Responsibilities

Responsibilities of Person in charge

The Person in Charge (PIC) is the person who is overall in charge of a particular EOTC activity or event on behalf of the school. This person is responsible for managing a team of activity leaders and assistants during an event or is the sole activity leader. The PIC could be a registered teacher, could be a qualified instructor or sports coach.

There may be multiple Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking* (PCBUs) involved in EOTC. The respective PICs must* clarify with each other where and when their respective responsibilities apply and execute these according to best practice.

The PIC’s responsibilities cover the following major areas: competence and best practice, health and safety procedures, and equipment and resources.

1. Competence and best practice

People in Charge must:

  1. be familiar with the EOTC guidelines

  2. ensure that educational goals that meet the students’ needs are established for the EOTC activity at the outset of planning

  3. assess their own competence against accepted best practice standards before planning begins and have their decision reviewed by a suitably competent expert ensure that parents are given sufficient information about an EOTC event in writing and are invited to any briefing sessions. This is to ensure that they have enough information to give informed consent for their children to attend

  4. make arrangement for parents whose first language is not English, to allow them to be well informed and able to make a decision

  5. brief parents and other volunteers, students, contractors, and staff about the EOTC event’s objectives, the specific roles and responsibilities of all parties, the code of conduct, the school’s safety management procedures (including contingency plans), and any relevant school policies

  6. ensure that activities are sequenced to facilitate a progressive acquisition of skills and/or knowledge that will result in quality educational outcomes and safe participation for all

  7. ensure there are readily accessible lists of all the participating students, activity leaders, and assistants. The lists should include emergency contact details, medical profiles, and any other pertinent information.


2. Health and safety

People in Charge:

  1. should not be allocated direct responsibility for a group of students so that they can be free to oversee, manage and respond (where multiple groups and staff are involved)

  2. clarify and agree to specific roles and responsibilities with other PCBUs involved

  3. provide cultural safety for students by being sensitive to, and respectful of, different cultural practices, and by planning for them

  4. ensure that students are involved in safety management planning

  5. obtain informed parental consent for student involvement in EOTC activities as per the school’s policy

  6. ensure that all significant hazards relevant to any planned EOTC event are identified and reasonably practicable steps are taken to eliminate or minimise risks through the application of appropriate safety management procedures; (for example see appendix 4, sample forms 17, 18, and 19)

  7. cancel the EOTC activity if an identified hazard cannot be adequately controlled

  8. ensure reporting of all incidents in the school’s incident register

  9. ensure that appropriate contingency plans are in place

  10. ensure that students’ needs and any hazards associated with these (educational, cultural, health, medical, nutritional, and behavioural) are identified and managed.


3. Equipment and resources

People in Charge must ensure that:

  1. all staff and students know the location of the event

  2. first aid kits, emergency equipment, and a means of communication that will work in your location are taken to the event and where practicable, all staff and students know the location of the event

  3. weatherproof copies of emergency procedures and contact details are provided to activity leaders to take it into the field

  4. all equipment is returned to storage cleaned and in good repair and that usage and repair logs are completed.

 

Responsibilities of activity leaders

Activity leaders work under the leadership of a PIC and can be teachers, coaches, other staff, contracted providers (for example, instructors), adult volunteers, senior school students, or tertiary students. This group must have the appropriate competence for the activities and groups they are responsible for.

Through the use of activity leaders, EOTC activities involving large groups can be more effectively managed. In this way, safety can be maximised and students can more easily achieve the intended learning outcomes.

Activity leaders also have responsibilities in three main areas: competence and best practice, health and safety procedures, and equipment and resources.

 

1. Competence and best practice Activity leaders:

  1. assess their own competence against accepted best practice* standards before planning begins and have their decision peer- or expert- reviewed. Saying “no” to leading an activity is an accepted and respected response

  2. instruct students in appropriate safety procedures and have practised them for themselves

  3. ensure that students experience “challenge by choice”* (that is, they are encouraged, not forced or pressured, to participate in activities in a supportive group environment)

  4. are familiar with the EOTC guidelines

  5. brief assistants on their specific role and responsibilities, the activity outcomes, their allocated students and the relevant school or contractor safety management procedures and/or policies that apply

  6. assess the needs and capabilities of the students against the demands of the activity and make any necessary adjustments to the programme

  7. ensure that there is minimal impact on the environment and that sustainable practices are used in all aspects of the EOTC activity

  8. make every effort to deliver the activity so that educational goals and students' needs are met.


2. Health and safety

Activity leaders must:

  1. take reasonably practicable steps* to ensure their own safety and the safety of other staff, contractors, volunteers, and students during EOTC activities and ensure that no action or inaction on their part causes harm to any other person

  2. comply (so far as they are reasonably able ) with any reasonable instruction that is given by PCBU to allow the PCBU to ensure health and safety

  3. co-operate with any reasonable policy or procedure of the PCBU relating to health and safety that has been notified to them

  4. ensure that activities are sequenced to facilitate a progressive acquisition of skills and/or knowledge that will result in quality educational outcomes and safe participation for all

  5. provide cultural safety for students by being sensitive to, and respectful of, different cultural practices and by planning for them

  6. inform assistants of any cultural practices relevant to the group and emphasise the need to respect them

  7. understand and follow the safety requirements of all the activities they are responsible for and determine any special care that should be taken by themselves, the assistants and the students. This includes ensuring they take medical and other relevant information for their group into the field

  8. identify all hazards and risks

  9. ensure that hazards, such as unsafe equipment and practices, are reported in writing to the EOTC co-ordinator and/or the person in charge

  10. cancel an EOTC activity if an identified hazard or risk cannot be adequately controlled

  11. report all incidents* in the school’s incident register

  12. understand and know how to implement any applicable contingency plans

  13. ensure that students’ needs and any hazards associated with these (educational, cultural, health, medical, nutritional, and behavioural) are identified and managed.


3. Equipment and resources

Activity leaders must ensure that:

  1. appropriate safety equipment and/or clothing are used when required;

  2. safety procedures for specific activities and use of equipment are known;

  3. equipment logs are referred to before any equipment is used;

  4. first aid kits, emergency equipment, and a means of communication that will work in their location are taken

  5. weatherproof copies of emergency procedures and contact details are provided to activity leaders to take into the field

  6. all equipment is returned to storage cleaned and in good repair and that usage and repair logs are completed

  7. food and drink are taken regularly by participants, during an EOTC event*, to maintain energy levels.

Responsibilities of the Assistants

Assistants can be teachers, support staff, adult volunteers, and tertiary or senior students. They differ from an activity leader in that they do not necessarily have the required competence for that role. Such people should be assigned to an activity leader as an assistant. They should be given the students’ medical details and other relevant information on their group and the activity, and they should be briefed on the risk management and emergency procedures. The level for supervision of an assistant should be in proportion to the level of risk in the activity. Supervision of an assistant may, therefore, be direct or indirect.

School staff acting as assistants on EOTC experiences* continue to act as employees of the school whether the excursion takes place within normal school hours or outside those hours. Staff must* do their best to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the group and act as any reasonable adult would do in the same circumstances. 

They should*:

  1. follow the instructions of the activity leader or person in charge and help with control and discipline

  2. consider stopping the excursion or the activity and notifying the activity leader if they think the risk to the health or safety of the participants in their charge is unacceptable. Adult volunteers (including parents* and tertiary students) and senior students acting as assistants on the EOTC experience should be clear about their roles and responsibilities during the activity. 

They should also:

  1.  do their best to support the activity leader and ensure the health and safety of everyone in the group

  2.  not allow themselves to be left in sole charge of participants, except where it has been previously agreed as part of the risk assessment

  3.  only accept the responsibility of being a supervisor if they are comfortable with the role and the skills they have

  4.  follow the instructions of the activity leader and the person in charge and help with control and discipline

  5. speak to the person in charge or the activity leader if they are concerned about their own health or safety or that of participants at any time during the EOTC experience.













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