By their very nature, outdoor education and recreation activities involve an element of risk as do many of life’s daily activities such as driving your car or crossing the road. ALI has spent considerable time and money on assessing all our activities and related services.
We have used industry standards of various peak bodies (Australian Canoeing, PACI, NPWS, ORIC and others) as a minimum, in looking at what is acceptable risk for a program activity and how that risk can best be managed/controlled.
ALI has an ongoing process whereby we review all program related incidents at the end of each season (Summer & Winter). This gives us a good insight into any activities or issues which may require modification or further investigation to ensure the on-going safety of all our participants and staff. Our risk management procedures have been very successful in minimising the risks that our clients encounter on our programs.
Risk management is defined by ORIC as ‘The use of management procedures and practices at any level of an organization and/or program to minimize the exposure to risk of the participants, staff, program provider, operator and their families in terms of physical, emotional, social, educational or financial loss or damage.’ (The Risk Management Document, T. Dickson & M Tugwell, 2nd Edition, 2000)
The management of risks (both perceived and real) is very important to ALI and it is a whole organisation approach from administration in the office, our transport providers through to program design and delivery. One of the most important tasks of any outdoor education provider is to educate the participant on any risk involved in an activity and how it will be managed/controlled.
ALI has a reputation for running safe, professional and enjoyable programs and to date has an impeccable safety record. For every program we run, we have a comprehensive communication plan to ensure that groups can contact the Program Director or emergency services if the need arises regardless of their location.
We have radios, mobile phones, satellite phones and SPOT devices with built in EPIRB’s so that groups can stay in contact whether they are canoeing on Lake Jindabyne or hiking across the Main Range. A key to our safety record is our approach to risk management for each of the activities that we run. ALI is proactive rather than reactive in its approach to the safe delivery of program activities.
ALI is a member of the Outdoor Recreation Industry Council of NSW (ORIC) and is also a national training provider (NTP) for Australian Canoeing. ALI uses the ACT and NSW guidelines for safe conduct of outdoor activities as the minimum standard for our own guidelines and prefers to set the industry standard for the activities that it runs.
Some of the controls that ALI uses to manage and minimise risk associated with running outdoor education programs are:
- Employing qualified and trained staff. On each adventure activity there are specialised staff appointed to conduct the program
- Documented operating practices
- Emergency procedures and response plans
- Program risk analysis
- Established links to the broader outdoor industry, both national and international
- High staff to student ratios
- Program support staff to coordinate emergency situations and provide relevant information such as weather conditions
- Comprehensive first aid kits
- 24 hour communication network
- Regular equipment maintenance and replacement programs
All members of staff have an active role to play in risk management. When developing programs for each customer, the risk level is assessed in terms of meeting the program’s desired educational outcomes. We have Comprehensive Public Liability Insurance and Workers Compensation.
To view our risk assessment of our activities please go to our client log in and type your username and password to access risk management information and activity risk assessments.