to
assist leaders and, in the process, learn leadership skills and gain
knowledge. This will also help organizations create second line
according to succession plan.
3. Periodic Reviews
It is recommended that the Management conducts periodic reviews
with the concerned Leaders and other key persons. Such reviews
Ensure availability of adequate resources in terms of
equipment and manpower and other safety aspects planned
Take action of feedback and complaints received from
leaders and participants
Ensure of completion of planned tasks in regular operations
Ensure of compliance of statutory requirements
It is also recommended that records of reviews should include
decisions on actions planned, responsibilities and timeframes.
4. Complaint Handling
It is recommended that Management should ensure effective
mechanism for receiving complaints and initiation of actions for
logical solutions. After resolution of complaint, it is necessary to carry
out detailed root cause analysis and corrective actions.
5. Assign Responsibilities
It is essential that Management assign roles and responsibilities very
clearly to leaders, members, associates and others. The same need
to be communicated to the concerned persons to prevent ambiguity.
6. Compliance to Legal Requirements
Management should ensure that the legal requirements applicable to
Organization are identified and complied with. This can be one of the
points on the agenda for review meets.
This is the basic exercise where Organizations are expected to identify
hazards and risks associated with their activities in a comprehensive
manner so that controls can be exercised in order to prevent incidents
and accidents. This exercise serves as a basis for formulation of ‘Safety
Management System’. Safety includes People (Participants, Leaders,
Guides, Members, Associates, Service Providers, Locals), Environment
Organization should form a Risk Management Team comprising of
experienced members to look at all the aspects of risk management.
Since it is very important and critical for the Organization to effectively
identify hazards and risks, it is recommended that the Organization
should make a note of the following
Risks are specific to each Adventure Activity and Adventure
Program. Hence Risk Management Team should conduct Risk
review process for each Adventure Activity and Adventure
Risk assessment should be done prior to each event.
Recommended steps for Risk Management
▪List all sub-activities associated with each program. Consider
sequence of sub-activities in order to ensure no sub-activity is
▪Identify hazards associated with each sub-activity and enter the
same in the format given below.
▪Identify Risks associated with Hazards as ‘What can go wrong’ and
enter the same in the respective column in the format below. Ensure
all hazards and risks are identified.
▪Determine actions being taken or required to be taken to prevent the
undesirable situation (To minimize risk). To ensure that these
actions are to be included in the concerned Safety Guidelines,
indicate reference of applicable Safety Guidelines.
▪Determine consequences (who/what gets affected) of undesirable
situation occurs and its severity (injury/death etc.)
Level of risk is assessed by its severity (seriousness) and its
probability / Frequency of occurrence. That means, the more severe
risk with greater probability is more significant.
The Organizations should assess the level of risk and determine the
actions as appropriate. Activities with more significant risk would have
more stringent controls.
3.Actions to minimize Risk
While considering ‘actions to minimize risk’ follow the following
Elimination: Organizations may choose to stop certain
activities having highest level of Risk till adequate controls are put
▪Substitution: Consider substitution of resources by competent
manpower and adequate equipment
▪Controls: Ensure implementation of Safety Management System in
order to minimize Risk
4.Emergency Preparedness and Response
It is possible that emergency may arise in spite of implementing
Safety Management System. Hence, it is recommended that
‘emergency preparedness and response plans’ are developed
4.1 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan (EPRP)
Based on the identified potential emergencies, Risk Management
Team should prepare EPRP. The EPRP is documented in order to
communicate and understood by all concerned Leaders / Instructors
EPRP to include
▪ Communication process, including responsibility for internal and
external communications. Determine communication equipment
e.g. walkie-talkie sets. specific support persons e.g. Mail
Runners, in case of very remote locations for quick
communication and reporting to the outside world Contact
numbers of nearby Medical centers, Medical professionals,
Government authorities (Police stations), Rescue teams /
▪ Arrangements for Providing First Aid and or Medical Assistance
are in place
▪ Response Protocol assigning responsibilities and Roles of the
qualified individuals such as Rescuers, First Aiders,
communicators, supervision etc. and to determine the path of
handling the crisis.
▪ Equipment for Search, Rescue, Evacuation and Communication
in the Group.
▪ Information requirement from participants as well as leaders /
instructors (Ref Section x on communication)
▪ Escape routes
▪ Emergency-cash’ to help in handling emergency situations.
▪ Rescue and Evacuation Protocols and Procedures clearly
defining the steps to be taken in case of a crisis
▪ Mechanism for Incident Reporting including format and
communication (Refer Section 11)
4.2 Correctness and completeness of EPRP
Risk Management Team should review EPRP in order to ensure its
completeness and correctness prior to its implementation
4.3 Awareness of EPRP
Organization / Leader should ensure that the participants, Leaders,
Instructors and other relevant persons are aware of EPRP including
their own roles.
4.4 Periodic testing of EPRP
Organization carries out Mock drill to test the Emergency
Preparedness and Response Plan at predetermined intervals.
Outcomes of tests are studied and documented in order to improve
effectiveness of EPRP
4.5 Review and improvement in EPRP
Based on learning from mock drills or any other test carried out or
occurrence of actual emergency situation, Organization to carries
out a critical review of EPRP.
Risk Management Matrix:
Sub Activity Hazards
(What can go
Names of persons conducting risk assessment
Approved by: _____________________________________
1. Organization’s Responsibilities towards Safety Guidelines
. Organizations should develop Safety Guidelines as per
recommended content given in Annexure-C
a. Safety Guidelines should contain all the Activities determined by
Organization where it is necessary to minimize as per Risk Matrix
b. Organizations should develop SOPs wherever it is necessary;
such Sops are best written in the language that is easily
understood by all who are involved in operations (including locals,
c. All stages of activities are firmly guided also by practices as
defined by environment friendly principles (like Leave No Trace
d. Leaders/instructors and other members/staff understand all Safety
Guidelines / SOPs, understand the importance of documentation
and are competent to execute all expectations from them.
Concerned Leaders / Instructors should be well-versed with the
Safety Guidelines / SOPs. Hence, it is recommended that the
Leaders / Instructors get trained on Safety Guidelines/ SOPs. The
training may also include ‘On the Job / Field’ training.
Note: SOPs are not replacement for training. SOPs support
e. Approval of Safety Guidelines / SOPs: It will be responsibility of
Organization’s Risk Management Team to review and approve
Safety Guidelines / SOPs prior to their implementation.
f. Safety Guidelines / SOPs for Service Providers: ‘Safety’ on the
field is the prime concern of Organization. Organization should
share concerned Safety Guidelines / SOPs with the Service
Providers if a particular activity is outsourced to them and they are
expected to perform the same behalf of the Organization.
g. Periodic Review of Safety Guidelines / SOPs: are to be reviewed
by Risk Management Team with a predetermined frequency with
an objective of making it more effective.
Objective of guidelines is to provide general guidance in order to
perform an activity to achieve desired results. There is a provision for
taking some decisions based on on-field situations and expertise.
SOPs are specific instructions to persons concerned to perform a
task or sequence of tasks, where there is no scope for any deviation
from the specified instructions. In case there is a need for revision of
Safety SOPs, the same can be done by Risk Management Team of the
Communication with stakeholders
Communication within Organization
1. Organizational values, goals and culture shall be clearly
communicated to all leaders, members and staff. The organization
shall ensure that the same are clearly understood by the
2. Organization should clearly communicate Safety Guidelines to be
adopted, the work processes and standard operating procedures
of Organization to all leaders, members and staff.
3. Organization should communicate expectation in the context of
program design, risk assessment, execution strategy, emergency
response plans and feedback process for planned Adventure
program to its leaders and relevant resources like instructors etc.
Communication with Participants
Organization should ensure that proper communication takes place
with participants before their enrollmentand at all the stages of
In case of minor participant, Organization should ensure that relevant
communication is done with their parents and proper written consent
for participation to be taken from them.
Clear and crisp instructions are reflected in the concerned SOPs for
effective and consistent communication with participants.
Communication with participants during Registration
Program information shall be communicated with
participants before registration which should include key
Nature of natural elements
Grade of difficulty
Qualifications of leadership team and organizational
Itinerary, Logistic arrangements etc.
photos in publicity material should accurately depict the
Collection of information from Participants
It is recommended that Organizations collect information from
Participants in a prescribe format prior to beginning of activity.
- Identification details such as full name, ID
- Emergency contact details such as name, contact details
- Participants fitness Certificates & medical history from
Registered Medical Practitioners, personal information like
blood group, allergies, emergency contact details etc.
- Any other information
The organization to clearly communicate with the
participants that it will be participant’s responsibility to furnish
correct information in timely manner. On failure to do so, the
organization reserves the right to cancel participant’s registration
on account of safety norms.
Communication with participants during the Adventure
Leaders should conduct a briefing prior to an activity:
activity information, safety rules & norms, role clarity of all persons
present along with expectations from participants, instruction along
with demonstration (if necessary), idea about possible
consequences of not sticking to expectations and safety rules&
norms, obtaining acknowledgement of understanding key points of
▪ Clear and crisp instructions are reflected in the concerned SOPs
for effective and consistent communication with participants.
▪ Feedback: Leaders should obtain feedback from participants
after the event and convey the same to the Management
Requirements of communication during emergencies are
covered in Emergency Response Plan
3. Communication in Emergency Situations
Organization should define process of communication within and
with external agencies (Police, media, public and government
agencies) in Emergency situations. This includes nominating
people for communication and mode of communication. This
process should be clear to all concerned.
4. Communication with Service Providers
It is important that the Organization communicates its expectations
with respect to Quality of Services as well as safety requirements
to its Service providers.
In order to ensure safety performance from Service providers.
Organization should provide their SOPs in order to ensure
Detailed profile of participants with medical information to be
provided to Service Provider prior to event
Control over Service Providers
In case, the Organization chooses to outsource field activities (part or
full) the primary responsibility of safety lies with Organization. The
Organization should ensure Service Providers conducts the activity with
at most care and safety. Where, safety aspects and quality of their
programs are not compromised.
The mechanism includes criteria for selection of Service Providers,
Communication regarding Organization’s expectations on Safety
aspects, including clarity about liabilities.
Selection Criteria for Service Providers
The Organization shall determine criteria for selection of its Service
Providers in order to ensure the Service provider has ability and attitude
to fulfill Organizations expectations of Safety and Quality.
Past experience of handing similar activities with similar
References and past safety performance of Service Provider
Service provider has the Leaders / instructors meeting the
skills and competency criteria proposed by the Guide lines of
There should be complete clarity regarding the respective
roles and responsibilities of the contracting organization and
Service provider, especially with regard to first aid, Emergency
preparedness and response procedures including emergency
communication and evacuation
The Safety guidelines for the activity outsourced should be
explained to, understood by and agreed by the service provider.
The detailed briefing / explanation should include best and safe
practices, risk evaluation and mitigation, participant instructions,
instructor/participant ratio, action plan in case of mishap or a near-
miss, communication and evacuation plans etc.
Issue of Work Order
It is recommended that the organization should issue written Work
Orders to its Service Providers for outsourced Services. The Work
Order should clearly specify
Precise description of activity / location
Expectations with respect to Safety.
Expectations with respect to Quality
General Profile of Participants with special instructions, if
Reference of SOP to be followed
Minimum qualification criteria of Leaders / Instructors
Details of equipment to be used
Effects/consequences of non-compliance of SOPs,
guidelines, expectation w.r.t. safety and quality
3. Nominate Leaders to supervise activity
In order to ensure control over service providers Organization
should nominate 2 – 3 Leaders to supervise the activities conducted
by Service Providers
The expectations listed in below table are recommendations
Technical Skills Soft Skills Experience and Fitness
- Basic Mountaineering Course
- Rock Climbing Course
- First- Aid Course
- Advance Mountaineering
- Search-and-rescue Course
Organizations to determine
commensurate with contents of
training programs. Persons those
who have not formally trained can
qualify based on demonstrated
Formal Training Courses
Specific Field Experience
- Adequate Experience in Sahyadri
of approximately 20 treks
- Adequate Experience in
Himalayas of at least 5
Himalayan treks reaching altitude
of more than 3000 meters
Specific Activity Expertise
- Knowledge & Technique,
including of usage of
- Ability and experience in
leading teams and groups
- Presentation skills,
especially in the context of
briefing for activities and
- Personal traits like
- Adequate Fitness
Technical Skills Soft Skills Experience and Fitness
- Knowledge about geography
and geology of Sahyadri,
- Knowledge and experience in
application of Leave No Trace
- Basic understanding of
weather in the Sahyadri,
- Knowledge of subject matter
and skills of teaching
- Knowledge and experience
in having worked with
different groups e.g. group
- Attitude towards novices,
children and in general
- Language and
Orienteering & Navigation
- Familiarity with the Sahyadri,
Himalaya, etc. terrain
- Familiarity with navigation
equipment like GPS
- Map reading and use of maps
- Ability to plan, organize and
- Initiative in taking lead in
- Alignment with
organizational values, goals
Technical Skills Soft Skills Experience and Fitness
Operations & Risk
- Preventive approach towards
- Knowledge of Safety Guidelines,
Standard Operating Procedures
and Emergency Response plan
- Knowledge of appropriate rescue
equipment and other needs for
proposed activity or program
- Ability to effectively use
communication systems for
handling emergency situation
- Knowledge of
legislations relevant to
- Knowledge of rights of
- Knowledge of issues related
- Knowledge of legalities
related to rescue operations
UIAA Model Training Standards for Voluntary Leaders and Instructors –
gives comprehensive list of skills and competencies required for leaders
For additional details refer UIAA website link. https://www.theuiaa.org/
Appendix – B
Part - 1
Guidelines for Adventure Tourism
Activities on Land
Guidelines for Adventure Tourism Activities on Land
1. The term Adventure Tour Organisers is used to specify general guidelines applicable to all types of
adventure sports activities such as water sports, air sports, mountaineering and trekking, various
types of safaris, etc.
1.1 Each participating group of persons in an adventure activity should have an appointed group
1.2 Qualifications and skills as mentioned are mandatory.
1.3 Every person who joins the team working in Adventure activities, must have received basic training
and have acquired the skills necessary to participate in the specific activity. The group leader needs
to be satisfied about it.
1.4 The leader must have a first aid certificate and the ability to provide first aid training while using a
1.5 The leader should be familiar with the search methodology and should inform all the members of
the group about the methodology.
1.6 In case radio is used, all members in the group must be familiar with it.
1.7 The leader should be familiar with the operation of the helicopter. He should know how to operate
the helicopter and also the procedure of dropping and lifting.
1.8 In any weather conditions during day or night, the leader must be proficient in using maps and
1.9 The leader must ensure that all members are medically fit to participate in the adventure.
1.10 The leader must be satisfied that all tools used in each adventure activity meets all safety
1.11 Under all given circumstances, the certified capacity of instruments and materials must not violated
by the manufacturer. Apart from additional safety, no other unauthorised alterations be made to
any of the instruments, neither any inferior quality instruments be used.
1.12 The nature of the adventure activity, its surroundings, time frame of the activity, possible
difficulties, list of emergency contacts and participating members should be reported to the
concerned security and releasing committee.
1.13 If any hand operated disaster proof signalling equipment is made in India at appropriate price, the
same should be made available to the adventure tourism activity group.
1.14 Qualified doctor should be available for visit whenever required.
1.15 Communication tools like mobile / Walkie Talkie, etc. must be available for use.
Guidelines for Mountaineering and Trekking –
1) It is important that all the members of the Mountaineering mission are qualified enough to take
the initiative in this endeavour. The primary training certificate issued by national training Institute
will be considered sufficient for the same.
2) The leader of mountaineering institute should have adequate qualification accredited by National
3) Members of mountaineering expeditions and trekking groups must be physically fit.
4) The tools used for mountaineering and trekking must be UIAA certified or accredited by Indian
5) Rescue tools like rope, harness, pulley system and portable stretcher should be kept in the
appropriate cover with ‘Rescue Tools’ written in capital letters.
(This is a generic guideline to be used for conducting an Adventure Activity from its inception to execution.
Organisation should use this to customize its own document based on its operations)
This guideline is a broad overview of the most crucial aspects of any Adventure Activity right from
its inception, concept finalization to actual execution and conclusion. Organisations are encouraged to use
this guideline to plan and execute any Adventure Activity.
Before adventure program
Organisation should decide the goals and objectives of Adventure Activity.
Organisation to detail out the plan which should include points mentioned below at a bare
Complete details about Adventure Activity
Permissions, if any, from relevant government authorities
Transportation arrangements, as required
Leadership requirement (Leaders ‘competency & qualification requirement, Leader to Participant
ratio as defined in program specific guidelines generated by the Organisation)
Decision on Service Provider, if required
Equipment required: technical equipment, first aid kit and emergency kit (including communication
Carry out Risk Analysis of Adventure Activity as defined in Part-I of this document
Communication to potential Participants (giving Activity details, risks involved, etc. Refer
Communication section in Part-I of this document)
Completion of registration process of Participants and compliance to Strongly recommended
requirement like risk undertaking, medical certification, etc. as decided by Organisation
Service Provider- check on the following aspects of a Service Provider before contracting them
Credentials (accreditations if any, previous experience, references from clients, etc.)
Qualification of staff
Contract with Service Provider should include
Role clarity in terms responsibilities, all arrangements
Responsibility in managing consequences like risk to life/limb and damage to equipment
Payment terms and conditions
Note on Leader to Participant ratio
Leader to Participant ratio can affect safety in Adventure Activities. The factors that affect Leader to
Participant ratios are, but not limited to:
Nature of Adventure Activity
- Location of Adventure Program
The natural environment of the location
- Participant profile (age, fitness levels, etc.)
The below Table can be used by Organisations as a reference to arrive at its own Leader to Participant ratio
for each Adventure Program it conducts.
Activity Leader:Participant Ratio Remarks
Walks (e.g., around an
Preferable ratio is 1:10, especially for
2 Day hike 1:10
Organisation should consider one extra
person who will make handling emergencies
3 Camping out (in tents) 1:8
For Activities like bouldering sessions, a ratio
of 1:5 should be considered
4 Multi-day hike 1:8
This can be even 1:6 if terrain difficulty is
Interaction between Organisation’s Management and Activity Leaders prior to Adventure Program
Management of Organisation should brief the Leadership Team, along with explanations/discussions as
necessary. This briefing includes:
Program objectives and Adventure Activity specific guidelines
Outcome of the Risk Analysis carried out by Organisation.
Handing over Chief Leader‘s Folder, Equipment, Leader‘s kit etc
Participant information including medical information and Criteria of exclusion of a Participant
Emergency Response Plan and expectations from Activity Leaders in emergencies
Communication to external agencies (e.g., hospitals, relevant government authorities, etc.) about
specific Adventure Program
Resources (material) to handle emergencies kept in readiness in Organisation
During Adventure Program
Introductions: Participants and Leaders
Conduction of the Adventure Program as per Safety Guidelines
Wind up Adventure Program
After Adventure Program
Debriefing of Leaders
Storage of equipment and repair work, if needed
Review of Reports submitted by the Chief Leader (Program Reports, expense account and other
documents as per Organisation‘s practices)
▪ Risk Management Team or Organisation‘s Management to review debrief, feedback and critical
incident reports (if any) for corrective action for similar programs in future
Guideline for Behavioral aspects for Staff and Participants
Members of the Leadership Team (Leaders and members/employees of Organisations) are expected to
conduct themselves responsibly throughout their functioning on an Adventure Program. They will
understand the code of ethics and values held by the Organisation and follow relevant practices
accordingly. Since Adventure Activities inherently involve responsible leading and supervision to a much
greater extent than on a conventional program because of the risks and likely consequences, it is
imperative that staff members have the highest standards of expected Behaviour.
Alcohol and illegal drugs
Alcohol should not be permitted during the Adventure Activity operations. Possession and use of illegal
drugs should be prohibited for all members of the Leadership Team and Participants. Violation of these
policies should result in immediate termination of the member of the Leadership Team and immediate
expulsion of Participant from the activity without refund.
Using tobacco in any form should not be permitted during the any Adventure Activity operations. Any form
of flame and heat is potentially damaging to equipment used extensively in Adventure Activities. Smoking
and chewing tobacco by members of the Leadership Team should be prohibited on Adventure Programs
that involve extended time with Participants (e.g., day-hikes and river runs). Participants may be
appropriately guided for these things so as to ensure safety of people and the environment (smoking to be
done at certain times only, away from dry vegetation, with the consent of other Participants in the group,
litter to be packed away to be disposed off in the property of the resort).
Members of the Leadership Team are not to engage in personal or intimate relationship with Participants
throughout an Adventure Program. Any subsequent relationship of this kind with past Participants, if it
develops, needs to be outside the respective Organisation. Members of the Leadership Team are also not
expected to display excessive affection or demonstrate any existing intimate relationship between
members while conducting Adventure Activities.
Physical Contact with Participants
Physical contact with others is inevitable in conducting Adventure Activities, and Participants need to be
made aware of it, e.g., while putting a harness on to a Participant. Any such physical contact should be
appropriate and should be seen to be relevant to the specific Activity. Wherever possible, have Participants
assist themselves in putting on personal gear (like harness, chest loop and personal flotation device), but
the Leader will have to monitor and ensure that all personal gear has been put on appropriately. Leaders
are responsible for safety of Participants.
While Leaders of any Adventure Activity would be familiar with various dimensions of that Activity, it is to
be understood that Participants are ‘Novices’ and may be out of their comfort zone while participating in
such an activity. Participants need to be instructed and even educated when necessary before and while
they are participating so as to enable them to follow operational and safety instructions. Questions seeking
clarity need to be encouraged. Clearly define Participants’ role during the pre-activity brief. Any deviation
from expected Behaviour should be politely but firmly corrected by members of the Leadership Team.
Leaders should be alert for signs and symptoms of extreme fear in a Participant and use first aid guidelines
in helping such a Participant.
Guideline for Participants, Parents of Participants and Organisations arranging High Altitude Trekking
(Adapted from guidelines issued by Indian Mountaineering Foundation & Himalayan Club in 1999)
Potential Participants / parents of Participants consider the following points and seek relevant information
from Organisations before deciding to join an Adventure Program.
These aspects are as follows:
Schedule of the Adventure Programme including daily content
Check whether the program is realistic with respect to duration and day-to-day schedule. The
number of hours per day that will be occupied by activity needs to be balanced with sufficient time for a
Participant to relax and recover in order to cope with the schedule. This is especially crucial in Adventure
Programs involving walking at high altitude where appropriate pacing leads to acclimatization.
Enquire which Adventure Activities will be included or are an inherent part of the schedule. E.g.,
river crossing can be an activity, or there could be actual crossing of rivers on a hike, and rock climbing can
be just an activity or there could be a patch of rock to be negotiated on a hike, etc.
Information related to altitude gain
Altitude of locations where the trek is supposed to start and end
Altitude gain per day
Process of acclimatization: check
Note: beyond 2500 m. (8000 ft.) it is advisable to gain altitude gradually. Altitude gain of a maximum of
2000 ft. per day is recommended. But if a person is going directly to a high altitude location (like
Gangotri and Leh) then at least two days of acclimatization is advised before starting any Adventure
Activity. Check if the schedule planned for acclimatisation by Organisation is appropriate and be assured
that the Organisation will actually follow their acclimatization schedule.
Major difficulties expected on the program as regards terrain, weather conditions, facilities offered
Organisations are bound to tell enquirers about the inherent risks in high altitude hiking programs
& consequences if certain processes are not adhered to.
Note: Participants too have a responsibility towards their own safety and others ‘safety. Get
clarification on expectations from Participants in the context of safety. Such information should
help you make an Informed Choice about whether to participate (or send your child) in a program
Level of fitness expected from Child Participants
There is a certain level of physical fitness required for trekking at high altitude. Trekking and camping at low
altitudes can be done with lesser fitness levels and can be very enjoyable for children. If a child is not
physically fit then introduction to outdoors could be through simple treks that include plain walking and
camping – the enjoyment of a child would be probably much more. Again, be sure to make an Informed
Choice. If necessary, take professional advice to help with this decision.
5. Medical facilities provided by Organisation. (Whether a doctor or a first aider will accompany the
program and emergency handling plans to deal with medical problems).
At least one of the Leadership team members should be holding a current (that is valid and not
outdated) certification in first aid (ideally ’Wilderness First Aid) and should be experienced in
problems related to high altitude.
It is not enough for a trekking group to have a first aid kit; the ability to handle an emergency
situation and use first aid skills is essential.
The Organisation should have an emergency Response Plan specifically for the Adventure Program
in question, and all Leaders should be familiar with it.
6. Communication modalities to be used during activities conducted on a trekking program as well as
in case of emergencies.
Organisation should have a concrete plan for communicating with the outside world in case of an
emergency (government agencies, rescue groups, hospitals, relatives of Participants, etc.).
Relatives and parents of Participants should have details of the schedule, contact numbers of
Leaders of the trekking group, contact numbers of the Organisation‘s representative who has been
appointed for coordinating things during emergencies.
What are the facilities provided for accommodation throughout the program?
- Nature of facilities provided by Organisation:
- Safety of the camp locations: are there norms for riverside & mountain camps, locations near
- Management of hygiene at campsites – personal hygiene of all group members, kitchen hygiene,
disposal of kitchen and human waste
8. Provision for drinking water during for the program.
- Organisation should have appropriate modes of purifying water on the trek as well as in-town
- Note: adequate liquid intake is an extremely important factor in preventing illness and fatigue,
and contributes to acclimatization.
9. Equipment for conducting the program safely
- Equipment required for a trek will vary according to the many factors like terrain and
expected hazards, period of year, profile of trekkers, and group size.
- If sleeping bags are not warm enough for the temperatures encountered then trekkers who
’sleep cold ‘will tend to get weaker due to low quality sleep
- Leaders on any trek should carry a ’hiking rope ‘and some basic gear to help Participants
across tricky sections or unexpected landslide patches across paths.
- Type of tents will affect the comfort and safety of Participants, especially in inclement
10. Clarity on things to be brought by the Participants
- Organisation must give exact list of things to be brought by the Participants
- Participants and Parents should get to understand significance of each item in order to bring
appropriate items and avoid excess and unnecessary baggage.
11. Group size, Participant profile, Leader to Participant ratio
- Groups with large diversities (across age groups, range of objectives) make it difficult for
Leaders to manage and ensure enjoyment for all
- Inappropriate Leader to Participant ratio is a safety issue: Organisations should be able to
justify their ratios for a specific Adventure Program with the help of factors that have been
considered (refer section on Leader to Participant ratios)
Other information about Organizers to be obtained
Note: it is extremely important for Participants / Parents of Participants to attend the meeting organized by
an Organisation where information about the Adventure Program is given, where expectations from
Participants are made clear and questions can be asked of the Organisation.
1. Whether the Organisation is registered (either as nonprofit like trust or a society or a company)
2. Composition of management of the Organisation?
A well-established Organisation, whether commercial or non-profit, will always take care to ensure full
safety of the Participants. It is not advisable to go with temporary operators. Ensure that the organizers are
responsible persons with the necessary qualifications, expertise and experience to conduct Adventure
3. An appropriate declaration that the Leaders of the Organisation are adequately equipped,
qualified, trained & experienced to conduct the Adventure Program and that they will take adequate
safety measures during the program.
Participants must be aware and realize that any Adventure Activity involves an inherent risk. Even
in the best organized program, an accident can take place beyond the reasonable control of Organisation
and its Leaders.
*It is imperative that Participants understand expectations from them, go prepared on an Adventure
Program, and follow all safety instructions.
4. Profiles of the Leadership Team in charge of the group, information on support team (guides, porters
Refer to sections on qualifications of Leaders in this Document.
5. Consider asking for references of previous Participants who have been on similar program of the
Following points maybe considered for seeking feedback:
Food, water, accommodation facilities provided
Capability and behavior of Leaders in charge of the group
Safety measures followed by the Organisation
c. Quality of communication at various stages, especially on aspects of safety, and whether
safety instructions were clear to all including children.
Whether the experience was enjoyable (or, e.g., did it turn out to be an exercise in endurance)
6. Participants / Parents are encouraged to arrange for insurance if the Organisation has not taken care
Guideline for Leave Minimum Impact & Leave No Trace Seven Principles
‘Leave Minimal Impact’ practices help Adventure Programmes to minimise adverse impacts of their
functioning on their environment. In the context of India, some of the constituents of environment includes
but are not limited to: natural environment, socio-cultural environment and archaeological environment.
This document states a) the example of the well established environment friendly outdoor ethics titled
‘Leave No Trace Seven Principles’ and b) some recommendations specific to local conditions in India.
LEAVE NO TRACE SEVEN PRINCIPLES (LNT) - Outdoor Ethics
Please note that appropriate training will immensely help practice these principles. These principles are to
be adapted to the socio-ecological concerns of the region one visits and practiced assiduously under
guidance to start making a person ‘LNT-friendly’
Plan ahead and prepare
Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you‘ll visit.
Travel in small groups. Split larger parties into groups of 4 - 6.
Use a map and compass to eliminate the need for tree scars, rock cairns or ribbons.
Repackage food into reusable containers.
Prepare for all types of weather.
Carefully evaluate the risk associated with your outing.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces
On the trail
Stay on designated trails. Walk in single file in the middle of the path.
Do not cut switchbacks.
When traveling cross-country, choose the most durable surface available: rock, gravel, dry grasses, or
Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is unnecessary.
Choose established legal campsites that won‘t be harmed by your stay.
Keep pollutants out of water sources by camping at least 200 feet (70 adult steps) from lakes and
Dispose off waste properly
Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsites and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all
trash: yours and others.
Deposits solid human waste in cat holes dug 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp,
and trails. Cover and disguise the cat hole when finished. Pack out toilet paper.
To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 200 feet away from streams or lakes and use small
amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
Leave what you find
Preserve the past. Do not damage historical structures or remove artifacts.
Leave rocks, plants, and other natural objects where found.
Do not build structures or furniture or dig trenches.
Minimize campfire impacts
Campfire can cause lasting impacts on the backcountry. Always carry a lightweight stove for cooking.
Enjoy a candle lantern for light.
Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings or mound fires.
Keep fires small. Use dead, downed wood that can be broken by hand.
Burn all woods and coals to ash. Put out campfires completely, and then scatter cool ashes.
Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
Never feed wild animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes
them to predators and other dangers
Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
Keep pets under control at all times.
Leave young animals alone.
Avoid nesting, feeding or mating animals.
Be considerate of other visitors
Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
Step to the downhill side of trail when encountering pack stock.
Take breaks on durable surfaces away from the trail.
Let nature‘s sounds prevail. Keep noise levels to a minimum.
Notes for local conditions specific to India and Maharashtra:
Do not disturb or take relics from archaeological ruins or ancient shrines and caves
Be considerate of local populations
Avoid adversely impacting local sources of water (e.g., water tanks) and food (e.g., fields)
Be aware of and minimize adverse cultural impact on local population
Work towards win-win associations where Adventure Programmes generate respectful earning
opportunities for locals
Avoid occasional help given to villagers on an ad hoc basis; instead explore ways of striking
meaningful relationships with local associations like schools and village panchayats for extending
For camps set up for groups, take care to not impact streams and rivers, especially with kitchen
refuse and human waste – meticulously follow practices based on Leave No Trace Seven Principles
On Himalayan trails, make way for pack animals by standing away from the trail, moving to the uphill
side of the trail
As far as possible avoid having campfires – the deadwood in the outdoors is used by local
populations, in addition to being a resource for flora and fauna; as far as possible, use stoves to save
on wood being used or cooking camp-meals
PART – II
Safety Guideline for Land based
Safety Guideline for All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
There are many adventure parks, hotels and resorts that have All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), also known as
quad bikes. Incorrect use of ATVs can cause injuries including serious ones.
The following guidelines have been adapted from guidelines created by ATOAI for ATVs which are based on
guidelines available on the websites of the European ATV Safety Institute and All-Terrain Vehicle Safety
Information required for Leaders
Names and qualification of Leadership Team
Information of last check on ATV tracks
Back-up plans which can be used in emergencies
Qualifications of Leaders
Qualification/accreditation from an international training institute may be accepted. Alternatively a Leader
should be given training by the Organisation which focuses on the following aspects of ATV operations:
Knowledge about ATV and basic accessory equipment (like tool kit, basic repairs, basic
PPE required for Leaders and Participants, and other equipment
Pre-ride and post-ride inspection procedures and documentation
Rules and range of signals
ATV operation: how to start-stop run the ATV
ATV maneuvers: riding circles & figure-eights, sharp turns, quick turns, quick stops and swerves,
quick stop during turns, u-turns, traversing hilly terrain, circuit and trail rides
Participant preparation that includes briefing, training and warm-up exercises
Familiarity with ATV operating manual – this manual is to be used in assessing the competence of
Understanding of braking system of the ATV: most ATVs have separate front and rear brake
controls, while some may have linked brakes operated by a single control.
Certifications (check if current or lapsed)
Chief Leader to have current certification in First Aid & CPR from reputed organisation
Chief Leader to have current certification in Wilderness First Responder / Wilderness Advanced First Aid &
CPR from reputed organisation
All Assistant Leaders to have current certification in Wilderness First Aid & CPR from reputed organisations
- Leading groups in adventure activities
- Personal experience of operating ATVs in hilly terrain and circuits/tracks
- Handling emergencies, both medical and non-medical
- Competence for the terrain conditions that a Leader is supposed to handle ATVs
- Ability to take some hard / harsh decisions in case of any emergency
- Ability to supervise members of Leadership Team
- Conservative approach in risk management while handling emergencies
- Group management skills
- Ability to be assertive when taking decisions, especially in preventing risky situations and while
- Proficiency in best practices for environmental safety
Documents in Chief Leader’s Folder (recommended):
1. Legal compliance documents (registration documents, permits for campsites, etc.)
2. Personal information of Participants and Leaders
3. Undertaking from Participants (indemnity bond)
4. Risk assessment and mitigation done for location/area where ATVs are to be operated
5. Pre-inspection check reports of all ATVs and equipment to be used during the ATV-runs
6. Copies of
Emergency Response Plan
Emergency Response Procedure
Critical Incident Report form
Medicine-use report form
Equipment logs & equipment damage report form
Information related to outsourced Service Provider including contract copy
The choice of equipment should be made according to the function of each item as described below.
Use ATVs only from reputable manufacturers and ensure that their maintenance is undertaken as per
ATVs come in different sizes (determined by the engine capacity and build)
and thus each size has a recommended minimum age specified for the rider.
E.g. a particular ATV may be specified as ”not for age less than 12”. These
specifications mentioned by manufacturer should be always followed.
Use either a full-face or three-quarter helmet, ensuring that there is no
reduction in vision or hearing of the wearer. When worn, a helmet should be
snug, comfortable and secured in place by the requisite straps (straps should not be left hanging at any
point of time).
Face shield or goggles
Use goggles on any ATV ride. If the ride happens to be in areas where foliage of passing trees is going to be
encountered then use face shield.
Gloves have two functions: provide protection and comfort. Gloves should help prevent hands from getting
sore, tired and cold, in addition to preventing injury in the event of a fall. Consider gloves with padding at
relevant places like knuckles and back-of-hands.
Knee protectors: function is to protect knees in the event of a fall
Footwear: Boots should be minimum ankle length with low heels that prevent the boots from slipping off
the footrests (slip-on shoes and open-footwear like slippers and sandals should not be allowed)
Long sleeved top and long trousers will help protect rider from cold and scratches/abrasions in the event of
a fall. Depending on ambient temperature, warm and wind layers may be considered.
Spares and tool kit recommended by manufacturer to be carried on each ride
At least one cell phone, with important contact numbers entered in
Consider the following factors for choice of communication devices:
Communication between Leadership Team members
Remoteness of location
Reliability of cell phone signal
First aid kit
Items to be selected based on a) risk assessment and mitigation study done for an activity site, b) Leader‘s
first aid certification and c) medico-legal aspects that are relevant to the region that the activity is being
Guidelines for Organisations operating ATVs
Considerations for Organisations:
Organisation should have all the accessories required to support and maintain its fleet of ATVs
Organisation should maintain all vehicles serviced and in working order along with required documentation
Organisation should have at least two qualified ATV Leaders (qualification in hard and soft skills as specified
Organisation should have clear knowledge about the area in which ATVs are to be operated. These areas
have to be clearly demarcated for the activity. ATVs are meant for off-road use, and not for use on main
roads with traffic.
Organisation should have SOPs based on these guidelines which are specific to their ATVs, functioning area
and kind of terrain and profile of people undertaking this Activity through it.
Organisation should have set of all crucial documents (e.g., emergency response protocol).
Organisation should have documented details about risk assessment and recommendations for their
Organisation should comply with all required legalities and formalities relevant to its functioning, including
registration of entity with requisite authorities and registration and passing of vehicles.
Organisation should formulate environment friendly practices for its functioning and ensure that its field
staff understands how to implement those practices.
Pre-activity actions by Leaders
Inspection of ATV, spares, tool kit and first aid kit
Leader should inspect all items listed here before any ride he/she is going to undertake with an ATV. The
All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (USA) recommends the following basic T-CLOC Checklist:
Tyres & Wheels
Controls & Cables
Lights & Electrics
Oil & Fuel
Chain/Drive Shaft & Chassis
Review medical history of Participants: ensure that preventive and curative aspects are in place (e.g.,
medicines in duplicate in known locations)
Check for environmental hazard on activity site (reptiles, insects, fallen trees or branches, loose rocks and
Dry run if feasible/recommended for a particular site
Who should not be allowed to participate in the activity?
Person who refuses to follow safe practices
Person with medical issue that will pose a risk to the Participant
Person who refuses to wear safety gear
Person with backache – follow first aid protocols
Chief Leader to review contract signed with outsourced Service Provider
Chief Leader to review the qualification of all staff members of the outsourced service provider, and their
ability to do pre-activity inspection checks, run the ATV rides and do appropriate wind-up procedures
Chief Leader to review roles and responsibilities with staff of outsourced Service Provider
Chief Leader to ensure that all the safety guidelines and SOPs valid for safe conduct ATV rides are followed
before, during and after each ride
Organization‘s Leaders to monitor crucial points and actions of staff for safety
Briefing to Participants:
Leader: brief all Leaders and Participants in detail about rules, activity-site features and aspects of risk
management including actions to be taken in case of emergency. Specific focus on:
Speed limits and any related rules
Wearing PPE and consequences if someone does not wear
ATV controls, operations and pre-ride checks
Group riding procedure (lane position, vehicle order, headlights, signals and parking procedures)
Handling dangerous surfaces and any other special terrain conditions
Policy on tobacco, alcohol & other intoxicants
Environment safety practices
Leaders ‘instructions to be followed
Chief Leader to ascertain any fresh health issue before starting the activity
Inherent risk in the Adventure Activity & consequences if process is not adhered to
Responsibility of Participants towards their own safety and others ‘safety
Norms & rules (e.g., shoes, personal gear, no wandering around, etc.)
Show cordoned-off areas
Leaders ‘authority to stop activity when necessary: especially when safety is involved (e.g., environmental
factors, damage to equipment, uncooperative behaviour of Participants)
Practices as derived from Leave Minimum Impact Principles and Practices
Training of Participants
Organisation should follow instructions in manufacturers ‘manuals and design its training of Participants
accordingly. Such training should cover the following at the minimum:
To mount and sit in the ATV correctly, locate and operate controls, and dismount correctly.
To use brakes of ATV properly to bring ATV to a stop in a smooth and safe manner.
To demonstrate basic turning skills by shifting weight properly to maintain balance and avoid the possibility
of losing control of ATV.
Give clear instructions about staying within demarcated area for the ride.
Establish protocol for communication in case of an emergency.
Instructions for activity / operations
Use ’Touch-Say-Confirm ‘method for checking PPE of each person (Leader & Participants) before permitting
each ride: touch each item of personal gear on the Participant while saying its name aloud to confirm that
all equipment is firmly in place.
Keep the engine of the ATV off till the Participant sits properly and is comfortable before starting the ride
Ensure sequence of activities and coverage of all actions for prevention of risks as per Risk Matrix
Monitor Participants who have finished an activity or are waiting for their turn
Monitor for environmental impact – repeat expectations from Participants if necessary
Inspect equipment, pack/store equipment according to norms
Tag each ATV in case any repair or cleaning is required
Pack separately equipment that needs repairs or is to be discarded: attach a tag to each item with a note
Do not pack wet gear like gloves and helmets
Fill up all the documents required
Lock up equipment as per site‘s rules
Review and feedback (Participants & Leadership Team)
Communicate to the Organisation‘s office any subjective feedback that has not been recorded in
Other safety considerations
− Store fuel away from Participants and other people at site. Do not store close to
any residential area of site-facility. Do not allow anyone to smoke or light fire
near fuel storage area. Store only required amount of fuel.
− Have a fire extinguisher at fuel storage site and at ATV track location.
− Use gauge designed to measure ATV tyre air pressure. (Automotive tyre gauges
for measuring air pressure can be inaccurate).
− Adults in group of Participants will only help in non-technical aspects, and
Leaders are responsible for the safety of the whole group
2. Safety Guideline for Cycling Tours
(This format is to be used by Organisation for formulating its own SOP for a ’Cylcing Tours ‘session)
Cycling tours in India have been managed by privately owned companies and do not fall under the purview
of any government or any community-instituted central body. The Cycling Federation of India organizes
races and tours for licensed elite athletes for prize money. Any tours where amateur athletes are entering
into a commercial contract with a touring experience provider do not require any permissions from any
sport related bodies.
It is important to categorise the biking / road cycling itinerary with proper grades so that the Participants
can chose their trip as per their level of fitness and preparedness:
Grade 1: Easy - For those new to cycling or who don‘t have a high level of fitness. Easy combination of
relatively flat or gently undulating routes. For riders seeking a very relaxed holiday. Beginners: 30-60 km.
Grade 2: Gentle - On undulating or rolling terrain, occasional moderate / challenging climbs. No high
altitude ascents & the odd short steep climbs. For semi-regular riders / relative novices wishing to gain
experience & fitness.60-80 km. per day.
Grade 3: Moderate - For riders with experience, requisite fitness & level of skill required for this grade (see
Some features that may be experienced more frequently in a higher-grade tour: Most days may include a
couple of significant climbs. Some long days & some steep to very steep sections. Not for beginners. 70-95
km. per day.
Grade 4: Challenging - For cyclists with high stamina & a high level of fitness. Long & challenging days with
multiple tough or high altitude ascents, with steep sections over extended distances. Long & often
technically demanding descents. Road riding for experienced riders. 80-160 km. per day.
Grade 5: Demanding - Designed for cyclists with very high stamina and a high level of fitness. Consecutively
long, challenging days with multiple serious or high altitude ascents. Frequent steep or very steep stages
occasionally over extended distances. Includes long and often technically demanding descents. Serious
road riding for experienced riders only. 95-160 km. per day.
Information required for Leaders
Names and qualification of Leadership Team, along with Leaders to Participants ratio
The entire cycling tour route, with maps, where the night halts are going to be etc.
Back-up plans which can be used in emergencies (e.g., alternative routes etc.) have an emergency
evacuation plan in place for each site.
Documents in Chief Leader‘s Folder (recommended only – each Organisation to decide final list):
Compliance documents (bookings of the places for nigh halts, intro forms filled by the Participants
Personal information including medical information of Participants and Leadership Team
Undertaking from Participants
Risk assessment and mitigation done for the entire cycling route
Emergency Response / Evacuation Plan
Critical Incident Report form
Medicines used report form
Support / service vehicle related documents etc.
Information related to outsourced Service Provider including copy of contract document
- Criteria of exclusion that are relevant to Adventure Activity
Person who refuses to follow safe practices
Person with medical issue that will pose a risk to himself/herself
Person who refuses to wear safety gear
Pregnant woman who is at risk of injury
Person with backache (follow first aid protocols)
Qualifications of Leaders
While there are no technical criteria of qualifications required, these are experiences that will help a Leader
ensure a successful trip:
a) Experience of being in the saddle and riding the distance covered per day. This will ensure that they are
alert and not fighting their own fatigue. In an organised programme that lasts for multiple days,
Participants will experience cumulative fatigue; the Leader cannot
be in the same position. They need to have spent time cycling, so they do not experience saddle soreness
and are able to help their Participants and ensure a good experience for them.
b) Knowledge of the terrain being traversed, potential hazards of that area, typical weather conditions, in
addition to knowledge of Hindi, English and or local language are required.
c) The knowledge to assess which Participant needs what size of helmet and how to tighten or loosen the
various straps to ensure a snug fit on their heads.
d) First-aid and CPR certification.
e) Basic knowledge of bike maintenance while on tour and fixing issues such as punctures, gears not
working well and other such minor repairs.
f) Owning a government authorized identity card and keeping it with them for the duration of the
Organisations usually give their Participants the option of bringing their own bicycles or providing bicycles
a) In the former case, the minimum materials needed would be spares (tyres, tubes, tyre levers, patch kits,
brake and gear cables and their housing, chains, chain links, lubricants, floor pump with presta and
shredder valves, multi tool or allen keys, small screw drivers, duct tape and zip ties.
b) In the latter case, in addition to the above, add bicycle specific spare components such as brake shoes,
drive train components, spokes, spoke wrench, etc.
c) Bikes should be delivered to Participants fully built and ready to ride after individual saddle height
a) Cycling helmets by reputed brands, stocked for all sizes from extra small (XS) to extra large (XL).
b) It is mandatory to use helmets on all rides and at all times.
a) Head lights: Head lights that are powerful enough to see the road at night/ in foggy or rainy conditions.
Typically, headlights with mounts, that can be removed easily when the bikes are being left by themselves.
b) Tail-lamps: Tail-lamps those are powerful enough to be visible and provide the option of rapid blinking,
so they are more visible to oncoming motor vehicles.
c) Spare batteries for each of the lights.
d) Panniers and racks for luggage.
e) Bungee cords to tie additional material to the bike rack.
Pre-activity actions by Leaders
- Checking of cycles - this has to be the second check just before the start of the tour. The first check
should be done at office / store
- The entire route of the tour, hotel / stay bookings, logistical plan etc.
- Review of medical history of Participants to ensure that preventive and curative aspects are in place
(e.g., medicines in duplicate in known locations)
- Check for environmental hazards for the tour duration, e.g.: weather report etc.
- Check the Leaders to Participants ratio in the context of Activity site; some parameters that could
be relevant are:
- The terrain of the cycling route, if the organised programme gets more entries, if the organised
programme is on the higher altitudes, the distance of the entire route etc.
- Overall experience of the Participants, how many such tours each one of them have done in past,
how many are the new-comers, the age group etc.
Check any fresh health issue that Leaders should be aware of: Chief Leader to ascertain this before
starting the activity
Inherent risk in the activity & consequences if process is not adhered to: a Leader to clearly state
this to the whole group
Responsibility of Participants towards their own safety and others ‘safety: a Leader to clearly state
the expectations from all in the context of safety
For Leadership Team members: role modeling, environment-safe practices
For Participants: all personal gear such as helmet etc.
Safety precautions for minimization of risks
Leaders to monitor the group at all times
No specific training is required to be a cycling tour operator in India. However, itis helpful if the organizers
meet the basic qualifications listed above. It will go a long way towards ensuring the safety and well-being
of your Participants and your own confidence in your operation.
Policy of ’no alcohol, tobacco and drugs‘: Leaders to ensure that this is followed strictly by
everyone in the whole group
Leaders ‘authority to stop activity when necessary: Leaders to be assertive about this when
safety is involved (e.g., environmental factors, damage to equipment, uncooperative behaviour
of Participants, etc.)
Minimisation of environmental impact
No breaking branches of shrubs and trees
No damage to nearby cultural structures like shrines
At least one trowel in group-kit in case anyone wants to ’take a dump in the woods‘
Leader to make clear expectations from everyone in emergency situations