Vu Deja for risk assessment: Exploring an old problem through a new lens

Ms Clare Dallat1,2

1The University Of The Sunshine Coast,

2Risk Resolve

Failure to identify and adequately manage foreseeable risks associated with the task of determining participant characteristics in the program design and planning phase of an outdoor program can lead to the creation of 150 further, emergent risks.   This is just one significant finding from a program of PhD research that focused on the development and testing of a risk assessment method which could identify and analyse risks associated with the design, planning and conduct of outdoor programs. The method, called NET-HARMS, is theoretically underpinned by the now widely accepted view in safety science, that accidents are caused by multiple, interacting factors located throughout the system of work, and not solely by the actions or decisions of the people closest to the accident scene, e.g., an instructor’s ‘poor decision’, a student’s ‘carelessness’, or the high river level.  Clare will demonstrate how NET-HARMS differs from current risk assessment methods in highlighting how it can identify and assess risks involved in the design, planning, delivery and review stages of a program, as opposed to risk associated with the delivery stage only. Workshop participants will then have the opportunity to have a go and trial the method with their own programs in mind.


Clare Dallat is an experienced outdoor educator with over twenty years practicing both in the field, and in administrating programs. For thirteen years, Clare held the position of Director of Risk Management at The Outdoor Education Group (, a large not-for-profit organisation that provides multi-day outdoor education experiences for approximately 40,000 participants annually. She now leads Risk Resolve, a risk and crisis management consultancy service. Through this work, Clare has supported many organisations, including schools, universities, and local government to assist them develop and improve their risk and crisis management systems. She has responded to, in both a field and leadership capacity, to critical incidents and has expert witness and court experience. Clare holds an MSc. in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester, UK, and is currently a PhD researcher with the Centre for Human Factors and Sociotechnical Systems at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia (

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