for Outdoor Programs
Online Training Course
For travel, experiential, wilderness, adventure and
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. Organizations focused on outdoor education, outdoor recreation, experiential learning, adventure education, wilderness courses, and travel programming. For example: outdoor program providers, international schools and independent schools, parks and recreation services, and travel, tourism and adventure organizations.
The course is four weeks in length. It is composed of five live video-conference sessions and four independent work periods.
1. 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.
2. 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 10-12 hours per week. The course is rigorous and intensive.
When you select your course, choose the timing of the live sessions that works best for you and the time zone where you are. Live sessions can be attended either at a time convenient for participants in the Americas & Europe (11 am – noon New York time, UTC-5) or Asia-Pacific (11 am – noon Singapore/Beijing time, UTC+8).
Jeff Baierlein, Director, Viristar; past Executive Director at Outward Bound USA
USD $259 individual enrollment.
USD $225 per person for groups of 5 or more.
Course fee includes four 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.
The course provides a systems-based approach for managing risks, and covers wilderness risk management, risk management plan development, and risk assessment and safety management best practices.
Live Session 1
Welcome, Introduction, Orientation
Independent Work 1
Introductory Concepts in Risk Manaagement
Approaches to Risk Management
Risk Domains I
Live Session 2
Participant Presentations: Self-Evaluation of Risk Management: Standards & General Practices
Independent Work 2
Risk Domains II
Live Session 3
Participant Presentations: Self-Evaluation of Risk Management in Risk Management Domains
Independent Work 3
Risk Management Instruments
Case Study: Mangatepopo Gorge Incident
Emergency Response Scenario
Case Study: Media Relations
Special Topic: COVID-19 Management
Live Session 4
Participant Presentations: Self-Evaluation of Risk Management with Risk Management Instruments
Independent Work 4
Synthesis & Application
Risk Management Plan Development
Strategic Improvement Plan for Your Organization
Live Session 5
Participant Presentation: Strategic Improvement Plan for Your Organization
Risk Decisions Role Play
Conclusion & Certificates
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. 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:
“Viristar delivered a high quality training and I would recommend it to any outdoor program.” Si Dilks, ChinaClimb
“Extremely useful, important and informative course…very enjoyable and worthwhile.” Kelvin Fawcett, Nord Anglia International School
“Great insight into risk management—took a lot away to implement back at my workplace. Very well run. Great course!” Liam Warren, Harrow International School
Dates and Registration
Select your desired course dates from the list of available courses now!
The Risk Management for Outdoor Programs course is a must for all outdoor recreation executives and leadership.
Chris Boyer, Executive Director,
National Association for Search and Rescue