- Jeff Baierlein
Viristar and Inside the OutHaus Offer Outdoor Safety Training to Australia & Beyond
Partnership to Provide ‘Risk Management for Outdoor Programs’ Course to LOA Sector at a Discount
Viristar is pleased to join with Inside the Outhaus to bring Risk Management for Outdoor Programs training courses to outdoor education and outdoor recreation professionals across Australia, Oceania and globally, at a special reduced price.
The Risk Management for Outdoor Programs course offers outdoor education and adventure programme managers, and those who wish to be managers, an in-depth training on best safety practices for incident prevention and response.
The 40-hour course, which is offered online, provides participants with a theoretical model of incident causation and prevention, designed specifically for the Led Outdoor Activity industry. The model employs the latest thinking in safety science and human factors research to provide a globally leading framework by which to minimize risk in outdoor and adventurous activities.
The course, which compares Australian Adventure Activity Standards with New Zealand, UK and other standards, also provides detailed guidance for a variety of risk management topics, including:
Emergency response planning
Recruiting, hiring, training and supervising staff
Managing subcontractors (providers)
Mitigating equipment-based and activity-based hazards
Developing risk management plans (safety management systems)
Accreditation, regulations, and legal considerations
Media relations around newsworthy safety incidents
The curriculum is applicable globally, and has been delivered to outdoor professionals in over 40 countries on six continents. Application of complex socio-technical systems theory to the Led Outdoor Activity sector, an advance in safety thinking that has been led by Australia-based researchers, is included in the course content.
Peter Smith, founder of Inside the Outhaus, stated, “The Australian Led Outdoor Activity sector strongly values safety in outdoor adventure. Viristar’s Risk Management for Outdoor Programs training will add an important resource for leaders of outdoor education programmes around the country who wish to have access to in-depth and high-quality training on outdoor safety, and who want to help their programmes achieve excellence in safety outcomes."
Outdoor leaders from across Australia have participated in the course, including from McGill’s Mountains and Mountain Explorers in Victoria; Anglican Church Grammar School in Queensland, and Office of Sport NSW, Kosciuszko Thredbo, and Action Learning Initiatives in New South Wales, among others.
Kelli Jackson, leader of Women's Adventure ACT, 2022 Australian of the Year in the Local Hero award category for the ACT region, graduated from the course last August. The course helped her evaluate how Women’s Adventure ACT was doing with all the different aspects of risk management. “And then it gave me an action plan about what I need to focus on to improve it,” she said. “It was like a lightbulb moment.”
Cat Jackson, Education Coordinator at Gecko Environment Council in Queensland, graduated from the February course cohort, along with participants from South Africa, Singapore, Estonia, Hong Kong, China, USA, Australia, and Canada. Cat appreciated the opportunity not just to experience the curriculum but to build a peer network, saying, "I loved that I could connect with other industry professionals from all over the world!"
Individuals or groups wishing to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the training at a discount can learn more and enroll at courses.viristar.com.
Inside the Outhaus, founded in 2020 during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, is a grassroots community platform bringing together outdoor and experiential educators. The volunteer-driven organization provides a communication portal to connect the nature-based learning (outdoor and experiential education) sector to provide collaborative learning, sharing of resources, and support for the health and well-being of members of the outdoor sector. Inside the Outhaus provides twice-a-month webinars, discussion forums, the ‘Imposters and Gurus’ podcast, an extensive set of written and video-based educational resources, and more.