Clarification of dependent participant

The scope of the Australian Adventure Activity Standards is to “provide the best practice framework for safe and responsible planning and delivery of outdoor adventure activities with dependent participants.” In response to feedback, additional information has now been provided to help clarify who is a dependent participant.

From ‘Do these standards apply to me?’ on page 2 of the Core Standard – public access copy V1.6 released 3 May 2017 click here for a copy – the updated section reads:

“… It is for each provider to determine based on their own individual circumstances, if they are working with dependent participants or not.

A dependent participant is a person owed a duty of care by the activity provider who is reliant upon the activity leaders for supervision, guidance or instruction to support the person’s participation in an activity. For example, this often includes participants under the age of 18, participants lacking the ability to safely undertake the activity, or participants reasonably relying on the activity provider for their safety. The degree of dependence may vary during an activity.

Considerations for determining if a person is a dependent participant may include, but is not limited to:

  • the foreseeable level of competence of the participant in the activity and the associated level of reliance this creates on the activity leaders
  • the level of foreseeable self-reliance of the participant to reasonably manage their own safety
  • the possible variation throughout the activity of the level of reliance
  • the variation of the degree of dependence throughout the activity
  • the individual context, nature and circumstances of the activity
  • the relevant circumstances and particular facts relating to the responsibilities assumed by the provider

An activity provider can be any organisation – business, community group, government agency, school or any other groups – that organises and leads adventure activities. Individuals can also be an activity provider, if they have the ultimate legal duty of care to participants. In general, these standards relate to a provider as a ‘whole organisation’, rather than to ‘specific roles’ within the provider ‘organisation’.

Some providers may have their own standards or guidelines appropriate to their duty of care. These should be reviewed periodically to ensure current duty of care expectations are met. The Australian AAS may aid such reviews.”

 

Previously the section relating to dependent participants read:

“Dependent participants are participants to whom the activity provider has a legal duty of care under Australian common law or legislation. For example, this often includes participants under the age of 18, participants lacking the ability to safely undertake the activity, or participants reasonably relying on the activity provider for their safety.” (page 2 Public Consultation Draft released 30 Aug 2016).

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