​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Guideline review date: 28 October 2021

​This guideline is provided to support schools in implementing the managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure.

The CARA planner must be used for the specific school context in conjunction with this guideline considering additional risks, hazards and controls and including environmental, facility, equipment and student considerations.​

For activities beyond the scope of this guideline, complete a CARA record using the CARA generic template.​

Activity scope

This guideline relates to student participation in target archery as an activity to support curriculum delivery.

Note: In this activity context, archery equipment is not being used as a weapon and is not classified as a firearm under the Weapons Act 1990 (Qld).

Note: This activity does not include field archery.

For activities conducted at a non-Department of Education venue, and/or when engaging external expertise, request written risk assessment advice and attach it to this CARA record.

​For activities conducted off-site, schools must comply wi​​​​th the school excursions​ procedure.​

Risk level​​

​High risk
​​Archery activities involving shooting an arrow from a marked distance to a target on level ground.​​

Activity requirements

If any requirement cannot be met, the activity must not occur.

If any other safety recommendation cannot be met, modify the activity (or elements of it) and/or identify and use the hierarchy of controls to implement alternative control measures to meet or exceed the minimum safety standard.​

Crossbows are prohibited in Queensland state schools.​​



Principals make final supervision decisions for the activity. Sufficient adult supervision must be provided to manage the activity safely (including emergency situations).

For activities with students with a medical condition or disability that may impact on safety during the activity, consultation with parents is required prior to allocating supervision to determine the impact of students’ medical condition or disability on safety during the activity.

The number of adult supervisors required to fulfil emergency and supervision roles must consider the nature of the activity, students' ages, abilities and specialised learning, access and/or health needs.

Before the activity, all adult supervisors:

  • must be familiar with the contents of the CARA record
  • must assess weather conditions prior to undertaking the activity, inspecting the intended location in order to identify variable risks, hazards and potential dangers.

During the activity, all adult supervisors:

  • must be readily identifiable
  • must closely monitor students with health support needs
  • must comply with control measures from the CARA record and adapt as hazards arise
  • must closely supervise the approach/launch, the shooting line and range area at all times 
  • must suspend the activity if the conditions become unfavourable (e.g. extreme temperatures, thunderstorms).

Supervisor qualifications

Principals make final decisions in determining supervisor capability (competence, relevance and currency) and are responsible for encouraging and enabling school-based activity supervisors to raise their qualifications to improve safety standards.

All adult supervisors must comply with the working with children authority—blue cards procedure and be able to identify, and respond to, risks or hazards that may emerge during the activity.

A registered teacher must be appointed to maintain overall responsibility for the activity.

At least one adult supervisor is required to be:

High risk level:

  • A registered teacher with qualifications in HPE (or equivalent demonstrated capability) and with competence (knowledge and skills) in teaching archery or
  • An adult supervisor, working under the direct supervision of a registered teacher, with current level 1 archery instructor accreditation from Archery Australia.

Facilities and equipment

The qualified adult supervisor of the activity, in consultation with the principal, determines the requirements for facilities and equipment appropriate to the local context.

Location must be suitable for the activity being undertaken, including sufficient space to ensure safe participation and that safety rules and procedures can be followed.

Participants must wear personal protective equipment appropriate to the activity (e.g. enclosed footwear, firmly-fitting clothes that won’t become entangled, finger tabs/shooting gloves, chest protectors and armguards). It is recommended armguards extend above the elbow.

Equipment must be sized to match the ability and strength of students including type of bow, bows strung to their recommended string lengths and arrows fitted with target arrow heads.

Consider using a whistle for command signalling.

Equipment hygiene must be maintained (e.g. using paper towels and antiseptic spray or antiseptic wipes).

Targets must have butts that will stop arrows and be set up with parallel flight paths and easily visible faces.

Consult the Archery Australia safety policy for support in determining safety of facilities and equipment.

 Common hazards and controls

Further to those listed, include any additional hazards and control measures considering the local context of the activity.

Environmental hazards Control measures

Biological material
Body fluids (e.g. blood, saliva, sweat)

Manage bodily substances (e.g. blood) and open wounds before, during and after the activity. Consult infection control guidelines and Queensland Health's exclusion periods for infectious conditions poster (PDF, 1.5MB) for hygienic practices and first aid.

Follow appropriate cleaning and hygiene management practices when using shared equipment (departmental staff search 'practical subjects cleaning equipment' in OnePortal)

Environmental conditions
Weather, sun, humidity

The school's sun safety strategy must be followed if participating outside.

Assess weather (Bureau of Meteorology) and environmental conditions prior to participating outside.

Follow the managing excessive heat in schools guidelines when participating in very hot or extreme heat conditions.

Ensure drink breaks occur regularly. Make water available for individual participants between drink breaks.

Dry equipment (including arrows) before each shot if conditions cause dampness.

Facilities and equipment hazards
Control measures

Boundary clearance

Establish a clearly marked exclusion zone that is:

  • at least 20m wide on either side of the field of play;
  • at least 50m behind the targets to provide an overshoot zone. Consider a solid backstop that cannot be breached (e.g. mound or fence) to stop arrows that miss the target
  • free from obstructions (e.g. trees, wires, shrubs).

Ensure all participants shoot from the same single shooting line. If different distances are to be shot, stagger the targets not the archers.


All chemicals in schools must be managed in accordance with the department’s chemical management procedure. All chemicals used in curriculum activities, except consumer chemicals, must be recorded in the school Chemwatch manifest. Consumer chemicals must be managed according to label instructions.
Lines are marked on grass in accordance with the line marking of sports fields fact sheet including:

  • the waiting area, approach and shooting area
  • a single shooting line that provides at least 1m of space between the archers
  • a marked waiting line located at least 3m behind the shooting line.

Faulty or dangerous equipment

Check equipment for damage and stability before and during the activity (e.g. unsecured targets, faulty flights, split arrows, frayed bow strings, cracked fibreglass).

Do not use personal protective equipment with cracks, dents or damage.

Place quivers and/or bow stands on the shooting line.

Clean and store all equipment safely and securely when not in use.

Student considerations
Control measures

Accidental impalement

Implement a safe shooting procedure:

  • approach the shooting line only when instructed. Only then, may the line may be straddled
  • wait for the ‘start shooting’ signal before picking up the bow and removing arrows from the quiver
  • check shooting sector and exclusion zone is clear before preparing to shoot
  • face the target with an intent to shoot before drawing an arrow in a bow 
  • never draw a bow without an arrow, unless under instruction to do so
  • leave any arrows that land in front of the shooting line
  • position bows vertically with the tip resting on the front foot between shots
  • when the ‘cease shooting’ signal is given, place bows on racks, ground all quivers next to the shooting line and point quivers towards the target. Only then, step back to the waiting line.

Do not permit access to equipment without direct supervision of an adult supervisor.

Assign no more than three archers shooting at one target at a time.

Position left and right-handed participants to ensure they face the instructor.

Do not allow archers at the shoot line to be distracted by others.

Student issues

Remove accessories (e.g. jewellery, lanyards) before participating.

Ensure fingernails and hair and clothing (e.g. pockets) do not interfere with the activity.

Monitor and enforce the correct handling of arrows. Do not allow participants to run with arrows at any time.

Physical exertion
Exhaustion and fatigue

Conduct warm-up/cool-down activities.

Continually monitor participants for signs of fatigue and exhaustion


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Use or adaptation of, or reliance on, this information by persons or organisations other than the State of Queensland is at their sole risk. All users who use, adapt or rely on this information are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency and appropriateness to their particular circumstances. The State of Queensland makes no representations, either express or implied, as to the suitability of this information to a user's particular circumstances.

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Last updated 06 September 2023