Best Practices Risk Assessment Tool

October 18, 2015

What’s it all about?

Ian McGregor, Ph.D.
President, SportRisk

The following provides a brief description and overview of the Campus Recreation ‘Best Practices Risk Assessment Tool’. For more information on how the tool was developed, tested and piloted, visit the SportRisk website at

• Best Practices surveys were developed by a group of experts in their field (in the US and Canada) then vetted by staff at various schools across North America. Surveys were piloted at 8 schools (4 in the U.S. ; 4 in Canada) before final implementation.

• There are 16 Best Practices areas in total:
Programs (5): Sport Clubs; Intramurals; Youth Camps; Outdoor Program; Instruction
Facilities (7): Weight Room; Fitness Center; Aquatics; Ice Arena; Fields; Climbing Wall; Facilities (general).
General (4): Risk Management Committee; Travel; Emergency Response; Waivers.

• For Programs & Facilities, Best Practice surveys are generally divided into 6 categories:
Supervision & Instruction
Facilities and Equipment
Emergency Response Plan

• General surveys are all different, and have unique categories.

• The Demographics survey provides key information on each school (e.g. size province, % male: female etc.) which will allow for comparisons to be made.

For each Best Practices area, surveys were developed (by the experts) in the form of a series of statements e.g. ‘The Weight Room is supervised at all times’.

Staff members completing the surveys (on SurveyMonkey) have three response options for all Best Practice statement, and a ‘response value’ is assigned to each response:

2: ‘Currently doing this’
1: ‘Plan to do this’
0: ‘Not planning to do this’

Each Best Practice is assigned a ‘weight factor’ using a 3, 2, 1 scale to reflect their relative importance.
3: critical
2: very important
1: important

A score for each Best Practice statement is determined by multiplying the ‘response value’ and the ‘weight factor’ (e.g. a ‘currently doing this’ response (2) coupled with a ‘critical’ weight factor (3) scored a total of 2×3 = 6).

A ‘Category Score’ is calculated for each category (staffing, supervision etc.) within each survey.

A ‘Total Score’ for each Best Practice area is obtained by adding the scores of all Categories.

Participating schools receive a Report which includes:
a) Action Recommendations based on importance of gaps and deficiencies discovered. The focus of these recommendations will be those Best Practices which have an overall weighting of 2 or 3. Click here to see a one page sample of the report.

b) Benchmark Graphs for all 16 Best Practices areas showing how each school compares to other schools, and to other schools in their state/ province.
Click here to see a sample comparison graph.

Ad-on Options and Queries
Schools will be able to request ‘comparisons’ based on demographics e.g. ‘how do we compare (a) with schools of our size (b) within our state (c) within our Athletic Conference?’ etc.

Schools will also be able to ask specific questions (queries) e.g. what is the % of schools by country/ state or province/ Athletic Conference etc. where Campus Recreation reports through Student Affairs (or Athletics or Administration)? Countless query possibilities!

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