Successfully Implementing NCAP Standard FA-711: UTV Training

As announced in Fall 2019, and as indicated in the 2020 NCAP standards, beginning January 1, 2021, all BSA UTV operators must have both online and hands-on training through the ROHVA (Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association). This adjustment is the result of a large increase in UTV related incidents and related claims, coupled with the BSA’s ongoing commitment to keep our volunteers and employees safe.

There are many parts to this standard related to all motor vehicles, not just UTVs. This UTV required hands-on training is only one piece of the standard. NCAP Standard FA-711 also addresses policies for all vehicle types include motor vehicles, UTVs, golf carts, ATVs (non-program use) and LTVs.

Councils must ensure they have properly trained operators by January 1, 2021 before allowing the operation any of these vehicles (regardless of owner) on camp properties for or during a camp such as day camp, short-term camp, and long-term camp for any use. This standard applies to all camp types and to anyone utilizing the vehicle, not just paid staff.

How can a council meet this standard for UTV hands-on training?

1) Review the use of your camp vehicles. Determine which type of vehicles you operate at camp or during your camp programs. The training requirements vary based on vehicle type. Make sure your required council vehicle use policy is up to date.

2) Pursue the “Basic Driver Course” hands-on UTV training now through ROHVA if you have not already. Search the www.ROHVA.org website and sign up for one of the open enrollment courses offered through a vendor. You can also reach out to nearby agencies that may offer the Basic Driver Course and attend one of their in person basic trainings. Agency options may include federal or state departments, military units, or law enforcement agencies. Course availability varies around the country. If you cannot find a course in your state, contact outdoorprograms@scouting.org and we will work to connect you. Cost varies based on the vendor selected/available. The ROVHA hands-on Basic Driver Course is approximately four hours long.

3) Determine if your council can/should pursue having someone certified as a “Drivers Coach” which would allow you to offer the ROHVA hands-on basic driver course locally. For information on this, visit rohva.org or email outdoorprograms@Scouting.org. Cost for this training varies based on location/vendor and is four days long.

4) Stay tuned for nationally offered basic driver or driver coach courses at the National High Adventure Bases and plan to send your staff and/or volunteers.

5) Finally, as with all NCAP standards, you can apply for a waiver for this standard if needed. The waiver request form No. 430-083 can be found online here. Each waiver is adjudicated based on the information provided. Waivers can be submitted for the entire camp property. For camps not held on NCAP authorized properties (day camps and short-term camps), waivers should be submitted for that camp/date.