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  • Jeff Baierlein

Risk Management for Outdoor Programs Training: Reviews from Recent Graduates

Two groups of participants recently completed the Risk Management for Outdoor Programs course, completing the rigorous 40-hour online training and earning their course completion certificate.

Participants from Brazil, Germany, the UK, Canada, the USA, and India were in Viristar’s April and May course cohorts. Congratulations to all graduates!

Each participant learned about incident causation and prevention models, the history of safety thinking, and practical techniques for managing risks in outdoor, adventure, wilderness, travel and experiential programs.

The class covered how to manage risks in eight risk domains:

  • Organizational Culture

  • Activities and Program Areas

  • Staff

  • Equipment

  • Participants

  • Subcontractors

  • Transportation

  • Business Administration

Participants also learned how to apply the following 11 risk management instruments to meet outdoor safety standards:

  • Risk Transfer

  • Incident Management

  • Incident Reporting

  • Incident Reviews

  • Risk Management Committee

  • Medical Screening

  • Risk Management Reviews

  • Media Relations

  • Documentation

  • Accreditation

  • Seeing Systems

Each person in the class went through a comprehensive self-assessment of their organization’s risk management systems, and developed a written action plan for making improvements at their institution.

Here’s what recent graduates had to say about the course:

“Every organization working in the outdoors should take this course, even if they believe they have risk management well addressed. This is a very well-designed training that encourages a deep self-assessment and high-level discussions on incident causation and strategies to manage risks.”

Samanta Chu,


Wilderness Medical Associates Brasil

“This course was an excellent overview of outdoor risk management…the assignments allowed me to reflect on what has currently been implemented in my organization as well as understand what still needs to be added. I highly recommend.”

Dr. Ksenia Kozak,

Head Counselor,

Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization

“An excellent course…well facilitated.”

Cathie Riley,

School Nurse,

The Fay School

“This course was incredibly robust, participatory, and informative…I was very impressed. The curriculum was designed so that the exercises were practical and applicable to the program I work with. My completed self-assessment coursework will be practically useful as I develop a risk management program for my employer.”

Ira Christian,

Director of Outdoor Studies,

Manzanita School and Institute

Courses are now enrolling for July, August, September and October. For more information or to enroll, click here.


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