AMI Position Statement

AMI Position Statement and Update for Members- COVID-19.

Thank you all for following the current advice and adhering to the restrictions we have been
living with in recent weeks. It is a difficult time for many of us as we have experienced
interruption to our businesses, with the financial distress that causes, and adjusted to
staying at home away from hills, crags, mountains and activities we all love.
At this point we want to set out some principals behind the thinking guiding AMI’s actions
now and in the immediate future.

1. No concrete guidelines can be put in place or adventurous activities resumed until
the Government issue clear guidelines of their own on which to base them. We are
not alone in this situation as the bigger picture is clear: all forms of sport and active
recreation other than low level walking, running and non technical cycling are
suspended. Too much unfounded speculation on the future will not help clarify the
situation but this does not mean that we cannot prepare (see below).
2. AMI will adhere to guidelines put in place by Government first and foremost. We will
strongly encourage all members to adhere to these guidelines and not to look to
‘creatively interpret’ them or look for loopholes to our own advantage as the
situation eases. Patience, despite the difficulties this brings, places both the
Association’s and individual members’ reputation beyond reproach. It is felt that
both morally and from the point of view of a collection of professionals that this
attitude should underpin our actions. Furthermore, it gives us better claim to having
our opinions heard by relevant bodies when appropriate. As an Association we have
engaged with partners (such as the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland, National
Centres, Mountaineering Ireland and MTUK&I) to put our membership’s point of
view to decision making bodies. This includes providing them with the paper
‘Getting Back to Work’

3. All of the information we use to inform our decisions must be carefully sourced. The
media are inclined to quote studies and science as if it has all been conducted with
the same rigour. We will base our decisions on Government sources wherever
possible. We will avoid reacting to potentially poor quality information and will not
share it with our members or respond to it without being as certain as we can be of
the source and its quality.

4. Much of our client base relies on travel to the communities where members live and
work, including accommodation upon arrival. We must remember to be sensitive to
the attitudes of these communities. The issue of visiting tourists and second home
owners has already been divisive in many rural areas where memories are long. We
do not wish to poison relationships between the Association, its individual members
and these communities for the future. Following Government guidelines on travel
and accommodation will be important as will following the lead of the resumption of
recreational activities.

5. At the point at which activities can be resumed AMI will try to provide nonprescriptive
guidance to members on how to resume the wide variety of technical
activities and business models relevant to its members. We will work with partner
organisations to generate examples of good practise that members can adapt to
their own situations. We will have to consider changes to how we use transport,
choose venues and risk assess activities as well as our response to emergencies.
Adjusting to a ‘new normal’ may well require change to all our practise and a degree
of flexibility and patience.

Activities completed by the Association since Lockdown.
Refunding of AGM monies to members
Setting up monthly direct debit payments for membership and refunding annual fees on
request
Insurance holiday arrangements or refund
Template letters for member use to MPs and others
CV-19 resource page on website
Raising profile and difficulties for self employed (inc. two BBC articles with AMI member
input and joint association letters to Government)
On line training videos
Setting up of AMI Lockdown Exit Working Group.
Activities currently underway.
On line TA workshops and safety seminars
Ongoing communication with all main stakeholders
‘Getting Back to Work’ paper – this is for AMI and member use as they see fit
Development of work guidance with BMG and others once lockdown allows
Review of all documents as situation and government advice develops
Finally, thank you for your patience at this difficult and unprecedented time. If you have
feedback or suggestions, particularly if you want to volunteer to help make them a reality
then please contact: chair@ami.org.uk
AMI Committee 5 May 2020