Weight training and weightlifting


​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 (DOCX, 600KB) 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 (DOCX, 488KB).

Activity scope

This guideline relates to student participation in weight training and/or weightlifting as an activity to support curriculum delivery.

Depending on the scope of this activity, other risk assessments may be required when planning. Curriculum activities encompassing more than 1 CARA guideline must comply with the requirements of all CARA guidelines appropriate to the activity.

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.

For activities conducted as part of representative school sport programs, schools should consult with Queensland School Sport​.​

Risk level​​​

High risk
Weight training and weightlifting activities involving specialised movement skills using weight training and weightlifting equipment.

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.​

All risk levels​


Parent consent (DOCX, 306KB) is required for all activities conducted off-site and strongly recommended for high risk activities conducted on-site.


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.

During the activity, all adult supervisors must:

  • be experienced in teaching/coaching the activity when complex, technical skills are performed
  • be readily identifiable
  • closely monitor students with health support needs
  • comply with control measures from the CARA record and adapt as hazards arise
  • must suspend the activity if the conditions become unfavourable (e.g. extreme temperatures)
  • not allow participants to participate alone
  • closely supervise students during participation. Beginners must use light weights/resistance and receive individual instruction and feedback on safe techniques
  • consider student size and skill level when determining appropriate weights for the activity.

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.

For weight training activities:

  • a registered teacher with qualifications in HPE (or equivalent demonstrated capability) and with competence (knowledge and skills) in teaching the weight training activity, e.g. certificate IV in fitness, exercise science degree or any other suitable weight training qualification, or
  • an adult supervisor, working under the direct supervision of a registered teacher, with ASCA level 1 strength and conditioning coach accreditation, certificate IV in fitness or similar that considers the age of participants.

For weightlifting activities:

  • a registered teacher with qualifications in HPE (or equivalent demonstrated capability) and with competence (knowledge and skills) in teaching the weightlifting activity, e.g. QWA Certificate Course in Weightlifting; or
  • an adult supervisor, working under the direct supervision of a registered teacher, with current accreditation as Club coach (Level 1) from the Australian Weightlifting Foundation.

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, adequate lighting and ventilation to ensure safe participation and that safety rules and procedures can be followed. Consider heights, pathways, apparatus arrangements and number of students.

Participants must wear personal protective equipment appropriate to the activity (e.g. footwear for support and stability).

Equipment must be sized to match the ability and strength of students, considering the participants’ progressive training program.

Each student must provide their own towel.

Paper towels, antiseptic spray or antiseptic wipes for equipment hygiene.

 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 hazards
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 "cleaning advice for shared equipment" in OnePortal).

Environmental conditions
Weather, sun, humidity

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 barbell) before each lift if conditions cause dampness.

Facilities and equipment hazards Control measures


If power is required, ensure electrical or extension leads do not pose a tripping hazard.

Faulty or dangerous equipment

Use only fit-for-purpose equipment (e.g. free weights have tight collars, weightlifting barbell can revolve within the sleeves).

Check equipment for damage before and during the activity.

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

Playing surface

Clear the playing surface from loose items or debris. Do not participate on a surface that is slippery.

Cover/fill playing surface hazards (e.g. gym post holes) to be level with the surrounds.

Identify changes in surface level (e.g. high-visibility tape between matting and floor) to reduce trip hazards.

Keep drinking equipment (e.g. drinking fountain, bottles, cups) clear of the workout area. Manage spills immediately.

Student considerations Control measures

Manual handling
Lifting and carrying equipment

Use correct manual handling processes when lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying equipment.

Physical exertion
Exhaustion and fatigue

Match equipment to the size, ability and strength of students.

Conduct warm-up/cool-down activities.

Continually monitor participants for signs of fatigue and exhaustion.

Student issues

Consider age, maturity and skill level of students when planning individualised programs.

Consult the qualified adult supervisor for spotter requirements and student considerations during more complex technical skills or heavier weights.

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

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


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Last updated 14 July 2022