External providers may be engaged to deliver specific outdoor or adventure activities or a whole program. They may provide expertise in a certain activity and can form a valuable addition to a program.
Clear and open communication that occurs well in advance of the planned program is the key to an effective and well-informed relationship between a school and an external provider.
Before an external provider is selected to assist with the delivery of a program, a thorough check should be completed by the school to ensure that they are appropriate for the program.
Prior to commencement of a program the school should ensure that the external provider has:
- a current public liability insurance certificate (minimum $10 million) provided by an APRA approved insurer
- discussed with the school who has responsibilities for first aid, emergency communications and other specialist equipment
- demonstrated that staff have the correct qualifications and/or experience for their specific role/s
- a documented system in place to ensure that students are supervised by either a registered teacher or an approved staff member with a current
Working with Children Check
- ensure that supervision of students is overseen at all times by a staff member of other individual that has a completed Working with Children Check
- discussed with the school who will be responsible for emergency procedures, and that these are well understood prior to the excursion taking place
- read the relevant sections of the Department's Safety Guidelines for Education Outdoors and understood their obligations under these guidelines.
Schools cannot sign 'Waivers of liability' on behalf of students. Regardless of the role of the external provider, schools retain overall responsibility for the program and any activities involving students.
Government schools using residential campsites in Victoria as a venue for their camp or excursion are required to use only accredited campsites. For more information see: School Policy and Advisory Guide -
Accreditation schemes include
Australian Camps Association Accreditation,
Australian Tourism Accreditation Program (ATAP)and
National Accommodation, Recreation & Tourism Accreditation
Where not directly responsible for the instruction of the activity or assisting the instructor, the teacher present must understand the activity and the environment in which it will be conducted. This teacher must confer with the designated instructor about the supervisory role and establish areas of responsibility. If the teacher is not the designated instructor he/she is to act on the advice of the designated instructor on technical safety issues.