Risk Management for Outdoor Programs
Online Training Course for Outdoor Professionals
March 1 - March 29, 2023
March 1 - March 29, 2023
The course is a combination of five real-time video-conference sessions, spaced one week part, and independent work periods between live sessions.
Five live online sessions:
Wednesday, March 1, 11:00 a.m. UTC-5
Wednesday, March 8, 11:00 a.m. UTC-5
Wednesday, March 15, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4 (Daylight Saving Time begins)
Wednesday, March 22, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
Wednesday, March 29, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
The course is divided into two separate cohorts, which meet at different times.
The timing of this cohort is designed to be convenient for participants from the Americas/Europe region. For participants in the Asia/Pacific region, please see the Asia/Pacific training listing.
Live session schedule (AM-EU, timed for Americas & Europe)
- 8 am Los Angeles (UTC-7)
- 11 am New York (UTC-4)
- 4 pm London (UTC+0)
- 9:30 pm India (UTC+5.30)
- 12 midnight Singapore/Beijing (UTC+8) (Thursday, the day following)
- 2 am Sydney AU (UTC+10) (Thursday, the day following)
Note that live sessions will always be at 11:00 am New York time. You may need to adjust due to daylight savings, depending on your region.
Independent individual and group work occurs between live sessions.
- Gain critical knowledge of best practices in outdoor program risk management
- Learn procedures, systems and plans essential to meeting key outdoor safety standards
- Understand how to apply successful risk management strategies to adventure programs, experiential education, wilderness expeditions, and outdoor trips
Program Coordinators/Managers, Risk Management officers, Risk Management/Safety Committee members, members of Boards of Directors, executive leadership.
The course is composed of five live video-conference sessions and three independent work periods:
- Live sessions. Five live, video-conference sessions, occurring the same day and time each week, for five consecutive weeks. These include structured real-time small-group and large-group discussions and participant project presentations.
- Independent work. Between live video-conferences, there are four week-long independent work periods for individual and remote small-group activity. This work includes:
- Review of pre-recorded slide presentations with presenter video
- Completion of readings
- Participation in online discussion forums
- Participation in interactive video-based decision-making activities
- Completion of writing assignments (including writing risk management plan outline and strategic improvement plan content)
- Peer review of select classmate writing content
- Completion of organizational self-assessment of risk management
- Completion of online worksheets
- Participation in online risk decision-making role-playing scenario
- Structured analysis of case-study examples
- Completion of quizzes and final exam
Independent work is anticipated to take a minimum of 7-12 hours per week.
Jeff Baierlein, Director, Viristar; past Executive Director at Outward Bound USA
USD $399 individual enrollment.
Course fee includes five live sessions, materials for independent work sessions, lifetime access to an electronic, online-based copy of the course textbook Risk Management for Outdoor Programs: A Guide to Safety in Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure, and certification.
Download a PDF version of the syllabus here.
The course textbook is Risk Management for Outdoor Programs: A Guide to Safety in Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure (viristar.com/book). This 218-page text is provided to each student in electronic online-based format.
Participants take four short quizzes throughout the course and a final written exam. Individuals who fully participate in learning activities and successfully complete the final exam receive a certificate from Viristar valid for three years.
Previous Participants Say:
- “This program is a must for any professionally run outdoor program that is serious about addressing risk.” Bryan Enberg, Director of Education, National Association for Search and Rescue; Past President, Mountain Rescue Association
- “An insightful look into risk domains and tools. Well-structured and expertly facilitated...a great way to gain multiple perspectives and share knowledge and ideas.” Louise Melville, Coordinator of Experiential Learning, St. Clement's School, Toronto, Canada
- "Great course full of useful information. Very practical view on how to develop and manage risk in the outdoor industry." Dr. Christian Bisson, Professor of Adventure Education & Adventure Education Program Coordinator at Plymouth State University