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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 should search 'COVID-19 Information for school operations' to find the latest advice on OnePortal.

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 training course 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 after completion of the online training. A School-specific CARA training slideshow (PPT, 2.5MB) 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.

Inherent risk level Document the activity within three levels of planning
Document the risks, hazards and control measures
Activity approval
Parent consent

Low


Documented within teacher planning

School leaders (inherent in unit planning)
Not required

Medium

School-based decision documented within teacher planning or documented as a CARA record in OneSchool

School leaders (inherent in unit planning)
Not required

High

Documented as a CARA record in OneSchool
Principal or delegate
Recommended

Extreme

Documented as a CARA record in OneSchool
Principal only
Required


When considering conducting an extreme risk level activity, the Managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure requires schools to consider conducting an alternative or modified activity that achieves comparable learning outcomes and reduces the risk to participant safety. Principals make final decisions about curriculum activities.

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

CARA information sheet (DOC, 237KB)

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 17 November 2020