Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment
Safety is achieved through
effective risk management
Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment
• The safety and well-being of students, staff and visitors to
schools is paramount.
• Principals are legislatively responsible for the safety and
well-being of all persons under their direction in accordance with
the Work Health and Safety legislation.
• DETE provides a range of procedures and guidelines to assist its
schools to meet health and safety obligations.
• Assessing and managing the risks associated with curriculum
activities is part of routine planning and classroom practice.
• Risk management is a systematic process that involves the
following 4 steps:
o identifying the hazards
o assessing the risks
o identifying and implementing controls to reduce risks
o monitoring and reviewing these controls.
• The degree of risk management required for an activity
depends on the hazards and level of risk involved in the
• The higher the risk, the more that needs to be done to
manage that risk.
• CARA guidelines assist staff to assess risks, minimise risks, and
conduct curriculum activities as safely as possible.
• They aim to help staff think about possible risks associated with
an activity. They are not exhaustive. In any situation, other
hazards and risks may be present.
• There are currently 129 CARA guidelines covering activities
ranging from rugby to food handling, use of kilns, science
experiments, gardening with hand tools, and welding.
• CARAs are not compulsory. Schools may choose to adopt
alternative risk management approaches. Principals have
overall responsibility for ensuring safety in curriculum
• However, most state schools use the CARA guidelines as a
major component of their risk management strategy.
• CARAs may be used by an individual teacher, a group of
teachers developing a unit of work together, or a whole
secondary department developing its curriculum.
Amendments to CARAs
• The department has streamlined the CARA process for state
• EQ teachers now have the option to prepare risk assessments
in OneSchool in conjunction with much tighter activity-specific
• The guidelines have been reformatted and reduced to remove
repetition. Suggested control measures have not generally
• All guidelines are available at the new location
• For those who do not wish to, or cannot use
OneSchool, a generic template is available on the
Department’s website. This can be used for any
curriculum activity whether or not a guideline exists.
• All high risk activities should be approved by the
principal or head of program prior to the activity
being undertaken.
• For extreme risk activities, it is recommended that
alternatives be considered. If none exists, the
Principal’s approval must be sought prior to the
activity occurring.
• The previous CARA guidelines and templates will
be removed from the department’s website later this
• CARA guidelines are reviewed regularly in consultation with
teachers, industry groups and associations, who advise on new
and changing hazards, risks and control measures.
• Throughout the remainder of 2013, guidelines relating to water
activities will be a key focus for review.
• Revised guidelines and updates will be published at
• If you have suggestions or feedback on particular activities,
please email [email protected]