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

Risk management can be such an overwhelming area in our business. The tool Ian has developed has comprehensive enough reporting to gather all the required knowledge about where we are at and where we need to go. More importantly though, it provides an excellent prioritization system that will allow us to get started in the most appropriate places.

Chris Dawe

Former Director of Campus Recreation, Mount Royal College
Principal Consultant, Strategic Healthy Impacts

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