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Curriculum Activity Risk Assessment (CARA) process

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​​​​​​Schools must consider the latest COVID-19 advice prior to undertaking any curriculum activity. State schools search 'COVID-19 Information and resources for staff and schools' to find the latest advice on OnePortal.

The managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure (or CARA procedure) is implemented in Queensland state schools as part of schools' overall risk management framework.

This procedure supports safe delivery of the curriculum from Prep to Y​ear 12 by outlining the responsibilities of departmental employees and providing the minimum process required for risk assessment and management when planning, approving and conducting curriculum activities in schools and other locations.

Note that non-curriculum activities (e.g. bus travel, school fetes, out-of-school activities for international homestay students, and sport representation conducted through Queensland School Sport) are not supported by the CARA procedure. Refer to the health and safety risk assessment template for further support.

Additional requirements for curriculum activities conducted off-site are provided in the school excursions and international school study tours procedure.

CARA resources

Procedural compliance

The managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure (or CARA procedure) outlines the responsibilities of departmental employees and the process to be followed.

The managing risks in school curriculum activities flowchart is provided as a summary of the process outlined in the CARA procedure.

The CARA procedure compliance checklist is provided as a self-assessment tool for principals to comply with requirements of the CARA procedure.

Each year, school-based staff involved in the planning, delivery and approval of curriculum activities are required to participate in a program of CARA training. The minimum CARA training involves completion of both:

  1. the relevant training course on The Learning Place
    • CARA training course—search for 'curriculum activity risk assessment'
    • CARA refresher training course—search for 'curriculum activity risk assessment refresher' (available from 26/11/2021).
  2. the school-provided bespoke training in the established school-wide CARA process (based on the school-specific CARA training slideshow).

The CARA hub (edStudio access key: CARA_HUB) is available on The Learning Place for state schools to access self-service support—including professional development opportunities—that comply with the CARA procedure.

Activity planning

The CARA planner supports teachers to consider the local context of curriculum activities when identifying foreseeable hazards, assessing the risks and planning control measures to keep everyone safe.

The CARA risk matrix (page 2 of the CARA planner) supports teachers to assess inherent risk levels of activities.

Risk levels are made up of 2 elements:

  • the harmful consequence (e.g. injury) if an incident occurred when exposed to a hazard
  • the likelihood of the incident occurring.​
​LikelihoodConsequence​
InsignificantMinorModerateMajorCritical
Almost certainMediumMediumHighExtremeExtreme
LikelyLowMediumHighHighExtreme
Possible​LowMediumHighHighHigh
​UnlikelyLowLowMediumMediumHigh
RareLowLowLowLowMedium

The hierarchy of control supports planning of control measures that eliminate or minimise risks in curriculum activities, as far as is reasonably practicable.​

The hierarchy of control is listed below from most effective control measures to least effective:

  • Elimination—remove the hazard completely from the workplace or activity.
  • Substitution—replace a hazard with a less dangerous one (e.g. using a softer ball, different location).
  • Isolation—separate people from the hazard (e.g. safety barrier).
  • Redesign—make a machine or work process safer.
  • Administration—put rules or extra training in place to make the activity safer.
  • Use PPE—use personal protective clothing and equipment (e.g. helmet, gloves, shin pads)​.

CARA guidelines are provided to demonstrate the minimum safety standard for a wide range of commonly conducted curriculum activities. They assist schools to conduct and prepare risk assessments that meet or exceed the minimum safety standard for the activity in the local context. The CARA guidelines are regularly reviewed in consultation with schools and regions to align with policies, regulations and guidelines of state and federal governments and the standards and processes of peak bodies within Australia.

CARA required documentation

The CARA planner summarises the documentation requirements.

Queensland state schools are required to document high and extreme risk activities as CARA records in OneSchool to demonstrate how the foreseeable risks have been identified, assessed and controlled when conducting curriculum activities.

Inherent risk levelDocument the activity within 3 levels of planningDocument the risks, hazards and control measuresActivity approvalParent consent

Low

Documented within teacher planningSchool leaders (inherent in unit planning)Not required

Medium

School-based decision documented within teacher planning or documented as a CARA record in OneSchoolSchool leaders (inherent in unit planning)Not required

High

Documented as a CARA record in OneSchoolPrincipal or delegateRecommended

Extreme

Documented as a CARA record in OneSchoolPrincipal onlyRequired

Incident reporting

The department provides the health, safety and wellbeing incident management procedure as the process to manage injuries, illnesses and dangerous incidents when planning and conducting curriculum activities.

Contact

Email: CARA@qed.qld.gov.au



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Last updated 04 November 2021