Risk Management for Outdoor Programs
Online Training Course for Outdoor Professionals
May 3 - May 31, 2023
May 3 - May 31, 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, May 3, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
Wednesday, May 10, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
Wednesday, May 17, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
Wednesday, May 24, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
Wednesday, May31, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
Independent work occurs between Live Sessions.
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 $649 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