Supervision is the critical factor in managing risk in the outdoors.
A minimum of two staff members must be present for each activity, one with responsibility for activity instruction and the other able to assist the instructor.
The following table shows the minimum staff-to-student ratios that must be used for orienteering.
(Note: Students not directly involved in orienteering, must be supervised separately with a minimum staff student ratio of 1 to 10.)
|Activity||Staff numbers||Student numbers|
1 - 30*
31 - 60
Outdoor environments with well-defined boundaries
1 - 40
41 - 60
Outdoor environments with less defined boundaries
1 - 20
21 - 30
*This is the only activity that allows one teacher to supervise students as it is being offered in the school grounds.
It may be necessary to increase the number of staff allocated based on:
- age, maturity and gender of students
- ability and experience of students
- individual needs
- dynamics of the student group
- experience, qualifications and skills of staff
- location conditions.
Reasons for increasing staff allocations must be documented.
As staff are responsible for student safety at all times, even when students may be out of sight, it is important that students are adequately skilled to undertake the activity. In the early stages of learning, it may be necessary to have roving staff and, at times, staff stationed at some control sites.
The teacher in charge is responsible for the supervision strategy, which must be endorsed by the principal as part of the excursion approval process. Staff members will supervise students according to that strategy.