Core GPG

Core Good Practice Guide

Guidance for common good practice for all adventure activities.

Version 1.0 | Date 23 Sept 2019 | Details: Version one release.


Acknowledgment, disclaimer and preface

Acknowledgment, disclaimer and preface
Traditional owner acknowledgement

The Outdoor Council of Australia and the Australian AAS Steering Committee would respectfully like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, their Elders past, present and emerging, for the important role Indigenous people continue to play in Australia and most especially on the land and waters used for outdoor activities and recreation.

Disclaimer

Copyright
Copyright 2019 Outdoor Council of Australia.

Disclaimer
The information published in the Australian Adventure Activity Standard (AAAS) and accompanying Good Practice Guides (GPG’s), including this document, is for information purposes only and is not a substitute for, or intended to replace, independent, professional or legal advice. The information contained in the Australian Adventure Activity Standard and the Good Practice Guides are a guide only. Activity providers and any other person accessing the documentation should consider the need to obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances, including the specific adventure activities and needs of the dependent participants.

The information published in the Australian Adventure Activity Standard and Good Practice Guides are subject to change from time to time. Outdoor Council of Australia gives no warranty that the information is current, correct or complete and is not a definitive statement of procedures. Outdoor Council of Australia reserves the right to vary the content of the Australian Adventure Activity Standard and/or Good Practice Guides as and when required. Activity providers should make independent inquiries as to the correctness and currency of the content and use their own skill and care with respect to their use of the information.

The Australian Adventure Activity Standard and Good Practice Guides do not replace any statutory requirements under any relevant State and Territory legislation and are made available on the express condition that Outdoor Council of Australia together with the authors, consultants, advisers and the Australian Adventure Activity Standard Steering Committee members who assisted in compiling, drafting and ratifying the documents:

  • are not providing professional or legal advice to any person or organisation; and
  • are not liable for any loss resulting from an action taken or reliance made on any information or material contained within the Australian Adventure Activity Standard, Good Practice Guides and associated documents.
Preface
Forward

“Adventure is worthwhile” – Aristotle

The Australian Adventure Activity Standard and Good Practice Guides are designed to ensure effective, responsible, sustainable and safe delivery of adventure activities to dependent participants. They can help people across the outdoor sector to develop appropriately managed adventure activities which enhance individuals and our communities, while protecting the environment and culturally significant places. In doing this, these documents can help ensure that people will continue to enjoy the benefits of adventure activities well into the future.

Best wishes for all your adventures.

The Australian Adventure Activity Standard Steering Committee.

About these documents

The Australian Adventure Activity Standard (AAAS) and related Good Practice Guides (GPG’s) are a voluntary good-practice framework for safe and responsible planning and delivery of outdoor adventure activities with dependent participants.

The AAAS and related GPG’s provide guidance on safety and other aspects of responsible activity delivery, such as respect for the environment, cultural heritage and other users. They are not a full legal compliance guide, nor are they a “how to” guide or field manual for outdoor activities. They do not provide guidance on providing a high-quality experience over and above safe and responsible delivery.

Activity providers are encouraged to obtain independent professional and legal advice in relation to their obligations and duties in delivering adventure activities and should reference the relevant laws to the area in which they intend to undertake the adventure activity.

Does the Standard and Good Practice Guides apply to me?

The AAAS and related GPG’s are specifically designed to help activity providers who are conducting activities involving dependent participants, to provide a safe and responsible experience. 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, ‘the Standard’ and GPG’s 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. It is recommended that these be reviewed periodically to ensure current duty of care expectations are met. ‘The Standard’ and ‘GPG’s’ may aid such reviews.

Are they legally binding?

The AAAS and GPG’s are voluntary, not legal requirements. However, they may refer to specific laws and regulations which may be legally binding on activity providers.

While the AAAS and ‘GPG’s’ are voluntary, some land managers and other organisations may require compliance. This may be as a condition of obtaining a licence, permit or other permission, or some other condition (e.g. a contract).

Under Australian common law and relevant legislation, providers have a legal duty of care towards dependent participants in some circumstances. In broad terms, the legal duty requires providers to take reasonable care that their actions and omissions do not cause reasonably foreseeable injury to dependent participants.

The AAAS and GPG’s are not legal advice, and they cannot answer whether a legal duty exists in specific circumstances. All adventure activity providers should check what legal requirements apply in their own situation and seek legal advice if at all in doubt.

Even in cases where participants are not dependent, other legal duties and obligations may arise. The AAAS and GPG’s have not been developed for those contexts.

Structure of the Standard and Good Practice Guides

The AAAS (i.e. the Standard) has a related Core Good Practice Guide (Core GPG). They both include guidance that applies to all adventure activities. They set out recommendations for a common approach to risk management that can generally apply regardless of the specific activity being undertaken.

Individual activity Good Practice Guides include guidance on specific adventure activities.

Shows how the Standard, Core good practice guide and activity good practice guides fit together.s

For any given activity, (i) the AAAS (the Standard), (ii) the Core GPG and (iii) the activity Good Practice Guide that applies to that specific activity, should be consulted.

The AAAS and Core GPG cover only those activities specifically listed. While the AAAS and Core GPG may be useful in managing risk generally for other activities, they may not reflect good practice for such other activities.

Interpretation of the Standard and Good Practice Guides

The following words and phrases are used in all documents and have specific meanings:

  • Must: used where a provision is mandatory, if the provider is to operate fully in accordance with AAAS or GPG’s. (This is equivalent to the keyword “shall” used in other voluntary standards e.g. Standards Australia, other International Standards Organisations (ISO’s) etc.)
  • Should: used where a provision is recommended, not mandatory. It indicates that the provider needs to consider their specific situation and decide for themselves whether it applies or is relevant.
  • Can/cannot: indicates a possibility and capability.
  • May/need not: indicates a permission or existence of an option.
  • But are/is not limited to: used to indicate that a list is not definitive and additional items may need to be considered depending on the context.

The following formatting is used throughout:

  • Defined words are in italics. They are defined in the Glossary.
  • Examples are in smaller italic 9-point font.
  • In document references are in underlined. References are to section heading titles.
  • External web or Australian AAS & GPG document links are in dotted underline italic.
Creation

The AAAS and GPG’s were developed with the input from a wide range of outdoors and adventure activity experts with extensive field experience. They draw on state and territory-specific standards previously in place across Australia. The development process included work by a range of technical expert working groups, as well as open consultation throughout the community of activity providers and other experts.

The Steering Committee wishes to thank all the Technical Working Group (TWG) members for their work and contributions.

The Steering Committee acknowledges all the State and Territory Governments for funding the creation of the first national adventure activity standard and set of good practice guides for the sector.

Further details of the creation of the AAAS and GPG’s can be found at australianaas.org.au/about/history/

It is intended that the AAAS and GPG’s will be regularly updated to reflect changing practice and better understanding over time. Updates will be noted on the website www.australianaas.org.


1 Introduction

1.1 About these documents

The Australian Adventure Activity Standard (AAAS) and related Good Practice Guides (GPGs) are a voluntary good-practice framework for safe and responsible planning and delivery of outdoor adventure activities with dependent participants.

The AAAS and related GPGs provide guidance on safety and other aspects of responsible activity delivery, such as respect for the environment, cultural heritage and other users. They are not a full legal compliance guide, nor are they a “how to” guide or field manual for outdoor activities. They do not provide guidance on providing a high-quality experience over and above safe and responsible delivery.

Activity providers are encouraged to obtain independent professional and legal advice in relation to their obligations and duties in delivering adventure activities and should reference the relevant laws to the area in which they intend to undertake the adventure activity.

1.2 Does the Standard and Good Practice Guides apply to me?

The AAAS and related GPGs are specifically designed to help activity providers who are conducting activities involving dependent participants, to provide a safe and responsible experience. 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, ‘the Standard’ and GPGs 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. It is recommended that these be reviewed periodically to ensure current duty of care expectations are met. ‘The Standard’ and GPGs may aid such reviews.

1.3 Are they legally binding?

The AAAS and GPGs are voluntary, not legal requirements. However, they may refer to specific laws and regulations which may be legally binding on activity providers.

While the AAAS and GPGs are voluntary, some land managers and other organisations may require compliance. This may be as a condition of obtaining a licence, permit or other permission, or some other condition (e.g. a contract).

Under Australian common law and relevant legislation, providers have a legal duty of care towards dependent participants in some circumstances. In broad terms, the legal duty requires providers to take reasonable care that their actions and omissions do not cause reasonably foreseeable injury to dependent participants.

The AAAS and GPGs are not legal advice, and they cannot answer whether a legal duty exists in specific circumstances. All adventure activity providers should check what legal requirements apply in their own situation and seek legal advice if at all in doubt.

Even in cases where participants are not dependent, other legal duties and obligations may arise. The AAAS and GPGs have not been developed for those contexts.

1.4 Structure of the Standard and Good Practice Guides

The AAAS (i.e. the Standard) has a related Core Good Practice Guide (Core GPG). They both include guidance that applies to all adventure activities. They set out recommendations for a common approach to risk management that can generally apply regardless of the specific activity being undertaken.

Individual activity Good Practice Guides include guidance on specific adventure activities.

For any given activity, (i) the AAAS (the Standard), (ii) the Core GPG and (iii) the activity Good Practice Guide that applies to that specific activity, should be consulted.

The AAAS and Core GPG cover only those activities specifically listed. While the AAAS and Core GPG may be useful in managing risk generally for other activities, they may not reflect good practice for such other activities.


2 Management of risk


2.1 Context matters

Effective risk management in outdoors and adventure settings is highly context-specific. In natural environments, there are an infinite range of possible combinations of participants, purpose, weather, local environmental factors, and many other parameters. Some of these factors, such as weather, can change rapidly, necessitating rapid and dynamic responses.

Further, each provider will have a unique structure, purpose, size, philosophy, activity leader requirements and operating environments.

Because of this, risk management cannot be a ‘tick the box’ exercise, nor can it take a ‘one size fits all’ approach across all providers. Instead, risk management systems should be flexible, adaptive and highly responsive to the specific circumstances of the individual activity.

Each provider will need to consider how to apply the AAAS and GPGs to their own unique context. This may mean that individual providersshould address areas not identified in these documents, depending on their specific context.

For a discussion on Risk Management refer Appendix A Management of risk.

2.2 Risk management framework and process

There must be a risk management framework and process suitable for the context in which it is being used.

The risk management framework and process must be documented.

Communication between all relevant stakeholders should occur throughout the risk management process.

The risk management framework and process must be periodically reviewed to ensure it remains relevant for the context in which it is being used.

For a discussion on Risk Management Framework refer Appendix B Summary of ISO 31000 – Risk Management.

For a discussion on Risk Management Process refer Appendix C Risk Management process.

2.3 Risk management plan

A risk management plan must be completed for each activity.

The risk management plan must be documented.

For a discussion on Risk Analysis refer Appendix D Risk analysis information. For Risk Management Plan Template examples refer Appendix E Risk management plan template examples

2.4 Dynamic risk assessment

Risks can change over time and need to be monitored and reviewed. Dynamic risk assessment is the process of assessing newly identified risks and changes in previously identified risks, and the modification of management arrangements accordingly. Refer to Appendix F Dynamic risk assessment process for additional information.

Dynamic risk assessment must be completed before, during and after activities.

The use of dynamic risk assessment is not meant to enable a greater level of risk to be accepted than what was the original level of risk, as documented in a risk management plan.

Actions taken and/or the accepted risk derived from dynamic risk assessment must not:

  • negate or reduce the effectiveness of risk treatment measures identified in a risk management plan
  • increase the level of risk previously identified in a risk management plan
  • increase the level of risk that participants, legal guardians or client organisations were informed of and/or consented to.
2.5 Incident reporting

Reporting of incidents and near misses helps identify risks and improve risk management in future, both within a particular providerand across the community generally. This includes any case where an event or set of circumstances occurred during an activitythat led to, or could foreseeably have led to, death, injury, illness or significant loss of property. Incidents and near misses should be reported regardless of whether the providerand/or any individualswere “at fault” in the incident or near miss.

There must be a process for reporting incidents and near misses.

All reported incidents and near misses should be analysed individually immediately (or as soon as practicable) and collectively on a periodic basis, to determine if a change to the treatment of risks or risk factors is required. Some incidents are required to be reported to relevant government authorities. Refer to 3.5 Activity leader required documentation for details.

The UPLOADS project (www.uploadsproject.org) goal is to develop a standardised, national approach to incident reporting and learning for the outdoor sector in Australia, and a corresponding national incident dataset. The information produced by UPLOADS will support providers and the sector in future injury prevention activities. Consideration should be given to reporting incidents and near misses to the Uploads Project.

3 Planning

3.1 Management and approval of activities

Clear management and approval processes help a provider manage risk effectively and consistently. The person(s) responsible for managing and approving processes, procedures and planswill vary based on the organisation’s context.

Processes must be established to approve:

  • the risk management process
  • the emergency management process
  • activity plans
  • leaders, assistant leaders and responsible adults to undertake the various roles and activities in activity plans, based on their competencies
  • the involvement of dependent participants who are minors and/or vulnerable dependent participants.

Supervision and management of activities should include but are not limited to the following components:

  • ensuring safety systems are implemented
  • correcting known problems or issues as quickly as possible
  • ensuring systems and processes are followed
  • ensuring that allocated leaders have the required and appropriate competence for their role and responsibilities
  • adequately screening participants to ensure suitability for the activity
  • ensuring program or activity design is suitable for the context in which it is being used
  • planning for everyday activities as well as contingencies.

Where part or all of an adventure activity is provided by a third party:

  • the responsibility for participants cannot be entirely delegated to the third party
  • reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the third party:
    • has a suitable activity plan
    • has a suitable risk management plan
    • has a suitable emergency management plan
    • employs activity leaders with the appropriate competence to supervise the activity
    • follows the relevant activity GPG(s)
    • complies with relevant land owner and/or manager requirements
    • complies with relevant law(s) and/or regulation(s).
3.2 Activity plans

An activity plan helps define and achieve objectives. There are many different ways to plan an activity. The detail and amount of planning can vary according to the individual context of the activity.

A process for developing activity plans should be implemented.

All activities should have an activity plan.

The activity plan should be documented.

3.2.1 Activity plan framework

The following activity plan framework should be used, with the components adapted to suit specific needs:

  • Risk management – What are the risks involved and how will they be managed?
  • Planning – What is the purpose of the activity, what needs to happen before it occurs and what is the emergency management plan?
  • Participants – Who will be involved in the activity?
  • Environment – Where will the activity take place and in what conditions?
  • Equipment and logistics – What logistical arrangements and/or equipment are needed to undertake the activity?
  • Leadership – Who will lead the activity and what competencies are required?

The AAAS and GPGs are structured using the above framework.

3.2.2 Purpose of activity

Having an understanding of the purpose of the activity informs decisions made both before and during the activity. An activity’s purpose should frame risk management for that activity, by making explicit the goals and level of acceptable risk. Establishing the purpose also facilitates decision-making before and during the activity, by establishing a clear point of reference for determining whether particular risks require modification or cancellation of the activity.

The purpose of an activity may include but is not limited to enjoyment or pleasure, educational benefits, personal development, skill development, contact with nature and/or health and wellbeing.

An activity plan must specify the primary and any secondary purpose(s) of the activity.

3.2.3 Modification or cancellation of activities

Modifications to or cancellation of the activity may occur before or during the activity for a variety of reasons.

Any modification should remain at or below the level of risk of the original planned activity. If the level of risk is greater than originally planned, then informed consent should be obtained again.

Factors which may influence decisions to modify or cancel an activity include the:

  • participants
  • environment
  • equipment and logistics
  • leadership and leaders.
3.3 Cultural, environmental and historical values

Adventure activities occur in a range of built and natural environments and these may have significant cultural, environmental, spiritual or historical values. These values should be considered during planning to minimise impact, demonstrate respect, ensure relevant permissions are obtained and to enable appropriate behaviours.

Some adventure activities may not be suitable in some locations because of cultural, spiritual, historical or environmental reasons. For example, abseiling, mountain biking or photography may be considered inappropriate in or near Aboriginal art sites, historic ruins or other sensitive and declared areas (e.g. parts of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park).

3.3.1 Cultural and historical considerations

Respect should be given to the special status that custodians, owners or communities apply to natural areas and/or human-built structures, symbols, monuments.

Providers should seek prior and informed consent from appropriate custodians before planning access to sensitive areas.

Adventure activities should be culturally sensitive and respectful of the value systems of custodians or relevant communities.

Appropriate planning of adventure activities should include consideration of:

  • the cultural and environmental significance of areas
  • permit areas
  • sensitivity to others’ perspectives and beliefs
  • bio-cultural diversity
  • group size
  • the potential for, and impact of, abrasion or degradation through touching or photographing site features (e.g. aboriginal art, historical artefacts or ruins, sensitive flora etc)
  • appropriate dress and behavioural standards. This may include the need to cover the head/ dress appropriately in some religious or spiritual sites (e.g. gender specific sites, church, mosque)
  • the need for silence or minimal noise (e.g. breeding grounds, burial places etc).

3.3.2 Traditional owners and cultural heritage

For Traditional Owners connections to land and sea country are integral to cultural values, identity, traditions and heritage.

Adventure activity providers have a responsibility to recognise and respect native title rights, land rights and interests, and to ensure activities accord with the cultural and natural values of these areas. This SHOULD include:

  • identifying Traditional Owners and other Indigenous people with rights and interests in the area
  • ensuring awareness of the cultural significance of places and sites (e.g. consult with land managers, speak with Traditional Owners, online search etc)
  • where relevant, modifying the activity or location to avoid or reduce potential conflict
  • obtaining permission to enter sensitive areas prior to access
  • respecting traditional lore and customs as they align with Commonwealth and State law
  • acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land or sea country
  • abiding by regulations and other by-laws that may restrict or prohibit alcohol supply and consumption
  • complying with all reasonable requests from recognised Traditional Owners and other Indigenous people with interests.

3.3.3 Environmental sustainability principles

Environmental sustainable practices are important as they help protect Australia’s natural and cultural heritage. They also respect the rights of others to enjoy the environment during and after an activity.

Providers and participants should comply with the following seven Leave No Trace Australia (see www.lnt.org.au) sustainability principles:

  • plan ahead and prepare
  • travel and camp on durable surfaces
  • dispose of waste properly
  • leave what you find
  • minimise the impact of fire
  • respect wildlife
  • be considerate of your hosts and other visitors.

Any sustainability policies and/or procedures should link to one or more of the seven sustainability principles.

When selecting a sustainability policy or procedure, it should be the best method that suits the particular context in which it will be used.

Participants must be made aware of their responsibilities relating to relevant sustainability requirements and procedures.

For environmental sustainability procedures refer to Appendix J Environmental sustainability procedures.

3.4 Emergency management planning

Even with appropriate processes, practices and procedures in place, accidents and emergencies can still occur. Emergencies may include but are not limited to injury, illness or death, or a situation that significantly increases the risk of these events, such as a natural disaster. These are often sudden and unexpected, can significantly affect groups and individuals, and require an immediate response. Having a pre-existing plan assists in providing a timely and effective emergency response.

3.4.1 Emergency management framework

An emergency management framework complements the risk management plan and provides guidance on the processes and procedures that may be required in an emergency.

An emergency management framework should consider the following:

  • Planning
  • Preparation
  • Response
  • Recovery

Emergency processes and procedures must be documented in an emergency management plan.

Emergency processes and procedures must be periodically reviewed and updated to ensure continued relevance.

3.4.2 Emergency management plan

The emergency processes and procedures form an emergency management plan. The purpose of this plan is to provide steps to follow in the event of an emergency.

When developing and/or reviewing emergency processes and plans, consideration should be given to previous incidents.

The emergency management plans must be displayed and/or available in accordance with law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) (e.g. plans and signage for emergency exits, mustering points).

Activity leaders must be familiar with, and have immediate access to, the emergency management plan.

When necessary a suitable external, non-participating contact should be familiar with, and have immediate access to, the emergency management plan.

A summary of relevant emergency procedures should be one component of the pre-activity briefing (refer to 4.1.1 Information provided pre-activity).

Where there is only one activity leader, participants must be briefed on and have access to the emergency management plan so they may implement it if the activity leader is unable to.

For a framework for emergency management refer Appendix G Emergency management planning framework.

Communication with the non-participating contact where relevant, should occur as detailed in the emergency management plan to confirm the safety status of a group.

On the failure to receive confirmation of the safety of the group, the non-participating contact should commence the planned process or procedures to confirm or ensure the safety of the group.

3.4.3 Review of emergency management plan

The emergency management plan must be reviewed:

  • as often as necessary;
  • periodically at set intervals; and
  • whenever the plan has been implemented.

3.4.4 Reporting notifiable incidents

In some circumstances, incidents are required to be reported to authorities. Specific requirements vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Providers should inform themselves of the specific requirements applicable to them and their activities.

All fatalities must be reported to the police at the earliest possible opportunity.

If an incident involves search and rescue, police are generally the controlling agency and take charge of the incident. All other parties, including any non-participating contact, will be under the controlling agency’s direction.

An activity may occur in what is considered to be a workplace. Work health and safety law(s) and/or regulation(s) requires certain workplace incidents to be reported to the regulator for the jurisdiction in which it occurred. The type of incidents that fall into this category may include but are not limited to:

  • a fatality
  • a serious injury or illness
  • a dangerous incident.

Notifiable incidents under work health and safety law(s) and/or regulation(s) may relate to any person, whether they are an employee, contractor or a member of the public.

All applicable reporting processes, procedures and requirements must be included in the emergency management plan (refer to 3.4 Emergency management planning).

A reportable incident must be reported to all relevant authorities in the jurisdiction it occurred, in accordance with the requirements for the jurisdiction.

In the event of a reportable incident, the incident site must be preserved (as far as is reasonably practicable) until the relevant authority attends the site, or directs otherwise. The site may be disturbed to remove a deceased person, assist an injured person, make the site safe, or to take actions associated with a police investigation.

3.4.5 Work health and safety

Each jurisdiction has its own work health and safety law(s) and/or regulation(s), which may have different requirements and definitions for workplaces, serious injury, serious illness, dangerous incident and volunteer associations.

The ‘work health and safety’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

Some volunteer associations may be exempt from compliance with work health and safety law(s) and/or regulation(s). Even if exempt, volunteer associations should comply with general work health and safety duties.

3.5 Activity leader required documentation

Activity leadersmay need to have access to certain documentation to help provide the activity. This section does not address other documentation requirements that may apply to providers.

The activity leaders and, where applicable, an external non-participating contact must have access to all relevant documentation for the activity.

Documentation that must be available to activity leaders includes but is not limited to:

  • the activity plan (refer to 3.2 Activity plans) and relevant documents/checklists
  • the risk management plan (refer to 2.3 Risk management plan)
  • the emergency management plan (refer to 3.4.2 Emergency management plan)
  • names and emergency contact details for all participants, leaders, assistant leaders and responsible persons
  • current medical information for all participants, leaders, assistant leaders and responsible persons (4.4 Health and wellbeing)
  • licences, approvals or any access permits required (e.g. government departments, land managers, local councils or private landholders).

Documentation that may need to be available to activity leaders includes but is not limited to:

  • relevant public vehicle driving licence if transporting participants, along with vehicle and trailer registrations
  • participants’ consent for activity leaders to seek or provide medical assistance if required (refer to 4.1.2 Consent)
  • consent by a parent/legal guardian for minors or vulnerable persons to participate (refer to 4.1.2 Consent and 4.3.4 Parental or legal guardian consent)

4 Participants

4.1 Pre-activity communication

Pre-activity information and communication assists potential participants, parents/legal guardians and/or client organisations make an informed decision regarding participation in an activity.

4.1.1 Information provided pre-activity

Pre-activity information should provide a comprehensive introduction to the activity and its requirements.

Pre-activity information may be communicated in, but is not limited to, the following forms:

  • documentation
  • verbal discussions
  • presentations
  • videos.

Pre-activity information must be accurate at that time, relevant and provided at the appropriate time.

Pre-activity information should clearly communicate the following:

  • the objectives, type, nature and duration of the activities and the environments in which they will take place
  • participant responsibilities
  • the fact that participantsare responsible for their own actions, both in relation to obvious risks that may be encountered and also in following the direction(s) and/or instruction(s) of the activity leader(s)
  • the need for participantsto bring concerns about their own safety, health and wellbeing and those of others to the attention of the activity leader(s)
  • personal equipment and physical ability required to safely participate
  • any pre-requisite skills or qualifications and any required or recommended prior experience
  • information regarding the foreseeable risks and benefits associated with participation
  • an appropriate summary of the risk management and/or emergency response strategies including any specific requirements, response timeframes and associated costs (e.g. an emergency would require a helicopter and the high cost indicating ambulance insurance is recommended, the possible evacuation response time of hours)
  • information regarding insurance and liability coverage held
  • background, role and contact details of the provider and/or activity leaders.

Consideration should be given to the capacity of non-English speakers and those with specific impairments (e.g. cognitive, hearing, etc.) to understand pre-activity information and communications.

Also refer to 7.11 Activity briefing

4.1.2 Consent

Confirmation that consent has been given to seek and/or provide emergency medical treatment if necessary must be obtained.

Methods of confirming consent may include but are not limited to:

  • completion of a consent form
  • confirmation that the appropriate consent has been obtained

Also refer to Error! Reference source not found..

4.1.3 Acknowledgement of risk

An acknowledgment of risk may assist in clarifying and confirming the understanding of the pre-activity briefing information.

Where an acknowledgement of risk is used, it may include but is not limited to:

  • the nature of the inherent risks
  • the possible consequences of those risks.
4.2 Participant restrictions

A participant may not be able to participant in an activity, for the safety of themselves, the provider, other participants or others. Reasons may include, but are not limited to, the participant:

  • being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, including prescription medication, that may affect performance
  • being unable or unwilling to follow instructions
  • having inadequate physical ability or experience for the activity
  • being ill or injured
  • behaving in a manner which is reckless and endangers themselves and/or others
  • having a condition that could impact on safety that cannot be appropriately managed
  • being fatigued to a level that endangers themselves or others
  • not having available the necessary equipment including safety or rescue equipment.

Consideration should be given to possible modification(s) or adjustments that could address the safety concerns.

The risk management plan should be used to determine what, how and when any restrictions to participate might apply.

An appropriate pre-activity assessment must be completed to ensure participants meet the necessary requirements to undertake the activity.

Determination of the ability to participate may occur before and/or during an activity.


4.3 Vulnerable participants

4.3.1 Who might be vulnerable

Vulnerable participants are dependent participants who are or may not be able to take care of themselves or protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation.

Reasons for a participant being considered a vulnerable participant may include but are not limited to:

  • being a minor (i.e. under the age of 18)
  • being an older person
  • living with or experiencing an illness, physical disability, mental health condition or intellectual disability.

4.3.2 Vulnerable person related requirements

The ‘vulnerable person safety protection’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

Legal requirements may include but are not limited to:

Groups containing minors and/or vulnerable participants should be supervised by a minimum of two adults either through direct supervision or indirect supervision. One of these adults may include a responsible person.

4.3.3 Safety of minors

When participants include a minor or minors, additional care is required to provide a child-safe environment. There is specific law(s), regulation(s) and/or requirements relating to minors.

The ‘child safety protection’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

4.3.4 Parental or legal guardian consent

Where participants are minors, confirmation that consent to participate has been given by their parent or legal guardian must be obtained.

Where a vulnerable participant who is not a minor is unable to provide informed consent, confirmation that consent to participate has been given by their parent or legal guardian must be obtained.

Pre-activity information should be provided to a parent or legal guardian before gaining their consent.

Also refer to 4.1.2 Consent

4.4 Health and wellbeing

4.4.1 Health and wellbeing of participants

Health, medical and other personal conditions may present hazards and risks that should be managed.

Participation can be affected by a variety of health, medical and other personal conditions, which may include but are not limited to:

  • those directly affecting a participant’s or activity leader’s ability to perform the activity
  • those affecting the participant’s or activity leader’s health in ways unrelated to performing the activity
  • those potentially risking the health and safety of the participant themselves and/or others.

The activity Risk Management Plan must address identified hazards and risks posed by health, medical and other personal conditions.

Refer Appendix H Health & wellbeing considerations for risk management for Health & Wellbeing Considerations for Risk Management.

Reasonable steps must be taken to account for known health, medical and other personal condition requirements (also refer to 4.2 Participant restrictions).

Where a risk management plan has identified health, medical and other personal conditions as likely to effect participation in an activity, all relevant information should be provided to activity leader/s.

Where the risk management plan has identified a health, medical or other personal condition as likely to affect a person’s ability to participate, then obtaining an appropriately qualified medical practitioner’s opinion should be considered.

Where an appropriately qualified medical practitioner’s opinion is obtained, it should include opinion on the suitability of a participant to undertake the planned/proposed activity including any medical management strategies being recommended. Reasonable steps should be taken to ensure the medical practitioner is informed of the context, physical nature and relevant risks involved in the proposed activity.

Where considered necessary, reasonable steps must be taken to obtain details about any relevant health, medical or other personal conditions identified in a risk management plan from each participant before commencing the activity.

Where appropriate, details of health, medical or other conditions, including medications currently used and any medical management strategies advised by a medical practitioner for individual participants should be documented.

Confirmation should be obtained that medication currently being used and/or prescribed, does not present effects identified in risk management plan that could affect the safe performance of the activity.

4.4.2 Allergies and anaphylaxis

In some jurisdictions, specific laws and regulations concerning minors require procedures and actions to be taken in relation to food and other allergies.

The ‘allergy and anaphylaxis safety for minors’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

Also refer to Appendix H3 Allergy and anaphylaxis safety for minors law(s) and/or regulation(s) considerations.

4.4.3 Alcohol, smoking and other drugs

Being under the influence of alcohol, some types of medication and other drugs can affect performance during an activity.

Alcohol, non-prescribed and/or illicit drug consumption should be discouraged during an activity or at a time before an activity where it could still have an effect on performance.

Also refer to the considerations regarding medications in Appendix H Health & wellbeing considerations for risk management.

Smoking has health implications not only for the smoker, but also for those that inhale exhaled smoke (i.e. passive smoking).

Smoking should be discouraged and/or appropriately managed during an activity while:

  • in the proximity of others
  • during food preparation
  • in the proximity of equipment that is liable to be damaged
  • on days where there is a high bushfire danger due to the risk of fire starting as a result of inappropriate use or disposal.

Smokers must be required to move to a location that ensures other participants are not exposed to the smoke.

An appropriate method for disposing of cigarette butts must be provided.

4.5 Privacy of information

Given that sensitive participant information like medical conditions may be required, it is important to protect that information and ensure their privacy is respected.

The ‘privacy’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

Also refer to Appendix I Privacy of information.

4.6 Gender considerations

The way gender considerations and discrimination are managed during an activity can have a direct impact on participants’ personal wellbeing and is therefore a safety risk management consideration.

For groups including minors and/or vulnerable participants, supervision should include at least one person of the same gender as each minor and/or vulnerable participant.

The ‘sex discrimination’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

Areas addressed in sex discrimination policies and procedures may include but are not limited to:

  • sex
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity
  • intersex status
  • marital or relationship status
  • pregnancy
  • breastfeeding.
4.7 Cultural and religious considerations

There should be policies and procedures in place to address cultural and religious considerations in delivering activities.

Cultural and religious consideration policies or procedures may include but are not limited to:

  • impact of dress requirements on activity practicalities and safety
  • respecting others beliefs and practices
  • respecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and cultural sites
  • requirements for appropriate social interactions
  • requirements for specific food exclusions
  • requirements for specific cooking arrangements.

Also refer to Cultural, environmental and historical values in Planning and J7 Be considerate of your hosts and other visitors and Land owner and/or manager requirements.

5 Environment

The environment can affect the safety of the activity. It is also important that everyone involved in activities takes responsibility for protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the areas they visit.

This section covers environmental conditions that are generally relevant across many activities. Some activities require more specific measures and/or considerations. These are set out in the specific activity GPG.

5.1 Environment related planning

A risk management plan must address all relevant environmental conditions.

Environmental conditions that should be considered include but are not limited to:

  • weather forecasts, warnings and associated conditions (e.g. dry, snowmelt, heat, wind, rain, lightning) at the location and for the duration of the activity
  • climatic conditions (e.g. drought, rain saturation, humidity)
  • knowledge of the landscape of the activity area and how it relates to environmental conditions (e.g. is it sheltered or exposed, lightly treed or heavily timbered)
  • the prevailing conditions of the area and what implications this has for environmental conditions (e.g. a long period of drought could affect the bushfire potential or the stability of trees during a strong wind event, during a wet period this can affect the likelihood of rivers and streams rising quickly)
  • the potential access and egress routes, including for evacuation if this is required (e.g. are there river crossings, potential road closures, alternative routes)

5.1.1 Trigger points

A trigger point is a particular circumstance or situation that causes an action to occur.

Trigger points and actions to be taken in response should be developed before the activity.

A trigger point may be based on but is not limited to:

  • a quantifiable or forecasted measure of particular weather or environmental conditions occurring (e.g. wind speed, temperature, river level)
  • a specific or forecasted event occurring (e.g. lightning, strong winds)
  • an index or rating reaching or forecasted to reach a specified level (e.g. fire danger rating).

Weather-related trigger points can be based on forecast and/or actual conditions. Consideration should be given to the possibility that actual conditions can be better or worse than forecast.

Reaching a trigger point sets in motion a responsive action, which may include but is not limited to:

  • monitoring the conditions more regularly
  • modifying the activity
  • ceasing the activity
  • evacuating the area.

When developing trigger points and actions or events the following must be considered:

  • trigger points and recommended actions of the authorities
  • trigger points and recommended or required actions of land managers or land owners
  • the context of the activity being undertaken.

Examples of possible trigger points and actions are:

  • a total fire ban is announced causing the activity to be altered
  • winds of 25 knots are predicted causing changes to a canoeing journey on a large lake
  • the fire danger rating reaches ‘catastrophic’ causing evacuation of a high bushfire risk zone.

5.1.2 Climate and weather

Climate is the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area. Weather is the current meteorological conditions in a particular area.

Adverse weather that can affect activities includes but is not limited to:

  • strong winds
  • extreme heat or cold
  • extreme bushfire weather conditions
  • lightning
  • rain, hail or snow.

Seasonal and other climatic changes that can affect activities include but are not limited to:

  • reduced or increased rainfall (e.g. high rain increasing potential for flash flooding; drought increasing potential for falling trees or branches)
  • increased snowfall (e.g. high snowfall increasing avalanche risk).

A system should be in place to inform leaders in a timely manner if a severe weather warning has been issued for the area in which the activity is taking place.

Weather forecasts and alerts must be reviewed as part of the risk assessment before commencing an activity.

Monitoring of weather conditions must be undertaken during the activity.

Updated weather forecasts and warnings should be accessed or monitored during the activity.

Where communicating or receiving weather warnings may not be possible, then particular attention should be paid to:

  • the likelihood and potential consequences of the severe weather hazards and risks
  • the competence of the activity leaders and participants being able to manage severe weather hazards and risks.

Adverse climate and weather conditions may require action, including but not limited to:

  • consideration of an alternative venue
  • modification or cancellation of the activity.

In all weather activity leaders should:

  • encourage appropriate fluid intake to help avoid dehydration.

In hot weather activity leaders should:

  • where possible, conduct physically demanding activities in the cooler part of the day
  • monitor for heat-related illness (e.g. heatstroke).

In cold weather activity leaders should:

  • monitor for cold-related illness (e.g. hypothermia).

5.1.3 Sun safety

Reasonable steps should be taken to protect everyone involved in the activity from the adverse effects of sun exposure.

Measures may include but are not limited to:

  • wearing activity and weather appropriate sun protective clothing
  • wearing activity and weather appropriate hats
  • wearing appropriate eye protection
  • having available and encouraging the use of sunscreen (SPF 30+)
  • using shaded areas whenever appropriate (e.g. while taking breaks).

5.1.4 Severe weather sites

A severe weather site is a location that provides shelter or protection from the hazards associated with severe weather conditions.

Severe weather sites should be predetermined during the activity planning and/or risk management process (refer to 3.2 Activity plans and 2.3 Risk management plan).

In determining severe weather sites, consideration should be given to:

  • how safe movement to the site is prior to or during a severe weather event
  • how practical it is to reach and use the site.
5.2 Bushfires, prescribed fire and fire danger

Bushfires in natural environments can be caused though both natural (e.g. lightning strikes) and man-made (e.g. accidental, prescribed fire) ignition sources.

Prescribed fire is a planned burning operation of vegetation by land owners or managers to meet management objectives.

Bushfire is a natural hazard that is related to severe weather, but can still occur without the weather meeting the severe weather definition. A fire danger period is a designated time of the year when there is a heightened bushfire risk. Prescribed fire operations are most likely to occur outside or on ‘the shoulders’ of fire danger periods, so that natural areas may be impacted by one or the other for longer periods of the year.

Bushfire-related risksmay be influenced by but are not limited to:

  • the type of environment the activity is conducted in
  • climate
  • seasonal conditions
  • current weather conditions
  • type and amount of fuel in the area
  • likelihood and risk of a bushfire starting
  • time elapsed since a fire last occurred in the area
  • ease of entry to and exit from the area
  • topography of the area.


The ‘bushfire and fire danger’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

Authorities (e.g. fire services), land owners and land managers may have restrictions and conditions relating to activities conducted during fire danger periods and/or in areas affected by bushfires or prescribed fire.

Any restrictions, conditions and closures imposed by land owners, land managers or appropriate public safety authorities must be complied with.

The risk(s), likelihood(s) and types of impact(s) due to bushfire conditions and prescribed fire should be considered in the activity planning and the risk management plan.

Activities affected by planned or actual prescribed fire operations should consider use of alternative locations.

Areas affected by bushfire can be closed or have restricted access because of but not limited to:

  • increased danger of tree and limbs falling
  • increased danger of landslides
  • increased danger of flash flooding
  • allowing regeneration to occur
  • avoiding weed and pest infestation.

Bushfire and prescribed fire condition forecasts and alerts must be reviewed as part of the dynamic risk assessment prior to commencing an activity.

The monitoring of bushfire conditions should be undertaken regularly and, where practical, updated bushfire condition forecasts, warnings and alerts accessed throughout the activity.

5.2.1 Bushfire trigger points

Trigger points must be based on the fire danger rating.

The risk management plan and emergency management plan should include guidance on trigger points and associated actions for forecasted bushfire danger ratings of very high, severe, extreme and catastrophic, and if a bushfire event occurs.

5.2.2 Bushfire safety procedures

Procedures to minimise the potential for starting bushfires during activities may include but are not limited to:

  • extinguishing cigarette butts and collecting ash in a suitable container
  • checking there are no restrictions on lighting of fires (e.g. land manager requirements, fire danger period bans)
  • checking before lighting a fire it is safe to do so in the current weather conditions
  • extinguishing fires and ash waste completely using water
  • lighting fires in areas with a fuel free perimeter, away from vegetation (both ground and overhanging) and any buildings or equipment (e.g. tents)
5.3 Tree safety

The threat of falling trees and/or branches is a common hazard for adventure activities.

The hazards posed by trees must be assessed and appropriately managed. The impact of severe weather on venue safety must be assessed and appropriately managed

5.4 Drinking water safety

The ‘drinking water safety’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

Procedures used must protect drinking water sources from the possibility of pollution or contamination from human waste, activities and/or rubbish.

During the activity there should be access to sufficient water to meet anticipated requirements. This may include but is not limited to:

  • accessing water from a water source
  • carrying quantities appropriate for the type of activity, its anticipated intensity and weather conditions.
    An appropriate water purification method should be used when the water quality is unknown.
5.5 Food safety

Handling of food intended for sale or the sale of food, can mean compliance with specific food handling laws and/or regulations. The ‘sale of food’ for the purposes of laws and/or regulations may include but is not limited to supplying food together with accommodation, services or entertainment.

The ‘food handling and safety’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

Regardless of whether or not compliance with an act or regulation is required, there must be procedures to ensure food provided is safe and hygienically prepared and served.

Food safety measures may include but are not limited to:

  • appropriate storage of food to avoid it spoiling
  • stored securely to prevent it being accessed by wildlife
  • appropriate selection of food that can be safely stored for the type, length and location of the activity
  • appropriate selection of food that meets any specific dietary, medical or allergy requirements
  • equipment suitable for the hygienic preparation and serving of food
  • equipment for cleaning the food preparation and serving equipment
  • procedures and equipment to ensure the personal hygiene of those preparing and eating food
  • procedures and appropriate equipment (including for storage) to prevent cross-contamination of food that may cause an allergic reaction
  • appropriate supervision to ensure safety and hygiene procedures are implemented.
5.6 Wildlife safety

Wildlife safety measures may include but are not limited to:

  • observing wildlife from a safe distance
  • not feeding wildlife

Refer to the activity GPGs for specific activity considerations.

5.7 Land owner and/or manager requirements

Land owners or land managers have access restrictions. Land managers or land owners in different jurisdictions can have different requirements.

Access restrictions may be due to but not limited to:

  • limiting the impact of overuse (e.g. limiting numbers using an area)
  • protecting a particular and/or significant natural or cultural heritage site
  • stopping inappropriate use
  • reducing the likelihood of a hazard (e.g. banning campfires to reduce bushfire risk)
  • preventing the possibility of accidents occurring.

The ‘land owner and/or land manager’ law(s), regulation(s) and/or requirements must be determined and complied with.

When conducting activities, the restrictions, regulations, permits or licensing requirements of the land owner and/or land manager must be followed.


6 Equipment and logistics

6.1 Framework for equipment requirements

The following framework may assist in determining that the required equipment is available.

Equipment can be categorised into the following:

  • group equipment – equipment that is shared among the whole group during the activity
  • leader equipment – equipment that the leader(s) need to lead the activity
  • participant equipment – equipment that participants will need to participate in the activity
  • emergency and/or rescue equipment – equipment the leader(s) or group may need to conduct a rescue during the activity or in the event of an emergency
6.2 Equipment requirements

Details of the equipment requirements for particular activities are provided in the relevant activity GPG. Equipment requirements may differ depending on the context.

Equipment selected must be suitable for the purpose for which it is to be used.

Activity leaders should be satisfied that all participants have access to suitable equipment.

Where participants are required to provide specific equipment, a checklist of items should be provided in advance.

Procedures should ensure all activity leaders and participants have access to the equipment required. A checklist for the equipment required should be developed and used as part of the procedure

6.3 First aid equipment and medication

As a minimum, the first aid equipment provided must meet any applicable work health and safety laws and/or regulation in the relevant jurisdiction(s).

First aid equipment should comply with the Australian Standard AS 2675-1983: Portable first aid kits for use by consumers or its equivalent.

First aid equipment must be:

  • reasonably accessible
  • appropriate and adequate for the activity and context
  • maintained in a hygienic, safe and serviceable condition.

The first aid equipment provided must be relevant to the activity and the context.

A process must be implemented to ensure perishable first aid supplies are within their expiry date.

Medication must be appropriately stored.

The factors that determine the first aid and medication requirements may include but are not limited to:

  • the level of first aid or medical training required for its use
  • the size of the group
  • the age of the participants
  • pre-existing medical conditions within the group
  • the remoteness of the activity
  • the ease with which the emergency services can be contacted
  • the likely time for emergency services to reach an injured or ill person
  • the nature and severity of likely injuries or illnesses
  • the ability to transport and/or carry the equipment.

Refer to Appendix K – First aid and medication considerations for a list of first aid and meditation kit items

6.4 Communications equipment

The type of communications equipment must be appropriate for the context of the activity, the potential hazards and risks involved, and the emergency response plan in place.
The type of communications system used may include but is not limited to:

  • mobile phone
  • satellite phone
  • two-way satellite texting device
  • two-way radio (e.g. UHF radio transceiver)
  • trunked radio
  • emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
  • personal locator beacon (PLB)
  • tracking device
  • emergency flares.

6.5 Use of equipment

All equipment must be used with reference to the manufacturer’s instructions and limitations.

Prior to the use of equipment, all relevant people must receive appropriate training.

Equipment must be used with appropriate supervision as dictated by the context of its use.

All equipment should be checked for serviceability prior to use.

All appropriate procedures should be taken to avoid damage to the equipment.

Appropriate training, instruction, equipment and/or processes should be used for the safe manual handling of heavy equipment or materials.


6.6 Transport

The ‘transport’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be determined and complied with.

Appropriate driver and transport policy and procedures must be established and implemented.

Driver and transport activities and requirements must be considered during activity planning (see 3.2 Activity plans) and risk management planning (see (see 2.3 Risk management plan)

Driver and transport policies and procedures established may include but are not limited to:

  • identification of current transport legal requirements
  • driver competence requirements
  • confirmation drivers hold correct licences and periodic licence checking
  • driver health and fitness
  • drug and alcohol requirements
  • fatigue management
  • training requirements including ‘defensive driving’ techniques
  • types of vehicles used (e.g. requirements, appropriateness) and licensing requirements
  • vehicle usage and limits (e.g. weight, passengers)
  • cargo requirements including types, loading and securing
  • vehicle equipment (e.g. fire extinguishers, first aid kits, breakdown hazard signs)
  • breakdown and roadside assistance service procedures
  • other emergencies (e.g. a violent or road rage situation)
  • transport authority injury reporting requirements
  • maintenance of vehicles and road worthiness checks
  • manual handling techniques for loading and unloading
  • driver communications and mobile phone use
  • parking
  • passenger management
  • site traffic management (e.g. safety at pick-up and drop-off points)
  • speed limits
  • use of seat belts
  • vehicle security.
6.7 Maintenance of equipment

The care and maintenance of the equipment is the responsibility of the owners and operators.

All appropriate steps should be taken to care for equipment with reference to the manufacturer’s instructions.

A process should be implemented to maintain equipment.

An equipment maintenance log should be kept.

For equipment where the usage needs to be tracked to ensure it remains within safety guidelines, standards or manufacturer’s instructions, an equipment usage log should be kept.

All equipment should be checked and any damaged or worn items that are no longer fit for use appropriately marked and removed from service.

6.8 Storage of equipment

Storage should be with reference to the manufacturer’s storage instructions or recommendations.

7 Leadership

Leadership and the performance of the leader(s) and assistant leader(s) during an activity, while not the only factor, is particularly important in ensuring an activity is conducted in a way that appropriately manages the risks involved and achieves the stated goals.

This section identifies a framework for leadership roles and competencies that are shared for all activities. In addition, each adventure activity will have competencies specific to that activity, which are listed in the relevant activity GPGs.

7.1 Framework for leadership roles

The current competencies needed for an activity may differ depending on the type of leadership role required or being undertaken during the activity.

The leadership roles are categorised as either leader, assistant leader or responsible person.

Using these categories as a framework can help identify the type of roles the activity requires to ensure the appropriate level of competence are available to lead the activity.

Leader: a currently competent person who takes overall responsibility for participants, and is able to lead and supervise an adventure activity.

Assistant leader: a currently competent person within the role, who takes some responsibility for participants and is able to lead or supervise delegated elements or tasks of an adventure activity.

Responsible person: a competent person who is able to complete those delegated elements or tasks during an activity that do not require all of the activity-specific competence of a leader or assistant leader. A responsible person therefore may not necessarily have the competence to act as a leader or assistant leader, but is deemed as being capable of accepting responsibility for selected tasks. A responsible person does not assume responsibility of technical aspects of the activity.

For example, a responsible person may be delegated the management of the participants while waiting to undertake an activity, such as when a teacher supervises students waiting to undertake an activity, while the leader and/or assistant leader supervises subgroups of students that are undertaking the activity.

Activity leaders: Activity leaders is the collective noun for leader(s) and assistant leader(s).

7.2 Naming conventions

The name used to signify any leader may be based on but is not limited to:

  • the providers preferred usage
  • the generally accepted industry term used for the type of activity being undertaken
  • how a specific activity GPG describes the activity leader roles
  • how a specific activity qualification describes the activity leader roles.

Where the activity leader terminology used in an activity GPG is different to the terminology of the AAAS or Core GPG, the terms must be mapped to the equivalent activity leader term described in the Core GPG.

The equivalent terms should be documented.

For example:

The climbing activity GPG of the Australian AAS may use ‘lead instructor’ to refer to the leader. A provider may use ‘instructor’ instead.

Mapping the roles would indicate that: instructor (provider’s term) = lead instructor (activity GPG term) = leader (Core GPG term).

The rafting activity GPG may use ‘trip leader’ to refer to the leader and ‘guide’ for additional leader(s). A provider may use ‘head guide’ and ‘guide’ respectively.

Mapping the roles indicates that:

  • head guide (provider’s term) = trip leader (activity GPG term) = leader (Core GPG term)
  • guide (provider’s term) = guide (activity GPG term) = assistant leader (Core GPG term).
7.3 Leader role

There may be more than one leader for an activity.

Where there is more than one leader involved in an activity there must be one designated leader taking ultimate responsibility for that activity, including appropriate supervision of any other activity leaders.

The competencies required of leaders must be identified and based on the role and/or responsibilities required.

The competencies required for the roles and responsibilities of a leader must be documented.

A leader must be given the appropriate authority to make decisions in relation to activity safety.

A leader must comply with law(s), regulation(s) and other expected requirements.

Leaders should undertake professional development to improve their competencies.

Leaders should maintain their competencies through regular participation in activities.

Also refer to the Core Good Practice Guide – Recognition of competencies.

7.4 Assistant leader role

The competencies required of assistant leaders must be identified and based on the role and/or responsibilities required.

The competencies required for the roles and responsibilities of an assistant leader must be documented.

All activity leaders irrespective of role should have the competence to move the participants to safety if required.

An assistant leader may take responsibility for some part of an activity.

An assistant leader must have the current competencies to support to the leader in conducting the activity with participants.

An assistant leader may have responsibility for a group of participants, within his/her competencies, under direct or indirect supervision of the leader.

An assistant leader should undertake profession development to assist in the improvement of their competencies. An assistant leader should maintain their competencies through regular participation in activities

An assistant leader should undertake profession development to assist in the improvement of their competencies.

An assistant leader should maintain their competencies through regular participation in activities

7.5 Responsible person role

A responsible person may supervise participants while under direct or indirect supervision of an activity leader, when they have the appropriate competence to provide the necessary level of supervision.

The responsible person‘s role may include but is not limited to:

  • assisting within their competence the activity leader(s) as instructed
  • assisting within their competence the activity leader(s) to directly or indirectly supervise the group
  • providing support to participant(s)
  • managing behavioural issues of participants
  • managing the policies and practices of the participant’s organisation (e.g. a teacher overseeing education department requirements like student behaviour standards)
  • acting in loco parentis for minors participating in the activity
  • assisting, where required, in meeting any gender supervision requirements (refer to 4.6 Gender considerations).
7.6 Competencies

This section outlines the competencies that activity leaders should have.

7.6.1 Competencies overview

The AAAS and Good Practice Guides refers to units from the Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package for descriptive statements of the knowledge and skills required of activity leaders.

The Training Package units are used for the sole purpose of providing descriptions for the knowledge and skills required. It is not intended to imply or require that specific formal training, assessment or qualification is the only means of gaining or recognising knowledge and skills.

Activity providers can recognise activity leaders as having the ‘ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve expected results’ (i.e. competencies) in a number of different ways as detailed in 7.7 Recognition of competence.

The Training Package units listed can be found by searching for the units on the training.gov.au/Home/Tga website. The code provided with the unit name assists in this search.

7.6.2 Common activity leader competencies

Providers must determine the competencies required by activity leaders based on the context of the activity.

An activity leader must have the competence to take appropriate action in the event of a foreseeable emergency.

All activity leaders must have the competencies listed in Appendix M – Leader competencies.

7.6.3 First aid competencies

Due to the nature of activities, there is the potential for injury or illness. Preparation to deal with any foreseeable injuries or illnesses, such as providing suitable equipment and undergoing appropriate training, will help with the response to any such occurrences.

As a minimum, the level of first aid training required must meet any applicable work health and safety laws and/or regulation in the relevant jurisdiction(s).

The level of first aid training required must be relevant to the activity and the context.

The factors that determine the level of first aid training relevant may include but are not limited to:

  • the age of the group
  • pre-existing medical conditions within the group
  • the remoteness of the activity
  • the ease with which the emergency services can be contacted
  • the likely time for emergency services to reach an injured or ill person
  • the nature and severity of likely injuries or illness.

The minimum requirement for first aid training must be as listed in Appendix M – Leader competencies.

A higher level of first aid qualification should be used for activities and programs that are in remote areas, as listed in Appendix M – Leader competencies.

Leaders and assistant leaders with the same group may not have the same level of first aid training, as long as:

  • one of them has the appropriate level of training for the context;
  • the minimum requirement is met; and
  • any relevant work health and safety Act requirements are met.

The competence recognition pathway for first aid training must be a training qualification (refer L1 Training qualification and/or training course).

Also refer to 6.3 First aid equipment and medication

7.7 Recognition of competence

Leadersand assistant leaders require a range of skills, knowledge, experience, attitudes and attributes along with sound judgment to be able to competently lead and supervise an activity.

The determination of competence to lead an activity can be achieved in a range of ways. The following provides guidance on how this may be achieved.

7.7.1 Framework

Providers responsible for the delivery of an activity must be responsible for selecting suitably competent persons to lead and supervise that activity.

Providers must decide how to determine the competence of activity leaders using ethical and sound practices.

Leaders and assistant leaders of activities can have competencies recognised through a number of pathways.

Factors to be considered when determining an appropriate framework for the recognition of competence may include but are not limited to:

  • participant, client, outdoor sector and/or community expectations
  • client organisation, community and/or government department requirements (e.g. laws, regulations, guidelines)
  • human and/or financial resources available
  • the set of skills, knowledge, experience, attitudes and/or attributes required for specific contexts
  • best practice using appropriately competent assessors
  • professional and ethical behaviour from those assessing competencies.

7.7.2 Process

Providers must have a documented process to recognise the competence of activity leaders.

Providers must use a recognition pathway or pathways appropriate to the context.

7.7.3 Benchmarking

As there are a number of pathways by which to recognise competence, a benchmark is necessary as a point of reference. This is to enable the competence or achievement to be measured or judged via a common level irrespective of the pathway. Benchmarking is comparing the competence or achievement described by any of the recognition pathways to this common level.

The benchmark that must be used is described in the Competencies section and the Competencies section in each specific activity Good practice Guide.

7.7.4 Recognition pathways

The pathways used for recognising competence may include but are not limited to:

  • training qualifications and/or a training course
  • outdoor sector or organisational accreditation system
  • leader registration scheme
  • peer recognition and verification process.

A combination of pathways may be used.

Guidance relating to the use of the above recognition pathways is in Appendix L – Recognition of competence pathways.

7.7.5 Ensuring current competence

Recognition of competence may include a time element, and this should be considered when determining leader competence.

The currency of competence requirements must be determined by the risk management process.

The means of determining the currency of an activity leader’s competence may include but are not limited to:

  • direct observation or supervision
  • log books
  • performance reviews
  • peer verification
  • requalification or reassessment
  • attending technical training
  • upgrading of training or qualifications.

The timeframes used to establish the current competence of activity leaders must be determined by:

  • any time limitations imposed as a requirement as stipulated by the relevant recognition pathway; or (where not stipulated)
  • using the specific risk assessment requirements as they relate to the context in which they are being applied.

For example, some recognition pathways have a time limit that requires re-certification or reassessment after it has expired (e.g. first aid qualifications). Others have no time limit but cannot assure current competence in the activity unless tested and/or it is demonstrated that the skills are used regularly (e.g. qualification in outdoor recreation obtained a number of years ago).

For example, if a canoe organisation accreditation system imposes a three-year time limit, this should be used to guide the timeframe used. However, the time limits on a peer recognition system may require determination using the provider’s risk assessment.

7.7.6 Verification of information provided

Steps should be taken to verify information provided relating to an activity leader’s competence.

Means of verifying information may include but are not limited to:

  • requesting copies of documentary evidence
  • confirming documents are authentic (e.g. by contacting the document issuer, viewing or obtaining certified copies)
  • conducting referee checks
  • assessing logged experience
  • assessing previous employee reviews
  • assessing feedback from previous participants
  • confirming skills assessment(s) through peer recognition or verification.
7.8 Supervision and management during the activity

Supervision should be ongoing throughout the activity.

7.8.1 Levels of supervision

The level of supervision required for participants may vary or depend on the context.

The levels of supervision framework is:

  • direct supervision
  • indirect supervision
  • remote supervision.

The framework can also be used for describing the supervision requirements of activity leaders.

7.8.1.1 Direct supervision

Direct supervision is where a nominated activity leader responsible for managing participants during all or part of the adventure activity is able to intervene immediately.

An activity leader must be present at all times where a risk assessment identifies the need for direct supervision.

7.8.1.2 Indirect supervision

Indirect supervision is where a nominated activity leader responsible for managing participants during all or part of the adventure activity is in the vicinity but unable to intervene immediately.

Prior to the use of indirect supervision, a risk assessment of the activity must be undertaken to ensure activity leaders have the competence and resources to intervene in an appropriate manner if necessary.

Where a risk assessment identifies the ability to use indirect supervision, the activity leader must also be satisfied that the participants have the necessary competence for the activity before allowing the participants to be supervised indirectly.

Full details of responsibilities and how indirect supervision functions must be provided to participants before the activity starts.

Where a participant is a minor or vulnerable, details of responsibilities and how indirect supervision functions should be provided to the parent and/or guardian prior to obtain their consent.

When indirect supervision is used, the activity leader must ensure:

  • an appropriate risk assessment has been completed
  • participants are sufficiently trained and assessed as competent for the level of activity to be undertaken
  • participants are competent in safe conduct and any emergency procedures
  • participants are appropriately equipped
  • clear and understandable boundaries are set for all participants
  • there are clear communication lines between participants and activity leaders
  • progress of each participant is monitored
  • there is a recognised point at which the activity is completed
  • when the activity cannot be safely completed, there are clear arrangements to adjust the level of supervision, or adjust or terminate the activity.

7.8.1.3 Remote supervision

Remote supervision is where a nominated activity leader responsible for managing participants during all or part of the adventure activity, is not involved in direct or indirect supervision and is unlikely to be in the vicinity, and would therefore take time to respond.

Prior to the use of remote supervision, a risk assessment of the activity must be undertaken to ensure the activity leader has the competence and resources to intervene in an appropriate manner if necessary.

Where a risk assessment identifies the ability to use remote supervision, those providing the remote supervision must also be satisfied that those being supervised, have the necessary competence for the activity before allowing the participants to be supervised remotely.

Full details of responsibilities and how remote supervision functions must be provided to those being supervised before the activity starts.

Where a participant is a minor or vulnerable, details of responsibilities and how remote supervision functions should be provided to the parent and/or legal guardian prior to obtaining their consent.

When remote supervision is used, the activity leader must ensure:

  • an appropriate risk assessment has been completed
  • participants are sufficiently trained and assessed as competent for the level of activity to be undertaken
  • participants are competent in safe conduct and any emergency procedures
  • participants are appropriately equipped
  • clear and understandable boundaries are set for all
  • participants are given guidance as to the level of activity difficulty their current pre-activity or existing training is suitable for (e.g. white water river grade, walking trails classification)
  • there are clear communication lines between the remote supervisor and those being supervised
  • progress of each person is monitored
  • there is a recognised point at which the activity is completed
  • when the activity cannot be safely completed, there are clear arrangements to adjust the level of supervision, or adjust or terminate the activity.

Remote supervision of the activity may include but is not limited to:

  • the use of communications technology (e.g. scheduled radio or phone calls)
  • using GPS tracking devices
  • visits or other checks (e.g. log books at specific locations)
  • checking-out when commencing and checking-in on completion.

7.8.2 Indirect and remote supervision instruction considerations

Considerations for the instructions given in indirect and remote supervision situations may include but are not limited to:

  • start and finish times and locations
  • clear geographical boundaries
  • required or prohibited activities
  • explanation of additional responsibilities placed on those being supervised in this manner
  • where and how the remote supervisor can contact the group
  • where and how the group can contact the remote supervisor
  • whether there will be active monitoring of the group’s progress
  • any arrangements to pause indirect or remote supervision should this become necessary
  • whether details of intentions need to be reported and/or recorded for all or part of the activity
  • requirements for reporting when starting and finishing.

7.8.3 Leadership of training activities

There are situations in which to achieve training and/or development outcomes, some activities may be conducted without direct or indirect supervision of a leader.

For example, parts of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, youth programs such as Scouts and outdoor leadership training programs through education providers.

Where participants are to undertake an activity without direct or indirect supervision, remote supervision should be considered.

In these situations, a leader should ensure where possible that:

  • the participants understand the planned outcome(s) from involvement
  • the participants have undertaken all necessary pre-activity training
  • the participants are appropriately equipped
  • all necessary logistical and organisational arrangements have been made
  • an appropriate risk assessment has been completed
  • an appropriate emergency response plan is in place
  • the participants are given guidance as to the level of activity difficulty their current pre-activity or existing training is suitable for (e.g. white water river grade, walking trails classification).

7.8.4 Medication and other drugs

Alcohol and other drug consumption should be discouraged during an activity or at a time prior to an activity where they could still have an effect on performance.

The effects of medication currently being used and/or prescribed to activity leaders should be considered to ensure they do not affect performance and lead to safety concerns (e.g. do not cause drowsiness or dizziness).

7.8.5 Fatigue

Physical and/or mental fatigue can cause risk management and safety issues.

Reasonable steps must be taken to ensure the appropriate resources and processes to manage the risks associated with fatigue are in place and are used.

Management of the risks associated with fatigue may include but are not limited to:

  • appropriate allocation of roles and responsibilities
  • appropriate scheduling and planning of activity times
  • appropriate travel arrangements both before and after the adventure activity
  • control measures for specific tasks, jobs and operations
  • self-assessment checklists
  • procedures for reporting fatigue hazards and risks
  • procedures for managing those who are fatigued
  • providing information, instruction, training and supervision
  • monitoring and reviewing procedures and control measures.
7.9 Group size

When determining maximum and minimum group sizes, the following should be considered:

  • the safety of the group and individuals
  • the objective for the activity
  • the ability of the whole group to take part and complete the activity in the time available
  • land owner(s) or manager(s) specific restrictions or requirements
  • the expected environmental impact of the activity
  • the activity leaders’ and participants’ level of experience
  • the activity leaders’ training or competence and associated restrictions
  • participant(s) expected dispositions (e.g. behaviours, additional needs)
  • the potential impact on other users
  • expected and foreseeable conditions (e.g. environment, remoteness, weather)
  • equipment suitability and availability.
7.10 Activity leader to participant ratios

The ratio of competent activity leader(s) to participants is a tool used to ensure appropriate supervision of participants. Also refer to 7.1 Framework for leadership roles, 7.3 Leader role, 7.4 Assistant leader role and 7.5 Responsible person role.

The ratio used should be determined and justified by the risk management process.

The ratio used should be set by a competent person with knowledge of the activity and its context.

When determining ratios, factors that should be considered include but are not limited to:

  • outcomes of the risk management process
  • the safety of the group and individuals
  • the objectives for the activity
  • land owner(s) or manager(s) specific restrictions or requirements
  • the activity leaders’ level of experience
  • the activity leaders’ training or competence and associated restrictions
  • participant(s) expected dispositions (e.g. behaviours, additional needs)
  • equipment available
  • available access to support
  • participants’ expected capabilities (e.g. experience, competence, fitness)
  • the type of activity undertaken
  • expected and possible environmental conditions (e.g. weather, terrain)
  • planned activity duration
  • recommended group size (refer to (refer to 7.9 Group size)
  • location remoteness
  • availability of communications
  • equipment suitability and availability.

An accompanying responsible person (refer to 7.1 Framework for leadership roles and 7.4 Assistant leader role) without the relevant activity competencies must not be considered an activity leader for determining ratios.

A responsible person may be responsible for the welfare and general supervision of participant(s), including but not limited to:

  • while participates are waiting to undertake the activity
  • acting as the legal guardian of participant(s)
  • providing gender balance for the purposes of resolving gender consideration requirements (refer to 4.6 Gender considerations)

Responsible person(s) must be included in the activity leader to participant ratio calculation where they are a dependent participant in the activity. For example, an accompanying teacher with 10 students undertaking a canoe journey makes 11 participants.

There may be as many activity leaders as is deemed necessary.

Activity leaders supervising the same participants may not need to have the same competencies.

A minimum number of activity leaders may be required which is independent to the activity leader to participant ratio. For example, the leader to participant ratio is 1:8 and a group has only seven participants but stills requires a minimum of two activity leaders to adequately ensure the safety of the group.

The minimum number of activity leaders should be determined by the risk management process.

Reasons for considering a minimum number of activity leaders include but are not limited to ensuring the safety of the group:

  • in the event that an activity leader is incapacitated
  • to enable appropriate emergency response (e.g. rescue) and group management (e.g. maintain the safety of other participants) at the same time.

7.10.1 Land owners, land managers and other authorities activity leader ratios

Land owners, land managers or other relevant authorities (e.g. education departments) may require activity leader ratios that differ from those suggested by an activity GPG or a provider’s risk assessment.

The activity leader ratio required by land owners, land managers or other relevant authority must be regarded as the highest allowable within their jurisdiction. For example, if the provider determines a ratio based on their risk management process of 1:8, and the land manager’s ratio allowable is 1:5, the land manager’s ratio of 1:5 must be considered the required ratio.

Where a risk assessment indicates the activity leader ratio is lower than that determined by the land owners, land managers or other relevant authority, the ratio indicated by the risk assessment should be used. For example, the land manager’s allowable ratio is 1:12 and the risk assessment suggests 1:8, then the provider should use the 1:8 ratio.

Where a relevant authority requires a specific type of supervision, the arrangement for the person providing this supervision must be:

  • they are considered a responsible person unless they have the competence to be an activity leader for the purposes of calculating the activity leader to participant ratio; and
  • steps are taken to ensure that both the specific type of supervision ratio and the activity leader to participant ratio are implemented and maintained.

For example:

  • if supervision of students must include a registered teacher to meet education department requirements; and
  • the teacher is not capable of acting as an activity leader for the activity; then
  • the teacher is treated as a responsible person for the purpose of determining ratios.

Arrangements are also to be made to ensure the registered teacher provides student supervision at the required education department ratio, in addition to ensuring the appropriate activity leader to participant ratio is met.

7.10.2 Recommended ratios

Suggested activity leader to participant supervision ratio(s), along with the suggested minimum number of activity leaders, are detailed in the specific GPG for each activity.

7.11 Activity briefing

It is important that safety and other requirements are communicated just before an activity begins. This may be distinct and contain more specific information from the pre-activity information (refer to 4.1 Pre-activity communication) which might have occurred sometime before the activity.

Before undertaking an activity, the information and requirements to be communicated may include but are not limited to:

  • what will happen
  • what participants will need to do
  • revision of relevant information provided in any pre-activity briefing where provided
  • safety requirements for the activity or part of the activity that is about to be undertaken
  • how to respond to incidents or emergencies
  • communications systems, calls and/or terminology used.

Necessary information about an activity must be clearly communicated. The method of delivery and content of the activity briefing can depend on the context of the activity.

Sufficient time for potential participants to make an informed decision about their participation should be provided where appropriate.

The same communication systems, calls and terminology should be agreed to and used for all those undertaking the activity.

The briefing may include but is not limited to:

  • the identity and role of activity leaders and responsible persons
  • activity objectives
  • the activity’s nature
  • inherent risks and mitigation strategies
  • current and anticipated conditions (e.g. environment, remoteness, weather)
  • the land managers’ requirements (e.g. specific conditions that apply to the site)
  • how the session will be managed (e.g. timings, procedures)
  • agreed methods of communication within the group (e.g. signals and calls)
  • essential equipment and clothing
  • the correct use and fit of equipment
  • the group management process
  • the type of food, the amount of food and water needed and water availability
  • the system for safe food handling, hand washing, toileting, and personal hygiene
  • emergency procedures so participants behave appropriately in an incident or emergency, including emergency communication methods
  • the activity leader’s expectations of participants and their responsibility to behave as requested (e.g. conduct, safety zones, equipment use) along with any restrictions to participation
  • the duration, plan and specific landmarks or locations
  • how to avoid becoming lost or separated from the group and what to do if you are lost or separated
  • conservation strategies, including protecting flora and fauna, removing rubbish and sanitation
  • appropriate respect for the cultural heritage of the area and/or particular sites
  • obligations of participants to be responsible for their own actions, both in relation to obvious risks that may be encountered and also in following the directions/instructions.

A check that enables participants to voice concerns about their capabilities should be conducted.

Consideration of alternative briefing methods should be undertaken for participants living with a communication impairment.


Glossary

Glossary

AAAS: Australian Adventure Activity Standard – See Introduction for details.

Activity: an adventure activity.

Activity briefing: informing someone thoroughly, especially in preparation for a task, immediately prior to an activity or task (also see briefing and pre-activity briefing).

Activity leaders: the collective noun for leader(s) and assistant leader(s).

Activity provider: see provider.

Assistant leader: a currently competent person within the role, who takes some responsibility for participants and is able to lead or supervise delegated elements or tasks of an activity.

Benchmark: a point of reference by which something can be measured or judged.

Briefing: informing someone thoroughly, especially in preparation for a task (also see activity briefing and pre-activity briefing).

But not limited to: indicates that a list is not definitive and additional items may need to be considered depending on the context.

Can/cannot: indicates a possibility and capability.

Client organisation: where the client of the provider is someone other than the participants who undertake the activity (e.g. a school uses a provider to deliver an activity for its students – in this instance the school is the client organisation and the students, while participants, are not the client).

Competence: ability to apply knowledge and skills to achieve expected results.

Competencies: the plural of competence. Having competence in more than one ability.

Competent leader/participant/person/assessor: someone who has the competence to perform specific functions.

Context: the group of conditions, circumstances and facts that form the setting for an activity.

Currency: from the present or the very recent past. Currency provides assurance that the evidence (e.g. qualifications, certificates, log book experience) provided is recent enough to show that the activity leader is competent at the time of making a decision.

Custodians: those who are responsible for looking after places and sometimes the stories and ceremonies linked to these places. (From Australian Heritage Commission (2002). Ask First – A guide to respecting Indigenous heritage places and values. National Capital Printing; Canberra.)

Dependent group: a group of dependent participants.

Dependent Participant: 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.

Direct supervision: where a nominated person responsible for supervising others during all or part of the activity is able to intervene immediately (also see indirect supervision and remote supervision).

Duty of care: a duty to, so far as is reasonably practicable, ensure the health and safety of persons who are under the provider’s care and charge (including workers and volunteers) while on the activity.

Dynamic risk assessment: a process of assessing newly identified risks and changes to previously identified risks, and the modification of the management arrangements accordingly.

Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB): tracking transmitter which aids in the detection and location of boats, aircraft and people in distress.

Expected results: results of performing activities in the provision of a service.

Fire danger period: a designated time of the year when there is a heightened bushfire risk.

Framework: set of components that provide the foundations and organisational arrangements, or basic structure underlying a system or concept. A framework can be adapted to specific needs.

Gender identity: the gender-related identity, appearance or mannerisms or other gender-related characteristics of a person (whether by way of medical intervention or not), with or without regard to the person’s designated sex at birth. Refer Sex Discrimination Amendment (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status) Act 2013

GPGs: Good Practice Guide(s) – See Introduction for details.

Group: a number of participants, leaders, assistant leaders and/or responsible persons located, gathered or classed together for the purpose of completing a part or whole of an activity.

Guide: an outdoor recreation guide advises individuals and groups in outdoor recreation activities.

Hazards: a potential source of harm. This can be a physical (e.g. cliff edge or moving water), technological (e.g. incorrect white water equipment) or intentional agent (e.g. work practices such as manual handling).

Indirect supervision: where a nominated person responsible for supervising others during all or part of the activity is in the vicinity but unable to intervene immediately (also see direct supervision and remote supervision).

Intersex: having natural physical characteristics that are different from conventional ideas about male or female bodies.

Jurisdiction: the territorial range of authority or control. This will generally relate to the state or territory in which the activity is being undertaken.

Land manager: the party that has legal responsibility for managing a particular environment. This may include the power to restrict access or place conditions and/or requirements on anyone accessing that particular environment. Includes managers of rivers, waterways and other bodies of water (also see land owner).

Land owner: the party that owns and has legal responsibility for managing a particular environment (also see land manager).

Leader: a competent person who takes responsibility for people involved in, and is able to lead and supervise an activity.

Loco Parentis: Latin term with the legal meaning ‘in the place of a parent’. Refers to the legal responsibility of a person and/or organisation to take on some and/or all of the responsibilities of a parent.

May/need not: indicates a permission or existence of an option.

Minor: someone under the age of 18 years.

Must/must not: indicates that a statement is mandatory or a requirement. Additional information provided might indicate that the section or statement is mandatory by law.

Non-participating contact: a suitable person not involved in and not located with those conducting the activity, who is the nominated person to act on behalf of those undertaking the activity in accordance with the emergency management plan. This may include but is not limited to responsibility for alerting authorities on the failure of those undertaking the activity to report in as being safe or return on time.

Non-remote: generally a location that is 30 minutes or less from reliable telephone access, 20 minutes or less from vehicle access, and one hour or less from access to professional medical assistance (also see remote).

Organisation: a person, group of persons or legal entity organised for a particular purpose that provides an activity for either commercial (for profit) or non-commercial (not-for-profit or community group) purposes (also see provider).

Other Indigenous people with interests: those people who through their personal or family history of involvement with a particular place have an interest in its heritage values. These people may sometimes be described as custodians.

Participant: a person who undertakes an activity and is not a leader or assistant leader for the activity.

Peer: a person who has equal standing with another or others in skills, knowledge and experience.

Pit toilet: a temporary toilet constructed by digging a pit in the earth and which is then filled in and covered over after use.

Personal Locator Beacon (PLB): a transmitter that aids in the detection and location of boats, aircraft and people in distress.

Pre-activity briefing: informing someone thoroughly, especially in preparation for a task, sometime prior to actually undertaking the activity or task (also see activity briefing).

Prescribed fire: is a planned burning operation of vegetation by land owners or managers to meet management objectives.

Principle: a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of beliefs or behaviour or for a chain of reasoning.

Procedure: an established or specified way to carry out an activity or a process.

Process: a systematic application of management policies, procedures and practices, in a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end.

Provider: a generic term to indicate the party responsible for the delivery of the activity. This may include but is not limited to an entity, organisation, leader(s), assistant leader(s) or guide(s) and for either commercial (for profit) or non-commercial (not-for-profit or community group) purposes.

Responsible person: a competent person who is able to complete delegated elements or tasks during an activity that does not require the activity-specific competence of a leader or assistant leader.

Remote: a location that is more than 30 minutes from access to reliable telephone access or more than 20 minutes from vehicle access or greater than one hour from access to professional medical assistance in all foreseeable weather (also see non-remote). Note: access to professional medical assistance needs to account for the foreseeable possibility that professional medical assistance via helicopter may not be possible due to terrain and/or weather when determining access times.

Remote supervision: where a nominated person responsible for supervising others during all or part of the activity is not involved in direct or indirect supervision and is unlikely to be in the vicinity, and would therefore take time to respond (also see direct supervision and indirect supervision).

Risk: the effect of uncertainty on objectives. (AS/NZS/ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management, p.1)

Risk assessment: an overall process of risk identification, analysis and evaluation.

Risk factor: an element which can provide a source of risk.

Risk management: the coordinated activities to direct and control an organisation with regard to risk.

Risk management plan: scheme within the risk management framework specifying the approach, the management components and resources to be applied to the management of risk

Risk management framework: set of components that provide the foundations and organisational arrangements for designing, implementing, monitoring, reviewing and continually improving risk management throughout the organisation

Risk treatment: a process to modify risk.

Severe weather: potentially hazardous or dangerous weather.

Should/should not: indicates a recommendation.

Traditional Owners: those people who, through membership in a descent group or clan, have responsibility for caring for particular country. Traditional Owners are authorised to speak for country and its heritage.

Trigger point: a particular circumstance or situation that causes an action to occur. Vulnerable participant(s): (a) a minor; or (b) an individual aged 18 years and above who is or may be unable to take care of themselves, or is unable to protect themselves against harm or exploitation by reason of age, illness, trauma or disability, or any other reason. (Note: different jurisdictions may have a legal definition for vulnerable participants relating to specific law(s) and/or regulation(s).)


Appendices

Appendix A Management of risk

Appendix A1 Risk in an outdoors context

While “risk” often carries a negative connotation, well-managed risks are essential to many areas of human activity, from business to personal relationships to adventure activities. Risk itself – defined as the “effect of uncertainty on objectives” – can be both positive and negative.

Engaging in adventure activities that involve some form of managed risk provides participants with genuine opportunities for enjoyment, education, skill acquisition and/or self-development. Accordingly, risk management should be carefully tailored to the context – neither exposing participantsto unjustified risks, nor taking an excessively risk-averse approach that can discourage participantsand providersalike.

Effective, specific and well communicated risk management must support the planning, delivery and review of adventure activities.

A2 A systems approach to risk and safety

The AAAS and GPGs takes a ‘systems approach’ to risk and safety. This means looking at all the factors that contribute to risk, instead of focusing only on what occurs during the activity itself.

Current research shows that incidents are often the result of a combination of decisions and actions by multiple actors, not just a single root cause. Decisions made long before an activity can affect safety outcomes, such as the type of equipment purchased, or the process for assessing and training leaders.

These documents offer providers a guide to developing systems that are adaptable, responsive and designed with the whole safety system in mind, not just the actions of the individual activity leader.

A3 Risk management requirements

Risk management is a systematic method of identifying, assessing, treating, monitoring and reviewing risks that may cause harm. It needs to occur during the design, planning, preparation and conduct of adventure activities. The key components of risk management include:

  • Risk management framework. This is a provider’s way of embedding risk management throughout its operations, including by specifying the provider’s risk management process.
  • Risk management process. This is a provider’s way of developing risk management plans and managing risks during an activity.
  • Risk management plan.  This identifies risks for an activity and how they will be managed. Risk management plans can cover one or more activities, provided each activity has all relevant risks addressed. Refer to Appendix E – Risk management plan template examples for examples.

The international and Australian standard for risk management is AS/NZS/ISO 31000:2009 Risk Management (ISO 31000). It includes guidance on developing a risk management framework and risk management process. The AAAS and GPGs is consistent with ISO 31000, a summary of which is provided below. A copy of ISO 31000 is not required to use the AAAS or GPGs.

Appendix B Summary of ISO 31000 – risk management

Risk management systems should be created, communicated and reviewed in a format consistent with ISO 31000. This international standard outlines principles, requirements and recommendations for effective risk management. It is not specific to any industry or sector and is intended to be tailored for the needs and context of those using it.

ISO 31000 provides a methodology for providers to structure their own risk management approach. This methodology is summarised in this section.

B1 Risk management principles

The ISO 31000 principles refers to the set of underpinning philosophies or values that help guide the design and communication of a provider’s risk management framework, process and plan.

The risk management principles are:

  • creates and protects value
  • integral part of organisational processes
  • part of decision-making
  • explicitly addresses uncertainty
  • systematic, structured and timely
  • based on the best information
  • tailored
  • takes human and cultural factors into account
  • transparent and inclusive
  • dynamic, iterative and responsive to change
  • facilitates continual improvement of the organisation.


B2 Risk management principles example

The following is a case study of how an organisation which conducts adventure activities could demonstrate application of the AS/NZS/ISO 31000:2009 Risk management principles discussed in B1 Risk management principles. The organisation White Cap Snorkelling Centre (White Cap) is fictitious and created solely for the purposes of this example.

Creates and protects value

White Cap Snorkelling Centre’s core objective is to facilitate and deliver fun, educational and well-managed snorkelling experiences.

Integral part of organisational processes

White Cap integrates risk management with its other planning and management processes such as advertising, staff recruitment and logistics.

Part of decision-making

White Cap conducts a review of its risk management policies and procedures for snorkelling with school students as part of the annual business plan review. White Cap considers and identifies the multiple stakeholders involved (e.g. participants, parents, White Cap staff, school staff, school principal and insurers).

White Cap also identifies and understands the characteristics of the participant groups that it works with, their specific objectives (e.g. educational aims) and the likely characteristics of these groups (e.g. minors, inexperienced in activity, mix of swimming abilities).

Explicitly addresses uncertainty

White Cap recognises that the activities contain specific risks which need to be identified and managed. The risk assessment is developed with consideration to foreseeable hazards and risks across all the stages of activity design, planning and delivery (e.g. aims of activity, staff/volunteer recruitment and suitability, pre-existing medical conditions, participant prior experience, and potential weather conditions). White Cap’s risk assessment is specific and tailored for the context.

Systematic, structured and timely

White Cap has policies and procedures to systematically and consistently apply safety systems. These are communicated to everyone involved in activity design and delivery. Sufficient time is allowed to ensure understanding of the systems before they are used.

Based on the best information

White Cap realises it needs to consider all available information relevant to the activities it conducts. White Cap consults and uses existing guidelines (e.g. Australian AAS) in order to create its own systems, policies and procedures designed for its particular context. White Cap also assess any incident and near miss statistics (e.g. internal reports, external reports such as the www.uploadsproject.org) and consults other practitioners and organisations where necessary.

Tailored

Even with the assistance of the external resources, each risk management plan for a specific activity must be designed and implemented within White Cap’s own specific internal and external operating environment.

Takes human and cultural factors into account

White Cap understands that accidents (or the potential for accidents) can be the result of multiple interacting factors. Even normal and commonly accepted behaviours can play a role in accidents. These human and cultural factors are therefore specifically considered in White Cap’s risk management.

Transparent and inclusive

White Cap’s risk management processes are as robust and effective as possible. It achieves this by involving as many stakeholders as possible, both within and external to the organisation, in the risk management process. These stakeholders represent the multiple aspects of activity planning and delivery (e.g. parents, school, activity leaders, participants, office support staff and management).

White Cap communicates and consults often and highly values these steps, as they help to identify, assess and manage potential sources of risk.

Dynamic, iterative and responsive to change

Risk management processes and procedures need to be flexible due to the dynamic nature of the environment in which White Cap conducts activities. White Cap recognises, prepares and allows for the fact that each group is different, conditions are changeable and multiple factors can influence the planning and conduct of activities. White Cap is constantly monitoring for new or emergent risks and evaluating its current risk management strategies against these.

Facilitates continual improvement of the organisation

White Cap has a systematic and documented risk management system which includes mechanisms to monitor, review and improve management of risks. White Cap never considers the task of risk management to be ‘completed’, instead it views it as an ongoing process to be continually updated and improved.

B3 Risk management framework – overview

A risk management framework:

  • assists a provider to integrate risk management into their overall work
  • specifies the risk management process
  • reflects the principles listed in B1 Risk management principles.

Figure 1 illustrates how to design a risk management framework.

B4 Risk management framework – design

The following seven steps are a useful approach for designing a risk management framework consistent with ISO 31000:

1. Understand the context

By evaluating and understanding the external and internal context in which an organisation exists, it is possible to design the risk management framework accordingly.

  • What are the specific external requirements (e.g. laws), influences and/or expectations for providing adventure activities?
  • What are the specific requirements, influences and/or expectations of internal stakeholders, governance systems and culture for providing adventure activities?

2. Establish a risk management policy

  • Write a risk management policy for the organisation
  • Make and communicate a clear commitment to risk management from the leadership of the organisation
  • Define and explain the objectives of risk management
  • Explain how the risk management policy will be implemented

3. Establish accountability for risk management

  • Identify who has responsibility risk management in the organisation
  • Make those responsible accountable and provide them with the authority to manage risks
  • Develop risk management performance measurement methods and implement risk management reporting and review processes

4. Integrate risk management with management processes

  • Make risk management an integral part of management practices, processes and decision-making

5. Resources to manage risk

  • Allocate appropriate resources (e.g. human, financial, time, etc.) to support the risk management processes

6. Establish internal communication mechanisms

  • Establish processes for two-way communication about risk management (e.g. processes, procedures, reports, learnings, etc.) with all relevant people within the organisation.

7. Establish external communication mechanisms

  • Establish processes for two-way communication about risk management systems, plans and processes with external stakeholders. Be considerate by reaching the audience in a way that supports understanding and clarity.

B5 Risk management framework – Implementation

Once the framework is developed it needs to be implemented. This involves:

  • a process to inform all stakeholders of the framework and how to use it;
  • a process to consult with stakeholders on a regular basis; and
  • implementation of the risk management process (i.e. the specific ways in which risk is identified and managed). See Appendix C Risk management process. below for further details.

B6 Risk management framework – Continuous improvement

A process is required to evaluate the risk management framework and enable continuous improvement. For example, using reporting processes, self-reviews, external reviews/audits, communication, etc.

Appendix C Risk management process

The risk management process is an outcome of the risk management framework discussed above. The risk management process is used to develop risk management plans (refer to Appendix E Risk management plan template examples for examples).

The risk management process involves the ‘systematic application of management policies, procedures and practices to the activities of communicating, consulting, establishing context, and identifying, analysing, evaluating, treating, monitoring and reviewing risk’ (ISO 31000, p.3). Risk assessment is a part of this process and involves the ‘overall process of risk identification, risk analysis and risk evaluation’ (ISO 31000, p.4). Figure 2 provides an overview of the risk management process.

(i) Communication and consultation

Communication and consultation are fundamental to understanding and seeking input into the risk management process. For example, consulting with land managers, client organisations and/or participants to understand their particular requirements and objectives.

(ii) Monitoring and review

Monitoring and review occurs throughout the risk management process to address new, changing or emerging risks. This is known as dynamic risk assessment (see Appendix F Dynamic risk assessment process for more detail). For example, new laws or regulations, changing environmental conditions or shortcomings with an existing procedure resulting in the identification of new risks previously considered to be appropriately managed.

(iii) Establish the context

In addition to the external and internal organisational context discussed in B4 Risk management framework – design the process articulates the specific context of the relevant adventure activities. For example, what are the goals, who are the participants, what is the location, etc.

(iv) Risk identification

  • Risk identification is a systematic process to understand what, how, when and why risks could occur. The AAAS and GPGs are designed to assist in identifying factors that affect risks in addition to provider’s independent research and professional/legal advice. The framework for risk identification recommended in the AAAS and GPGs covers planning, participants, environment, leadership and logistics and equipment.
  • It is important to identify factors beyond the immediate activity delivery. Systems-related decisions made days, months or years earlier can have an impact on activity delivery risks. For example, what competencies are required for leaders, how are leader shortages or illnesses managed, how does the organisation ensure the purchase of appropriate equipment and what processes are in place to monitor environment changes?

(v) Risk analysis

  • Risk analysis is the assessment of the nature and level of risk for each identified risk. It involves an examination of the likelihood and severity of possible consequences of each risk.
  • There are multiple options for expressing the consequences, likelihood and findings of a risk analysis. An example of an approach to risk analysis is provided in Appendix D Risk analysis information.

(vi) Risk evaluation

  • Risk evaluation involves determining what risks require treatment (see below) and prioritising the implementation of the treatment. These decisions are based on the level of the risk and whether this level is acceptable.

(vii) Risk treatment

  • Risk treatment involves adopting specific measures to mitigate risks that are not acceptable. Risk treatments may include but are not limited to:
    • avoiding or removing the source of risk (e.g. changing venue due to bushfire)
    • changing the likelihood of occurrence (e.g. adding additional supervision)
    • changing the potential consequences (e.g. providing protective equipment like a helmet)
  • Where a new or changed risk treatment is adopted, the analysis and evaluation phases (see above) should be completed again. This is done to determine whether the risk treatment addresses the risk in a way that leads to an acceptable outcome.
  • New or changed risk treatments also require an evaluation of costs and benefits, and of new and emerging risks that may result.

The AAAS and GPGs provides guidance on possible risk treatments for many common risks.

Appendix D Risk analysis information

This appendix provides more detail about risk analysis discussed in Appendix C Risk management process.

D1 What is risk analysis?

Risk analysis is about understanding risk. What is the likelihood of the risk occurring and the expected consequences if it does occur? What are the existing risk treatments or controls to minimise either the likelihood or consequences?

Estimating the likelihood and the expected consequence allows the level of risk to be determined and then evaluated.

D2 Likelihood

The likelihood of occurrence is determined using a scale that reflects aspects of the risks being managed.

An example of a likelihood scale is:

  • Rare: may only occur in exceptional circumstances
  • Unlikely: not expected to occur; and/or no recorded incidents
  • Possible: might occur at some time; and/or few, infrequent, random recorded incidents
  • Likely: will probably occur in most circumstances; and/or regular recorded incidents
  • Almost certain: expected to occur in most circumstances; and/or high level of recorded incidents.

The descriptors and their definition used for the likelihood scale should be defined and can be customised to suit the context.

D3 Consequences

The consequences of an occurrence are determined using a scale that reflects aspects of the risks being managed.

An example of a consequences scale based on injury to people is:

  • Insignificant: no injury or fatality; first aid not required
  • Minor: injury requiring first aid and able to continue
  • Moderate: injury requiring medical treatment, possibly some hospitalisation and/or unable to continue
  • Major: extensive injuries requiring significant hospitalisation
  • Catastrophic: fatality, possible threat to life or severe injuries causing permanent disablement.

The descriptors and their definition used for the consequences scale should be defined and can be customised to suit the context.

D4 Level of risk matrix

The level of risk matrix combines the scales for likelihood and consequence to produce a qualitative description of the level of risk. An example of the level of risk descriptors are low, moderate, high and extreme.

There is a direct relationship between the increased likelihood of something occurring, the worse the consequences are and the higher the level of risk.

Table B1 provides an example risk level matrix.

Table B1

The level of risk descriptors and the position they occur within the matrix can be customised to suit the context.

The level of risk descriptor can assist in determining the priority by which risks are managed (e.g. risk levels of high or extreme would be of a higher priority to control or treat than those classified as low or moderate).

Appendix E Risk management plan template examples

This appendix provides example risk management templates discussed in 2.3 Risk management plan and Appendix C Risk management process.

E1 Template A – Establish the context

E2 Template B – Risk identification and management strategy summary

E3 Template C – Risk analysis and management strategy detail

Appendix F Dynamic risk assessment process

This appendix provides more detail about dynamic risk assessment discussed in 2.4 Dynamic risk assessment.

Hazards and risks can change over time, requiring dynamic management if or when they occur. It is therefore necessary to maintain situational awareness to identify and address hazards and risks using dynamic risk assessment.

Diagram D1 outlines a process of dynamic risk assessment.

Diagram D1

The steps in the dynamic risk assessment process are:

  • Monitor and review: the activity and all hazards and risks are dynamically monitored in a continuation of the risk management process
  • Action: the types of actions necessary for the activity are accessed for hazards and risks
  • Risk versus benefits assessment: the assessment considers the benefits and goals of the activity against the risks
  • Acceptable risk: the activity continues to proceed unchanged or with new control measures if the risk versus benefits assessment indicates it is an acceptable risk
  • Not acceptable risk: where the risk versus benefits assessment indicates the risk is unacceptable, additional control measures are considered:
    • if the risk versus benefits assessment indicates that additional control measure(s) lead to an acceptable risk, then the activity proceeds with these additional control measure(s)
    • if the risk versus benefits assessment indicates that there are no additional control measure(s) that lead to an acceptable risk, then stop the activity and consider what new action is required
    • any new action is then assessed for risk versus benefits.

The use of dynamic risk assessment should not undermine risk management plans. This can occur when dynamic risk assessment is used:

  • as a reason to accept a higher level of risk than what was originally intended and outlined in the risk management plan
  • to eliminate or reduce the effectiveness of risk treatment or control measures that were in the risk management plan.

Examples of dynamic risk assessment are:

  • A large tree blocks the track with the easiest route around the obstacle takes participants close to a cliff edge. The dynamic risk assessment indicates that by adding the additional control measures of warning the participants and directly supervising the section, it is acceptable to proceed.
  • A tree has fallen into the river very close to the path boats paddle to avoid other obstacles. The risk vs benefits assessment is not acceptable and no control measures can be used to mitigate the risks. The alternative to portage around the tree and other obstacles is considered and found to be acceptable. The group carry the boats around the obstacles and then continue paddling the river.
Appendix G Emergency management planning framework

An emergency management plan for an activity will vary according to the context, however the issues it covers should include but is not limited to:

1. Planning

  • emergency response actions, allocated roles and responsibilities
  • closest available professional medical care (e.g. hospital, clinic, doctor)
  • contingency plans for foreseeable emergencies (e.g. injuries, fire, flood)
  • strategies relevant to the features of the area being visited

2. Preparation

  • emergency access and escape routes (where possible)
  • assembly points where appropriate
  • details of key organisations (e.g. ambulance, land manager, local police) and how to best contact them in an emergency
  • communication equipment that will be used, including coverage notes and/or limitations (e.g. mobile phone, satellite phone, radio)
  • relevant aspects of the land manager’s emergency strategy (e.g. gaining assess past locked gates)

3. Response

  • the process or procedures for responding to an emergency
  • the process or procedures to confirm or ensure the safety of a group that fails to return or check-in as planned
  • the emergency trigger for a non-participating contact, to commence the planned process or procedures to confirm the safety of the group and/or inform emergency services if the group fails to return or check-in
  • a strategy for maintaining appropriate participant supervision if the planned activity changes (e.g. an injured leader is evacuated or escorting participants who are withdrawing from the activity)
  • access to personal contact and medical information

4. Recovery

  • reporting requirements for fatalities, serious injuries or illness and dangerous incidents (refer to 3.4.4 Reporting notifiable incidents and 2.5 Incident reporting).
Appendix H Health & wellbeing considerations for risk management

This appendix provides additional information referred to in 4.4 Health and wellbeing.

H1 Risk Management Plans

Conditions that should be considered in risk management plans and may affect participation include but are not limited to:

  • affected balance
  • allergies and/or anaphylaxis
  • asthma
  • behavioural issues
  • blood conditions that may affect bleeding or clotting
  • blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • dietary requirements
  • epilepsy
  • fainting and dizziness
  • fatigue
  • heart conditions
  • infectious diseases (e.g. Gastroenteritis)
  • impaired sight
  • impaired hearing
  • mental health issues
  • migraines
  • mood disorders
  • muscular/skeletal complaints
  • physical disability
  • pregnancy
  • reactions or side effects to medications
  • recent or longstanding injuries
  • repetitive strain injuries (RSI).

H2 Impacts on performance

Some conditions and medications may affect performance during an activity,including but not limited to:

  • drowsiness
  • dizziness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • loss of balance
  • impaired or altered memory
  • reduced reaction times
  • decreased dexterity
  • mood changes
  • altered behaviour.

H3 Allergy and anaphylaxis safety for minors law(s) and/or regulation(s) considerations

Considerations relating to ‘allergy and anaphylaxis safety for minors’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) may include but is not limited to:

  • exclusion of certain foods that have a high prevalence of allergies in the community (e.g.peanuts)
  • having allergy management plans in place
  • having appropriate training to manage allergies and anaphylaxis and provide first aid treatment
  • having appropriate medication available to treat allergies and anaphylaxis

H4 Thinking about reviewing health and wellbeing requirements

The following questions may help when considering developing risk management plans and procedures to address issues relating to participant’s health and wellbeing:

  • Have you written essential eligibility criteria for your activity/programs?
  • Do your participants know what is expected of them physically and mentally? Are participants informed of this, is this in your pre-activity information and how is it portrayed in your marketing?
  • Do you have a medical advisor or access to one?
  • If a doctor is required to complete a participant health form, do they understand the extent and rigour of the activity/program? Do you provide them with information to improve this understanding?
  • If you receive health information, who reviews the information? How do they decide what to do with the information?
  • Who makes the ultimate decision about participants – provider, activity leaders, participant’s doctor or your medical advisor?
  • What tools does the person have, to make these decisions?
  • Would a decision-making document that indicates the type of considerations and what level of participation is appropriate be useful? (For example, see table below)
  • How and when do you share health information with the activity leaders?
  • Is there a mechanism for participants to update you on new or changed medical conditions? Does this ensure that the people that need to know about the change do?

Decision-making document example:

Appendix I Privacy of information

This appendix provides more detail referred to in 4.5 Privacy of information.

The collection, storing and distribution of confidential information in Australia is regulated by the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).

Personal information collected about participants and activity leaders may include but is not limited to:

  • names
  • addresses
  • phone numbers
  • email address
  • medical details that might be relevant to the activity.

Some providers may not be required to comply with the Privacy Act. This may include small business operators or not-for-profits with annual turnover of less than $3 million.

There may be a ‘duty of confidence’ regardless of whether the Privacy Act applies.

This duty makes it unlawful to use certain confidential information for unauthorised purposes. This could include providing a participant’s personal details to third parties for purposes unrelated to their participation in the relevant activity. For instance, selling personal details to a mail-order company or providing personal details to a related organisation that offers activities that the participant might be interested in, even if this is done in good faith and not for financial gain.

The ‘duty of confidence’ law(s) and/or regulation(s) of the relevant jurisdiction(s) must be complied with.

Information about privacy is available from The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).

Work health and safety laws may require providers to ensure appropriate assistance is provided in an emergency for all involved in the activity, not just the participants. This may require activity leaders to have access to each other’s medical information.

Providers should consider means by which to protect the confidentially of an activity leader’s medical records, while still ensuring other activity leaders have appropriate access in the event this information is required in an emergency.

Possible ways confidentiality may be addressed include but are not limited to:

  • holding the records centrally when they can be accessed immediately in an emergency
  • requiring activity leaders to carry a copy of their own personal medical form with them in an assessable location
  • holding sealed copies to be opened only if required.
Appendix J Environmental sustainability procedures

The procedures may include but are not limited to the following:

J1 Plan ahead and prepare

  • Develop a plan to leave no trace.

J2 Travel and camp on durable surfaces

Durable surfaces include established tracks and campsites, gravel, rock and dry grass.

Travelling in an area on durable services may include but is not limited to:

  • using existing tracks, pathways or roads
  • not establishing new tracks
  • walking in small parties to minimise the damage
  • walking in single file when on narrow paths to avoid widening the track.

Camping on durable surfaces may include but is not limited to:

  • using existing campsites when possible
  • keeping campsites small
  • focusing activity where there is minimal vegetation
  • dispersing campsite activity in natural areas to avoid creating focused areas of impact
  • locating campsites so as to avoid negatively impacting any water sources
  • avoiding disturbing or modifying vegetation and natural features around campsites
  • using floored tents with poles
  • not digging trenches around tents
  • attempting to leave the campsite in a better condition than which it was found.

J3 Dispose of waste properly

Rubbish disposal may include but is not limited to:

  • carrying out and disposing of all food, organic and general waste appropriately
  • separating recyclable waste where possible, and carrying out and disposing of appropriately
  • burying or burning food waste only where permitted by the land owner or land manager
  • disposing of waste water (from food preparation or personal hygiene) by scattering a suitable distance from any water source after straining out any food and solid matter (strained food waste is disposed of as described above)
  • checking tracks, activity sites and campsites are free of spilled food waste prior to departure
  • using only biodegradable detergents and hygiene products, and using only sparingly
  • carrying out cigarette waste in a suitable container and disposing of appropriately
  • removing any rubbish left by previous users where practicable.

Human waste and hygiene disposal may include but is not limited to:

  • using existing established toilets for human waste where possible
  • where no toilets are available, either carrying human waste out in a suitable container to be disposed of later or, if allowed in the area, disposing of human waste in a temporary ‘pit toilet’
  • constructing a pit toilet (when appropriate) at a suitable distance from watercourses to avoid contaminating the water and campsites (e.g. dig the pit or hole, 8–15cm deep in the biologically active layer in the soil and refill the hole after toileting)
  • carrying out personal hygiene waste in a suitable container to be disposed of later
  • burial or burning of personal hygiene waste only conducted where permitted by the land owner or land manager.

J4 Leave what you find

Leaving what you find may include but is not limited to:

  • ensuring vegetation, rock formations and natural features are not disturbed, modified or removed
  • ensuring culturally significant sites are afforded appropriate respect (e.g. rock art is not touched, artefacts are not disturbed, sacred sites are visited only with appropriate permission)
  • avoiding introducing or transporting non-native species of flora and fauna (e.g. avoid transporting firewood between areas)
  • helping prevent the spread of weeds and pathogens by cleaning vehicles, equipment, boots and clothing where appropriate.

J5 Minimise the impact of fires

Minimising the impact of campfires may include but is not limited to:

  • using portable stoves for cooking
  • using alternative night-time light sources (e.g. head torches, lanterns)
  • lighting fires only where and when permitted
  • checking with the land owner or land manager for current requirements and restrictions on lighting fires
  • ensuring firewood is collected from fallen dead wood only where firewood collection is permitted by the land owner or land manager and in accordance with their requirements
  • using existing fireplaces where available and avoiding creating new fireplaces
  • not placing rocks around a fire where there is no existing fireplace to avoid creating the impression it is an established fireplace.

Also refer to 5.2 Bushfires, prescribed fire and fire danger.

J6 Respect wildlife

Respecting wildlife may include but not limited to:

  • travelling quietly
  • educating participants where appropriate about the role a species plays in its environment and the importance of its position within an ecosystem
  • not approaching nesting, feeding or breeding sites
  • reporting injured wildlife to the land owner or land manager
  • reporting sightings of known feral animal species and locations of invasive plant species to the land owner or land manager
  • ensuring vehicles and equipment are appropriately cleaned to avoid spreading environmental pathogens (e.g. fungal spores) and invasive plant species
  • checking that vehicles and equipment are free of plant material prior to leaving or entering an area
  • ensuring activities are not conducted in quarantine areas
  • identifying and avoiding areas that are ecological sensitivity or fragile.

J7 Be considerate of your hosts and other visitors

Consideration of hosts and other visitors may include but is not limited to:

  • securing permits, bookings and suitable permission before visiting
  • appropriately acknowledging the traditional inhabitants of the country
  • learning about the cultural history of the land
  • recognising, acknowledging and respecting local knowledge
  • respecting the wishes and regulations of all hosts, including Indigenous and pastoral land managers and locals
  • identifying and avoiding areas that are culturally sensitive or require permission
  • obtaining permission to enter culturally sensitive areas
  • identifying and avoiding impacting sensitive or fragile areas of heritage significance
  • affording other users the courtesy of peaceful enjoyment of the area
  • applying strategies to avoid overcrowding at popular public areas
  • minimising the use of powered generators, amplified sound, music or lighting to reduce disturbance to other users
  • managing activity sites and group congregation areas to reduce disturbance to other users
  • observing the safety of other groups by signalling appropriately to warn of dangers (e.g. falling rocks, snakes).
Appendix K First aid and medication considerations

This appendix provides additional information referred to in 6.3 First aid equipment and medication.

Recommendations for a first aid kit contents may include but is not limited to:

Group First Aid Kit

  • waterproof storage
  • disposable gloves
  • resuscitation mask or shield
  • conforming bandages
  • elastic bandages
  • triangular bandages
  • non-adhesive sterile dressings
  • waterproof sterile dressings
  • saline solution
  • antiseptic solution
  • safety pins
  • adhesive strapping tape
  • adhesive medical dressings
  • blister dressings
  • hand sanitiser
  • scissors
  • notebook & h pencil
  • portable splint
  • support bandages for knees and elbows
  • space blanket
  • asthma medication
  • asthma spacer
  • anaphylaxis medication auto-injector
  • antihistamine medication
  • cream for chaffing
  • pain relief
  • rehydration solution
  • tweezers
  • splinter probes
  • booklet/notes on first aid treatment where necessary

Participant First Aid Kit

  • personal medications
  • strapping tape
  • blister dressings
  • adhesive medical dressing (small)
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellent
Appendix L Recognition of competence pathways

L1 Training qualification and/or training course

In this instance, providers accept as proof that its activity leaders have the necessary competence through holding a qualification or completing a course, supported by details of the experience where appropriate.

Factors to be considered in using training qualification or course may include but are not limited to:

  • the relevance of the qualification or course to the activity
  • the type, relevance and currency of previous experience
  • whether the qualification or training course is industry standard and/or industry accepted.

For example:

  • providing a certificate or statement of attainment for a qualification such as TAFE certificate or University Degree
  • statement of attendance for a training course such as non-accredited or internal organisational training,
  • along with a log book describing their experience.

L2 Outdoor sector and/or organisational accreditation system

In this instance, providers use an internal system to accredit activity leaders.

For example, accepting an Australian Canoeing accredited award or the organisation developing and using its own canoeing accreditation.

Factors to be considered for using an outdoor sector or organisational accreditation system may include but are not limited to:

  • assessing or recognising competence using a formal documented process
  • supporting and recognising the progressive development of skills
  • maintaining documented evidence of the accreditation system and those accredited
  • maintaining the accreditation system by a group of more experienced leaders (e.g. a training committee)
  • identifying individuals who are approved to conduct assessments using the system
  • benchmarking against other recognised guidelines or criteria
  • requirements and/or limitations for the accreditation are based on specific contexts (e.g. guiding canoeing on up to grade 3 white-water)
  • limited by time as to how long the accreditation remains current for.

L3 Leader registration schemes

In this instance, providers accept as proof that activity leaders have the necessary competence the holding of a registration as an activity leader for the type of activity.

For example, a leader provides proof of registration with the National Outdoor Leader Registration Scheme (NOLRS).

Factors to be considered for using a leader registration scheme may include but are not limited to:

  • provides proof of current registration
  • recognises competence that is relevant to the activity and activity context
  • recognises the competence of activity leaders using an appropriate formal process
  • supports and recognises the progressive development of skills
  • maintains documented evidence of registrations under the scheme
  • processes are overseen by a group of more experienced leaders (e.g. a registration committee)
  • identifies competent individuals who are approved to conduct assessment of the registration requirements
  • benchmarking of the registration requirements is against recognised guidelines or criteria
  • limiting by time as to how long the registration remains current for
  • has a process to address currency requirements of competencies (e.g. such as an accompanying log book detailing experience.)

L4 Peer recognition and verification process

In this instance, providers use peers to verify the competence of activity leaders.

For example, prospective leaders demonstrate skills while being observed by a peer assessor.

Factors to be considered for using peer recognition and verification may include but are not limited to:

  • recognises competence using a formal documentation process
  • recognises and supports progressive skills development
  • documents evidence of participation (e.g. log books, other records)
  • verifies competence during participation
  • uses the experience and judgement of peers observing the candidate
  • uses benchmarks based on the provider’s context
  • uses regular participation to demonstrate currency of competence.

L5 Examples of applying recognition pathways

  • A community group may consider peer recognition and verification an appropriate means of recognising activity leaders within their context and expectations.
  • A small organisation determines that it will use a registration scheme as its primary recognition pathway.
  • A large community-based organisation may use their own organisational accreditations, but also allow for peer recognition and verification in specific situations.
  • A commercial provider may consider that a qualification is the basis for employment, supplementing this with peer recognition and verification during a period of probationary employment.
  • A provider uses an industry recognised and accepted training course that provides a statement of attendance rather than a qualification or statement of attainment, as a formal training pathway.
Appendix M Leader competencies

M1 General competencies

All activity leaders must have the competencies listed in the following units or the equivalent:

  • Organise personal work priorities and development BSBWOR301 or BSBWOR301B
  • Plan outdoor recreation activities SISOODR302A
  • Guide outdoor recreation sessions SISOODR303A
  • Minimise environmental impact SISOOPS201A
  • Interpret weather conditions in the field SISOOPS306A
  • Facilitate groups SISXCAI306A
  • Provide quality service SISXCCS001 or Provide customer service SISXCCS201A
  • Respond to emergency situations SISXEMR201A
  • Follow occupational health and safety policies SISXOHS101A
  • Undertake risk analysis of activities SISXRSK301A
  • Provide work skill instruction TAEDEL301A.

M2 First aid competencies

The minimum requirement for first aid training must be the unit Provide First Aid unit code HLTAID003, or its equivalent.

A higher level of first aid qualification should be used for activities and programs that are in remote areas, with the minimum requirement being the unit Provide First Aid in a Remote Location Unit code SISOOPS305A, or its equivalent.