Partner and Network Groups are covered under BCT's third party liability insurance (although some groups have opted out and have alternative cover in place - read on).

You can view BCT's Certificate of Liability and download if required, and read a summarised version of the cover available to bat group in this overview document. Here are the details of the liability policy wording or the full insurance policy, however please note this is regarding BCT's full policy so only the sections relating to third-party liability are relevant to bat groups.

Please note any bat group making use of third-party liability insurance through BCT must:

Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) Checks

Alongside the BCT Safeguarding Policy referred to above we have produced a guidance document for Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. In addition we would recommend bat groups read the DBS Eligibility 'Handiguide' from SAFEcic UK.

Unless you are working with unaccompanied children and/or unaccompanied vulnerable adults a DBS check is generally not required. If your group is undertaking a project or activities where you meet the criteria for a DBS check please see the relevant page on the GOV.UK website for details of how to organise one. Unfortunately DBS checks cannot be organised through BCT for bat group members, only for BCT staff.

What is Third Party Liability insurance?

Third Party Liability (also called Public Liability) refers to claims by a third party against your group for injury or property damage caused by the bat group's negligence. Full details of BCT's third party liability insurance can be found in the Partner and Network Agreement appendices (bottom of the page) or in this overview.

Helping the police with their inquiries - Insurance Cover

Occasionally Bat Group members or VBRV's are asked by the Police for assistance with allegations of bat crime, including gathering evidence by visiting the scene of the alleged crime. Please read this document for guidance on what activity is covered by BCT's insurance and Natural England's VBRV insurance.

Ladder Safety

We receive quite a few questions about ladder safety. Ladders should be checked before use and there is information on the Health & Safety Executive website about this, how to make sure you are using ladders safely and other resources (including information to consider when purchasing ladders).

Alternatives to the BCT cover

BCT can only offer bat groups third party liability insurance, as our resources do not permit more comprehensive cover at present. So, depending on the particular needs of your group, you may wish to consider other alternatives before opting into our policy. For example:

  • TCV offers combined third party liability insurance and personal accident cover to community members through Zurich Insurance, starting from £100. See the TCV website for more details.
  • Speak with your Local Wildlife Trust office to discuss options for cover under their insurance.
  • Or if you'd like to discuss the individual needs of your bat group with BCT's insurance broker, please email