We, in Guiding, have an appetite to take reasonable risks. We are not risk averse. We ask that members and volunteers take into consideration the risks of their activities and be accountable for their behaviors. We ask that Leaders take reasonable care with their actions and don’t walk past things that they know to be unsafe. By following Girl Guides Australia policy and procedures we will work together to maintain the health and safety of those around us.
We have training, documents and forms to help you manage risk through identifying, assessing and controlling the risks when you are undertaking Guiding activities. We have the Risk Management policy, Being Safe training, and Risk Assessment Plan, called the RAP. We use the RAP when planning:
- Adventure-based activities and /or
- Activities that are not routine or predictable
An example of when a risk assessment plan is required would be your Unit going to an orienteering competition in a National Park. In other circumstances, you may choose to use the 3Q’s as your informal risk assessment:
- What am I/we doing? (Activity)
- What can go wrong? (Identifying the hazard & assessing risk)
- What can I do to make it safe/r? (Controlling the risk)
An example of using the 3 Questions would be your unit doing an activity that is routine or predictable at the local park, near your meeting place, such as a scavenger hunt, tracking skills or learning orienteering.
When completing a risk assessment plan, focus your thoughts on three critical areas:
- People ie keeping children safe, physical harm
- Environment ie the weather
- Equipment ie property damage
There may be some that don’t fit in these categories so can be placed in ‘other hazards’ section e.g. finance or reputational risk. To control these risks a risk assessment and the implementation of control measures are to be undertaken. Girl Guides Australia has a framework, formal policy and procedure for undertaking risk assessment. Leaders/Managers should make themselves familiar with the Risk Management policy and procedure.
You can find full details on the policies, procedures and forms for managing risk on the Guidelines for Girl Guides website.
Below please find our bank of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Alerts, containing important information for Leaders. You will also find a Risk Register for the organisation. Please feel free to use it as a model for your own Unit or Region document.