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There are about 350 people at this conference--risk managers, program directors, field instructors, teachers and faculty members, risk management consultants and others. And there are people from across the globe including Canada, the UK, Australia, and the US. What that means it that the networking opportunities are amazing. I've had great conversations with friends and colleagues in the last two days.
Today I went to two different workshops and gave my workshop on the Risk Assessment and Safety Management System (RASM). The first wokshop was with Dave Baines whose topic was "Pushing Upwards and Outwards: Strategies for Risk Managers for Programs Operating within Large Institutions." A lot of outdoor programs like those operating in schools and Universities are not separate entities but much small entities with a large organization. Making your risk management issues a priority within the large organization is often a real challenge. Dave outlined a number of strategies that he has used while operating a risk management program for outdoor activities within a large multinational corporation.
In the afternoon I went to a presentation by Clare Dallat of the Outdoor Education Group (OEG) in Victoria, Australia. OEG runs programs for thousands of school children in Victoria. Clare presented on "Communicating Risk to Parents." If your program works with minors a critical piece of your risk management plan has to be ensuring that parents are properly informed of both the potential risks and the potential benefits of your program in order to make informed consent. Clare went through a detailed plan of how to accomplish this in your program and also covered a lot of the pitfalls that can come up along the way.
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