Does your bushwalking Club need a Safety Officer and what would their role be? Does your Club need a Training Officer? Can the two roles be combined? Who could constitute your Training and Safety sub-committee? What could be included in the job description of a TSO?I believe that if your Club is going to take the training of leaders and new members seriously then you need a Training and Safety Officer. I believe the one person can and should fulfill both roles as the two are integrated; maintaining a culture of safety during walks benefits from a training program.
The Training and Safety subcommittee could include:
- the "Walks Secretary" or his/her deputy
- someone who has had some formal bushwalk training or for South Australians, a rep from Bushwalk Leadership SA
- the "New Members Secretary" or their deputy
- someone with recent involvement on a Training or Safety committee in another bushwalk club, preferably with knowledge of the Adventure Activity Standards (AAS)
Summary of the Role of the Training and Safety Officer
- chairing the Training and Safety subcommittee,
- ensuring compliance with AAS
- attending Committee meetings.
- auditing current leadership practices
- development of a leadership development program
- encouraging a change of culture if needed
- encouraging a culture of safety, with all members and all leaders walking within their capabilities
- promoting ongoing training as a requirement of membership renewal
- organising training for potential leaders and those seeking updates
- establishing a database of training resources to assist members seeking to improve their skills and knowledge
- establishing and supporting a mentoring program for potential leaders and new members
- auditing, reviewing and recommending changes to current bushwalk documentation and procedures, taking into consideration the AAS
- maintaining an Incident Register. Assess and report on appropriate action.
- chairing the Training and Safety sub-committee and making recommendations to the Committee
- utilising internal and external resources to improve the skills, knowledge and hence the enjoyment of members while walking
- liaising with existing training providers to provided customised courses for Club members
- publicising existing courses at meetings, on the Club website and in your magazine
- negotiating group discounts for Club members attending courses eg first aid
- providing training and documentation for walk leaders so they can effectively mentor new members on their walks
- encouraging leaders to offer the opportunity for self reflection and feedback at the conclusion of each walk
- monitoring the progress of new members, through a log book system, so that they progress through a series graduated of walks
- encouraging and advising members wishing to be involved in accredited training, with a system of internal recognition and benefits
- developing guidelines for internal accreditation of leaders, with an ongoing re-accreditation process
- encouraging, facilitating and mentoring experienced members to share their skills and knowledge with others
- developing a database of “go-to” people within the Club with particular skills or knowledge
- encouraging and facilitating Club “go-to” people to document their skills and knowledge for sharing with others
- developing online resources to assist members wishing to gain leadership skills (PowerPoint's, brochures, podcasts, web links)
- developing a culture of sharing knowledge and skills with others
- developing recognition of the need to continually updating personal skills and knowledge,
- developing a membership renewal requirement that each member attends one skill or knowledge update training session per year.
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