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Local authority policies

One of the key objectives of Scotland’s Drowning Prevention Strategy is to:

develop water safety across Scotland’s 32 local authority areas and promote the development of water safety policies

Within this, there are two key activities:

  • Encourage all local authorities to develop a water safety policy
  • Support local authorities in the development of a water safety policy

In 2023, RoSPA released "Local Authority Approaches to Managing Water Safety- A 10-year comparative analysis". This was 10 year follow-on study from the original research, which took place in Scotland in 2013. It also follows the five year follow-on study in 2018:“Local Authority Approaches to Managing Water Safety – Scotland Five Years on” 

Overall, the 2023 data shows an improved picture of water safety in Scotland. Many of Scotland’s local authorities are addressing water safety, with clear increases across the board on the majority of indicators.

In response to this research and to implement the strategy in Scotland, RoSPA and RNLI have held four workshops with the aim of helping local authorities to understand the benefits of having a water safety policy, as well as the barriers to implementing a policy. As well as this, the workshops present a unique opportunity for local authority representatives to learn and share key information and advice. The first was held on April 9, 2019, the second was held on January 15, 2020 and third was held on November 8, 2022. The most recent water safety policy workshop was held on November 7, 2023. WSS is grateful to partners RNLI, who have hosted all workshops at their Scottish headquarters in Perth.

Local Authority 2023 workshop- Evaluation report

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