This unit provides students with knowledge and theory concerning risk management for individuals and groups in natural environments.  Students will consider the natural environment and context specific development and interpretation of appropriate organisational policy, law, legal liability, industry accreditation and certification.  Risk management theory will be applied to the development of professional ethics in this context.  Students will be introduced to search and rescue and incident management process and skills. 

Off campus field laboratories in this unit may require a levy for incidental fees for accommodation, transport and camping.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Scrutinise industry standard risk management processes for Natural Environments;  
  2. Substantiate professional knowledge surrounding risk, duty of care and legal liability;  
  3. Develop risk management plans to provide for the safety and well-being of individuals and groups in natural environments; and,  
  4. Demonstrate the application of search and rescue and incident management skills and technique in natural environments.  


Due to risk management and professional/industry requirements to demonstrate knowledge and skill within both simulated and workplace environments, graded attendance and hurdle tasks apply to laboratory work and practicums.
Assessment type Description Grade
Report Industry Standards Report 25%
Test Risk, Duty of Care, Legal liability 25%
Assignment Written Assignment (risk management plan development) 25%
Laboratory Work Field Lab Assessment (simulations) 25%

Required reading

Risk Management in Outdoor and Adventure Programs - scenarios of accidents, incidents and misadventures.
Attarian, A., (2012)
Human Kinetics, Champaign IL

Risk Management in the Outdoors: A whole of organisation approach for education, sport and recreation.
Dickson, T. J., & Gray, T. L., (2012)
Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit may be available as a single unit of study.

Find out more about how to apply for single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.