Guideline review date: 28 October 2021
This guideline is provided to support schools in implementing the
managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure.
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.
This guideline relates to student participation in low ropes courses and group challenge activities to support curriculum delivery.
Low ropes activities refer to any activity that requires an individual or pair to complete an element conducted on a purpose-built facility for which the appropriate safety is achieved through safe and effective spotting.
Group activities refers to any activity undertaken by a small to large group conducted on a purpose-built facility for which the appropriate safety is achieved through safe and effective spotting or adult supervisor directed dismount.
Where the participant's safety can no longer be achieved by spotting, refer to
challenge high ropes guideline.
Depending on the scope of this activity, other risk assessments may be required when planning. Curriculum activities encompassing more than one CARA guideline (e.g.
challenge low ropes and group activities while
camping) must comply with the requirements of all CARA guidelines appropriate to the activity.
Schools should consider conducting this activity at a Department of Education
Outdoor and Environmental Education Centre (OEEC) and consult with OEEC centre staff for risk assessment requirements.
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 with the
school excursions procedure.
Low ropes and group activities conducted at a purpose-built facility for which the appropriate safety is achieved through safe and effective spotting.
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.
All risk levels
Australian adventure activity standard,
challenge courses Australian adventure activity good practice guide is required when planning this activity.
Permission/permits are required to be obtained from land managers (e.g.
QGPF, local councils or private landholders), if applicable.
Assessment and management of risks associated with
working at heights must occur.
Inspection and maintenance of the ropes course must comply with AS2316.2.2:2016—artificial climbing structures and challenge courses flying foxes and challenge ropes courses—operation requirements.
Routine visual checks must be carried out by the adult supervisor leading the activity before each use of the course to ensure there is no obvious damage; the site is safe and; the integrity of the safety systems.
Operational inspection must be carried out by an adult supervisor who has a statement of attainment from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) covering
SISOCHC005—manage challenge course or similar every 3 months, or as indicated in the manufacturer's instruction, to confirm no damage or degradation.
Periodic inspection must be carried out at least once every year by an independent certified inspection body (e.g. registered builder of challenge ropes courses) and to include routine visual check; operational inspection; assessment of worn components; and where the inspector deems necessary dismantling of parts; excavation to reveal condition of items underground and/or routine proof testing.
If challenge ropes course is built in trees, the trees must be inspected by a competent person annually or as advised by the manufacturer of the ropes course.
Records and/or certification of inspections must be made available to participating schools.