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Risk Management for Outdoor Programs: British Columbia Provincial Handbook for Administrators and Instructors

Document Date: May 17, 2010
Document Source: British Columbia Provincial Handbook
British Columbia Provincial Handbook
Posted:  May 16, 2010

Outdoor Ed is always on the lookout for great resources to share. While specifically developed for colleges and universities in British Columbia, this 125 page booklet is a superb resource for outdoor programs. The introduction states,”This handbook is designed for use by managers and instructors of outdoor programs in British Columbias post-secondary institutions (mainly colleges and universities). Its purpose is to provide these staff with a risk management resource that will help them conduct operations responsibly and prevent accidents and injuries during field trips into wilderness and backcountry terrain. The typical post-secondary outdoor programs include those in outdoor recreation, physical education, natural history, and adventure tourism.
Responsible operation of outdoor programs requires an integrated, systematic approach to minimizing risk. It is not enough to consider risk and risk management at the level of program delivery alone. Risk management is the responsibility of the whole institution. Risk management is the responsibility of an institutions administrationincluding the faculty dean, department chairs, and program managersas well as of instructors and even students. It is therefore imperative that every institution, from the administrative to the program level, monitor how successfully its organizational structure, policies, procedures, resources, and equipment are contributing to the effective management of risk.
Risk management is not a one-time event. It is a dynamic, evolving process of adaptation and change in response to shifting circumstances. This process ensures that outdoor programs will constantly improveand constantly maintain a high standard and record of safety.
The risk management information presented in this handbook draws from the practices used by private and public institutions around the world. This information, however, is tailored specifically for British Columbia and its outdoor programs. The result is a comprehensive set of minimum operating guidelines that any of the provinces post-secondary institutions offering credit or non-credit outdoor programs will find invaluable.”