Risk Management for Recreation Professionals: Course Outline

This course is split into two parts. Weeks 1&2: ‘Negligence Liability’; Weeks 3&4: ‘Risk Management’.

Week 1: What is Negligence and why is it such a big deal?

  • Introduction (course format; use of Webinars; guest lecturers etc.)
  • Distinguishing the Areas of Law
    • Contract law, Criminal law, Human Rights Law, Tort Law
  • Defining Negligence and legal liability in the recreation and sport setting
  • Establishing Negligence
    • duty of care, standard of care, proximate cause, damage
  • Establishing Liability for Negligence
    • personal and vicarious liability, products liability, premises/occupiers’ liability
  • Defenses against Negligence
    • contributory, negligence, assumption of risk, waivers
  • Reviewing some classic case studies
  • Identifying your ‘sweaty palm’ issues

Week 2: Standard of Care

  • The 5 Key Risk Areas
    • Supervision & Instruction
    • Training
    • Facilities & Equipment
    • Documentation
    • Emergency Response Plan
  • Reviewing some classic case studies
  • Conducting a ‘virtual’ Trial

Week 3: Risk Management Planning Process

  • Defining risk management
  • The role of insurance
  • Keeping it simple — adopting a ‘high-risk’ approach to risk management
  • What is high risk?
    • The Risk Matrix
  • Risk Assessment (the audit)
  • Developing a simple audit tool
  • Networking re. your ‘sweaty palm’ issues

Week 4: Developing a Risk Management Plan

  • Identifying a risk management project/major issue at your jobsite (a program or facility)
  • Risk management plan implementation
    • Developing and conducing an audit on your project
    • Drafting a risk management plan based on audit
    • Setting realistic goals and timelines
    • Strategies to ensuring success
  • Risk Management Committee
    • The need for a department Risk Management Committee
    • Role; composition; training
  • Risk Management Resources

In July of 2015 California State University, Chico had the opportunity to participate in Sport Risk’s new ‘Best Practices’ risk management review conducted by Ian McGregor & Associates. Ian is clearly one of the most knowledgable and experienced leaders in risk management practices and our institution was excited to be one of the first Universities to use this new evaluation process. 

 While evaluating our programs we found his work to be innovative, comprehensive, and easy to use throughout all aspects of our various recreation programs. Because of his outstanding work we are using the recommendations as a catalyst for program improvement.  Being able to contrast our practices with other NIRSA institutions is invaluable in bringing our programs to a higher standard of excellence. Without hesitation, I would recommend this process to any collegiate recreation program who is interested in current, state of the art, risk management practices. You will find Ian McGregor and Associates to be professional and cost effective in helping you meet your administrative responsibilities.

Kimberly Scott

Director of Recreational Sports
Associate Director of Student Life
California State University, Chico

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