Safety & Liability:
Guidance for Clubs & Meetup Groups & Risk Assessment Forms


Learning from more experienced hill walkers, mountaineers and climbers is one of the best ways to improve skills - and one of the great benefits of belonging to a club or meetup group.

This good practice guidance is designed for organised clubs and meet up groups which organise outdoor meets. These guidance notes will be particularly useful to new clubs, clubs with a high proportion of young members and clubs that take an active role in introducing novices to mountaineering and climbing.

The information provided is also very relevant for any informal group of friends/acquaintances who head out to enjoy the hills and mountains of Scotland.

The intention of the guidance is not to cause clubs to constrain their activities but to allow clubs to manage their affairs in such a way as to help minimise any possible liability in the unfortunate event of a member having an accident.

This is an important document and members of clubs must be made aware of the contents.




Risk assessment

You can also download risk assessment forms for clubs for use in both summer and winter.


Additional safety and liability guidance 

Please use the links in the contents section to go straight to the relevant section

A: Information about Mountain Safety

B: Navigation

C: First Aid

D: You Tube Videos

E: Mountain Safety FAQs

F: Highly Recommended Sources of Information

G: DVDs available from the MCofS Shop

H: Aide memoire cards

I: Useful Contacts


A: Information about Mountain Safety:

The MCofS website section on Mountain Safety contains a wide range of guidance, far more than may be summarised here, so the best policy is to check it out!

The MCofS encourages dissemination of its mountain safety guidance and there is no copyright restriction regarding its use, although we recommend that the source is cited on any website where the information is published.

The information provided by the MCofS is not prescriptive and is offered as guidance. The advice is based on current good practice and the MCofS cannot be held responsible for any omissions:

B: Navigation

The Navigator's Dozen You can download all the detailed information you need to hone your skills in mountain navigation from this link.

Learn to Read or Get Lost Follow this link for some useful tips for planning your day on the hill.

Navigation Courses Are you the sort of person who learns from getting out there and doing it, rather than reading about it? Follow this link for up-to-date information about our subsidised navigation training courses.

Ben Nevis Navigation- Planning to climb Britain's highest mountain? Follow this link and pick up some essential skills for a safe day out.

The Use of GPS devices and smartphones as navigation aids.

C: First Aid

First Aid Courses (MCofS)

First Aid Training Providers

First Aid kit

D: YouTube Videos

Please click below to view:

Self arrest chapter from Winter Essentials DVD

An extract from the Water Hazards in the Mountains DVD

E: Mountain Safety FAQs

Clothing & Equipment

The Danger of Lightning

Dealing with Mountain Rescue Helicopters

Enjoy the Scottish Hills in Safety

How to Find an Instructor or Guide

Hypothermia Information page

Jack & Jill Climbing up Tower Ridge

Guidance on Engaging Professional Mountaineering Services

Qualifications or Experience

Alarm Bells on the Ring of Steall

Route Cards

Winter Boots

Winter Hillwalking

Skin Cancer - advice from HSE

Ben Nevis Navigation

Mountain Rescue

F: Highly Recommended Sources of Information:

The official handbooks of the Mountain Leader schemes, including Hillwalking, Winter Skills, Rock Climbing, Navigation in the Mountains, International Mountain Trekking.

G: DVDs available from the MCofS Shop

Hillwalking Essentials - in addition to the film, the technical chapters include: Navigation, Scrambling, Weather, River Crossings, Mountain Rescue, Ticks and Hazards. 40 minutes documentary and 100 minutes of technical chapters

Winter Essentials - film and 11 chapters dealing with skills and techniques for winter

Alpine Essentials - film and 19 chapters dealing with skills and techniques for alpine mountaineering

Water Hazards in the Mountains - film which raises awareness of the dangers of mountain streams and rivers

H: Aide memoire cards

Emergency procedures (printable copy available for download)

Winter Check List (printable copy available for download)

I: Useful Contacts

Mountain Training Scotland: Glenmore, Aviemore, Inverness-shire, PH221QU. Tel: 01479 861248

sportscotland Avalanche Information Service: Glenmore, Aviemore, Inverness-shire PH22 1QU. Tel: 01479 861 264.

Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre: Glenmore Lodge, Aviemore, Inverness-shire PH22 1QU. Tel: 01479 861256.

Mountain Training UK: Siabod Cottage, Capel Curig, Conwy LL24 OES. Tel: 01690 720248.

British Association of Mountain Guides: Siabod Cottage, Capel Curig, Conwy LL24 OES. Tel: 01690 720386.

Association of Mountaineering Instructors: Siabod Cottage, Capel Curig, Conwy LL24 OES. Tel: 01690 720314.

British Association of International Mountain Leaders: Siabod Cottage, Capel Curig, Conwy LL24 OES. Tel: 01690 720272.