Risk Management for Outdoor Programs
7/3/2024 - 7/31/2024
11:00 am UTC-4
Event Type(s)
Risk Management
Event Description

Risk Management for Outdoor Programs
Online Training Course for Outdoor Professionals
July 3 - July 31, 2024

July 3 - July 31, 2024

The course is a combination of five real-time video-conference sessions, spaced one week apart, and independent work periods between live sessions.

Five live online sessions:

  • Wednesday, Jul 3, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
  • Wednesday, Jul 10, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4 
  • Wednesday, Jul 17, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
  • Wednesday, Jul 24, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4
  • Wednesday, Jul 31, 11:00 a.m. UTC-4

Independent individual and group work occurs between live sessions.


  • Gain critical knowledge of best practices in outdoor program risk management

  • Learn procedures, systems, and plans essential to meeting key outdoor safety standards

  • Understand how to apply successful risk management strategies to adventure programs, experiential education, wilderness expeditions, and outdoor trips

Valuable for
Program Coordinators/Managers, Risk Management officers, Risk Management/Safety Committee members, members of Boards of Directors, executive leadership.

Contact Person
Jeff Baierlein
(phone: 206 473 8050)

Course Format
The course is composed of five live video-conference sessions and three independent work periods:

  1. Live sessions. Five live, video-conference sessions, occurring the same day and time each week, for five consecutive weeks.  These include structured real-time small-group and large-group discussions and participant project presentations.

  1. Independent work. Between live video-conferences, there are four-week-long independent work periods for individual and remote small-group activity. This work includes:

  • ​Review of pre-recorded slide presentations with presenter video

  • Completion of readings

  • Participation in online discussion forums

  • Participation in interactive video-based decision-making activities

  • Completion of writing assignments (including writing risk management plan outline and strategic improvement plan content)

  • Peer review of select classmate writing content

  • Completion of organizational self-assessment of risk management

  • Completion of online worksheets

  • Participation in online risk decision-making role-playing scenario

  • Structured analysis of case-study examples

  • Completion of quizzes and final exam

Independent work is anticipated to take a minimum of 10-12 hours per week.

Jeff Baierlein, Director, Viristar; past Executive Director at Outward Bound USA​


USD $649 individual enrollment.

Course fee includes five live sessions, materials for independent work sessions, lifetime access to an electronic, online-based copy of the course textbook Risk Management for Outdoor Programs: A Guide to Safety in Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure, and certification.

Download a PDF version of the syllabus here

The course textbook is Risk Management for Outdoor Programs: A Guide to Safety in Outdoor Education, Recreation and Adventure (https://courses.viristar.com/book/). This 218-page text is provided to each student in electronic online-based format.

Participants take four short quizzes throughout the course and a final written exam. Individuals who fully participate in learning activities and successfully complete the final exam receive a certificate from Viristar valid for three years.​

Previous Participants Say:

  • “Viristar's Risk Management for Outdoor Programs course is intensive, thought-provoking, and designed to make one critically think about the adequacy of the existing risk management...useful for both novices as well as seasoned practitioners.” Syed Ismail, Assistant Director (Training) & Master Instructor, Outward Bound Singapore

  • "This was a really beneficial course...it's given me the language I needed to deepen my understanding of risk management." Kate Johnston, Outdoor Education Specialist, United World Colleges, Southeast Asia

  • "Viristar's Risk Management for Outdoor programs course is the most comprehensive risk management course I have completed...Highly recommended." Phil Austen-Smith, Expedition & remote programs facilitator/trainer, Oman

return to Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education