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Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment (CARA) process

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The Managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure supports schools in identifying potential hazards, assessing risks and implementing control measures. This helps to keep everyone safe when conducting curriculum activities as part of the delivery of the Prep to Year 12 curriculum in Queensland state schools.

The procedure outlines the responsibilities of departmental employees and provides the minimum process to be followed by all state schools. Summaries of the CARA process are provided on the CARA planner (below) and the Managing risks in school curriculum activities flowchart (PDF, 417KB).

Non-curriculum activities are not supported by the CARA procedure. These activities are conducted as part of school operations but are not aligned to the delivery of the curriculum in Prep to Year 12 (e.g. bus travel, school fetes, out-of-school activities for Education Queensland International (EQI) homestay students, and sport representation conducted through Queensland School Sport). Refer to the Enterprise Risk Management framework to complete a risk assessment for these non-curriculum related activities. If necessary, non-curriculum activities can be recorded as ’Other’ in OneSchool and added as an attachment.

Training

The CARA Mandatory Training is to be completed annually by school-based staff involved in the delivery and approval of curriculum activities in schools. Staff must log into The Learning Place and search for 'curriculum activity risk assessment'. Additionally, school-specific annual induction/refresher training must be completed. A CARA PowerPoint template (PPT, 1.7MB) is available for this purpose.

Planning curriculum activities

Collaborative planning of curriculum activities is strongly encouraged. Teachers and adult supervisors involved in the activity should use the CARA planner (DOC, 423KB) during the planning phase of an activity. This planner provides support in identifying hazards, assessing the risks, determining an inherent risk level, deciding on control measures and documenting the risk assessment for the activity.

To assist Queensland state schools to conduct and prepare risk assessments, CARA guidelines are available for a wide range of activities that may be part of delivering the curriculum in Prep to Year 12. The guidelines are developed to align with policies, regulations and guidelines of state and federal governments, and the standards and processes of peak bodies within Australia. In addition they are regularly reviewed and undergo a comprehensive consultation process with schools and regions.

A sample parent consent template (DOC, 337KB) is available to assist schools in their planning for high and extreme risk activities.

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Determining the risk level and required documentation

All curriculum activities have an inherent risk level. While the risk level of a curriculum activity cannot be altered, control measures put in place can mitigate the risk and enable the activity to be conducted safely.

Risk level Description Action required

Low

Little chance of incident or injury

Document risks and controls through the 'three levels of curriculum planning' (PDF, 1.8MB)

Medium

Some chance of an incident and injury requiring first aid

Follow school-based decisions for documentation. Either:

High

Likely chance of a significant incident and injury requiring medical treatment

  • Complete a CARA record in OneSchool
  • Obtain approval from principal or school leader (i.e. DP, HOD, HOSES)  prior to conducting this activity. This approval is requested in OneSchool when the CARA record is completed
  • Obtain and document parent consent using the parent consent template (DOC, 337KB) (highly recommended)

Extreme

High chance of a serious incident resulting in a highly debilitating injury

  • Consider conducting an alternative activity or modifying the activity to reduce the risk and achieve comparable learning outcomes. If the activity is essential to the curriculum the principal will determine its appropriateness
  • Complete a CARA record in OneSchool
  • Obtain approval from principal prior to conducting this activity. This approval is automatically requested in OneSchool when the CARA record is completed
  • Obtain and document parent consent using the parent consent template (DOC, 337KB) (mandatory)

 

Principals make the final decisions in approving curriculum activities in schools. These decisions must ensure all curriculum activities are justified by the expected educational outcomes, given the level of risk. 

Documenting CARA records in OneSchool

Queensland state schools prepare Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment (CARA) records in OneSchool to demonstrate how they identify, assess and control reasonably foreseeable risks when conducting curriculum activities. The CARA generic template (DOCX, 401KB and the CARA guidelines support schools in completing the required documentation.

Related resources

Managing risks in curriculum activities information sheet (DOC, 357KB)

Incident Form (DOC, 386KB)

Queensland School Sport

Workspace safety compliance

Safe Operating Procedures (SOP)

Principals self-assessment checklist (DOCX, 75KB)

Brief summary of changes to the CARA procedure (2019) (DOCX, 45KB)

Brief summary of changes to the CARA procedure vignette (2019)

Contact

Email: CARA@qed.qld.gov.au

Postal address:
PO Box 15033
CITY EAST QLD 4002

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Last updated 16 September 2019