Health and Safety

Grafham Water Centre (GWC) is a residential multi activity outdoor learning centre. GWC is owned and operated by Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC). 

Risk Management

At GWC we believe in the benefits of outdoor learning and adventurous activities to manage the risk. Safe operation and well being of everyone who visits our site is at the fore front of everything we do. GWC has policies and procedures for all operations on and offsite. Each activity has a risk and benefit analysis in place. Polices and procedures are updated whenever required, all documentation is annually reviewed and signed off by our Health and Safety Committee. Please refer to our 'Risk Management Summary' which covers an overview of policies in place and licenses held.

Statutory and non-statutory licences and accreditations for risk management and quality

Adventure Activities Licence 

GWC holds the Adventure Activity Licences issued by the Adventure Activity Licencing Authority, a part of the Health and Safety Executive. This means the centre has been inspected by the Adventure Activity Licensing Service.

Royal Yachting Association Training Centre

GWC is a recognised training centre. Our courses are highly regarded worldwide due to the high standards maintained by those training centres and our instructors.

Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge 

GWC holds the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badges. This means that we have been inspected and continue to meet national standards.

Association of Heads of Outdoor Centres (AHOEC) Gold Standard

GWC holds the Gold Standard from AHOEC. This means that we have achieved the higher standards set by the Association during our respective Quality Badge inspections. 


GWC holds Adventuremark accreditation. This means that our operating arrangements meet the accreditation standards of the Adventure Activities Industry Advisory Committee.

British Canoeing Delivery Partner

British Canoeing Awarding Body (BCAB) who are regulated by Ofqual, Qualification Wales, CCEA and CIMSPA offer a high quality, robust and standardardised set of qualifications and awards.

Mountain Training

Mountain Training is the collection of awarding bodies for skills courses and qualifications in walking, climbing and mountaineering that operates across the UK and The Republic Of Ireland.

Outdoor Education Advisers Panel

GWC works closely with Cambridgeshire County Council Outdoor Education Advisory Service who are individually Accredited by the Outdoor Education Advisers Panel.


Mountain Bike Instructor Scheme


Policies and Procedures 

Qualified and Competent Instructors

The Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004 require that competent and qualified instructors are appointed. Providers may demonstrate the competence of their instructors by externally awarded qualification, local validations, in-house training, experience, or any combination of these. The assessment of in-house training or competence through experience will be carried out by someone with the qualifications to fulfil this role for the equivalent national qualification where this is applicable.

Operational Procedures and Risk Assessments 

Operating procedures and risk assessments for adventure activities are inspected as part of both statutory and non-statutory licence and accreditation schemes. We follow the Health and Safety Policy of Cambridgeshire County Council, our employer. We work with our Health and Safety, Property and  Compliance to ensure that our operating procedures and risk assessments fulfil both statutory and non -statutory legislation, guidance and advice, and appropriate Council policies and guidance.

Fire Safety

GWC follows CCC protocols on fire safety with a fire risk assessment in place for all buildings. All participants on arrival have a full introduction to as to what to do in case the fire alarm sounds.  As a matter of policy if the fire alarm sounds, the Centre contacts the emergency services and a fire unit is dispatched to the site. 


CCC has a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in need and to promote the upbringing of such children by their families. We comply with CCC policies including safer recruitment and disclosure and barring checks. We undertake training appropriate to roles in line with guidance from CCC.

Supervision arrangements for children and young people

Group leaders should ensure that any staff (teachers, leaders, governors, adult helpers) understand that their supervisory responsibilities for children and young people within their group remains with them for the duration of the visit, during all non-activity time, mealtimes and overnight.

Our staff are responsible for supervision throughout taught sessions. However to ensure both relevant educational links and to support appropriate risk management of the group during the session, client staff are expected to accompany groups whilst undertaking activities.

Shared responsibility for safety

All participants, including children and young people, have a responsibility for the safety of themselves and others. They are expected to follow safety instructions, act reasonably and behave appropriately relative to their age, and are encouraged to share any concerns or issues with either their or our staff, in confidence if necessary.


GWC operates a number of vehicles including minibuses. All operations comply with CCC driver guidance and protocols. Drivers hold appropriate licences, and where required undertake driver CamDas. 

Food Safety

GWC has been inspected under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme and holds the top 5-star (very good) rating.


GWC through CCC holds Public Liability Insurance with a limit of indemnity of £50,000,000. It is the responsibility of the client to ensure that they arrange appropriate travel or school journey insurance for any booking made with us.